In the Valley of Elah

Watch In the Valley of Elah

"Sometimes finding the truth is easier than facing it."
  • R
  • 2007
  • 2 hr 1 min
  • 7.2  (74,820)
  • 65

In the Valley of Elah is a 2007 American drama film that tells the story of a veteran father, played by Tommy Lee Jones, who investigates the disappearance of his son, Mike Deerfield, from a base in New Mexico after he returns from serving in the Iraq War. The movie is based on true events and named after the place where the biblical battle between David and Goliath took place.

The story begins with a mysterious phone call that Hank Deerfield, played by Jones, receives from the Army, informing him that his son has gone missing after returning from Iraq. Hank, who is a former military police officer, decides to travel to New Mexico to look for his son. He meets with the local military authorities but they seem uninterested in finding his son or giving him any information, leaving Hank frustrated and worried.

Hank then meets with Emily Sanders, played by Charlize Theron, a local police detective who initially seems indifferent to the case but later becomes deeply involved. Emily is a single mother and the only woman on the police force. She initially resents Hank’s intrusion in the case but eventually teams up with him to uncover the truth.

As the investigation unfolds, Hank and Emily gradually uncover a web of lies and cover-ups in the army and the local community. They encounter Mike’s Army buddies, who are suffering from PTSD and drug abuse, and who provide valuable but conflicting information about the night Mike disappeared.

Hank and Emily also uncover disturbing evidence, including a horrifying video depicting soldiers committing atrocities against Iraqi civilians, a video that might have played a role in Mike’s disappearance. The video prompts Hank to question the morality of the war and the role of his own son in it.

In the Valley of Elah is a powerful and moving film that explores the human cost of war and the deep scars it leaves on soldiers and their families. The movie raises important questions about accountability, justice, and the responsibility of those in power to tell the truth.

Tommy Lee Jones gives a brilliant performance as a grieving father who is determined to uncover the truth, even if it means confronting uncomfortable truths about his own son and the war he fought in. Charlize Theron is also outstanding as a tough and compassionate detective who is fighting her own demons. The chemistry between the two actors is palpable and adds depth and nuance to the story.

In the Valley of Elah also features an exceptional supporting cast, including Jonathan Tucker as Mike, Josh Brolin as Mike’s sergeant and Susan Sarandon as Hank’s wife.

The movie is directed by Paul Haggis, who is known for his socially conscious dramas such as Crash and Million Dollar Baby. Haggis brings a sharp and critical eye to the war in Iraq and its impact on American society. He balances the elements of suspense and drama with sensitivity and restraint, making the movie both gripping and emotionally resonant.

Overall, In the Valley of Elah is a thought-provoking and emotionally engaging film that offers a powerful critique of the war in Iraq and its human toll. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in the complex and challenging issues surrounding war and its aftermath.

In the Valley of Elah is a 2007 history movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 1 minute. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2 and a MetaScore of 65.

In the Valley of Elah
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 1 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.2  (74,820)
  • Metascore