"Only the Brave" and "Thank You for Your Service"


Right now in theaters are two films that deal with heroic figures, and I'm not talking about "Thor" or the upcoming "Justice League." No, I mean real, legitimate heroes: Firemen and soldiers. Does heroism achieve any more noble a cause that those two fields of work? Maybe policemen as well. "Only the Brave" has been greeted by positive reviews with a 90% RT score but "Thank You for Your Service" has been met with a more mixed reactions. No matter, I wrote reviews for both over at The Film Stage. 

Only the Brave [REVIEW]

"This testosterone-infused film recalls some of Peter Berg’s more recent heroic true story tales — especially Lone Survivor and Deepwater Horizon — but Kosinski’s penchant for not relying on as much jingoism does his film a great service. Only the Brave is not a simplistic portrait. The understandable mistakes — misfortunes, if you will — and just sheer bad luck the firefighters had on that day don’t go unnoticed. Joe Biden, speaking at the memorial of the fallen 19, eloquently stated “All men are created equal, but then a few become firefighters.” By painstakingly focusing on the smaller, humane aspects of the story, Kosinski does these fallen warriors justice."

Thank You For Your Service [REVIEW

"Hall’s lack of subtlety has its setbacks. Flashbacks detract from the film’s tempo and structure, and erase any kind of allure or mystery to the characters. This is a case where some things are better left unsaid, especially when you have the actors tell a world of emotions just by facial gestures and recurring ticks. The present-day sequences are much stronger and effective, even if there are times when they can be overtly symbolic and try to hammer home obvious messages. Take, for instance, the random, albeit clichéd sequence in which a soldier, back at home, tries desperately to rescue an injured pit bull that lost a fight, just like he would have if he were back in Baghdad fighting the insurgency. Cue the flashbacks and haunted memories."