Watch Thank You for Your Service
- 1 hr 48 min
Thank You for Your Service is a powerful and poignant drama based on the non-fiction book of the same name by journalist David Finkel. The film follows the lives of three soldiers who return home to Kansas from their tour of duty in Iraq, struggling to readjust to civilian life and cope with the trauma of their experiences. Miles Teller stars as Adam Schumann, a sergeant who returns home struggling with guilt and PTSD after his best friend is killed in action. His marriage to Saskia (played by the excellent Haley Bennett) is also suffering, as he struggles to be emotionally present with her and their young children.
Beulah Koale plays Tausolo "Solo" Aieti, a soldier who was injured in combat and is now dependent on prescription painkillers. Like Adam, he struggles to connect with his girlfriend and their child, and feels isolated from the civilian world.
Finally, Joe Cole plays Billy Waller, a soldier who is haunted by the death of a young boy he killed in Iraq. He is eventually kicked out of the military due to his mental health issues, and his attempts to readjust to life outside of the military are fraught with difficulty.
The film is an unflinching look at the challenges faced by veterans after they return home from war. The returning soldiers are greeted with a hero's welcome, but soon find that the reality of adjusting to civilian life and dealing with the trauma of their experiences is far more difficult than they anticipated.
Director Jason Hall (who also wrote the screenplay) handles the material with sensitivity and restraint, allowing the actors to give powerful and moving performances without ever overplaying their emotions or resorting to melodrama. The film is often quietly devastating, with scenes of the soldiers struggling to connect with their families or dealing with the harsh realities of the VA system hitting hard.
Hall also explores the bond between soldiers, both during their time in combat and after they return home. The friendship between Adam and Solo is one of the film's strongest elements, with the two men relying on each other for support as they struggle to deal with their experiences. Their eventual decision to seek help at a VA hospital is a powerful moment, as they finally acknowledge their own vulnerability and need for assistance.
The film also touches on the larger issue of the VA system and the government's failures to provide adequate support for veterans. One of the film's most devastating scenes involves Adam and Solo being turned away from a VA hospital because they don't have the proper paperwork, highlighting the frustrating bureaucracy and red tape that veterans often have to navigate in order to get the help they need.
Overall, Thank You for Your Service is an important and affecting film that shines a light on the struggles faced by veterans after they return home from war. The outstanding performances from the cast (particularly Teller and Koale) make it a truly memorable and emotional experience, and the film's message about the importance of addressing PTSD and providing better support for veterans is one that resonates long after the credits roll.
Thank You for Your Service is a 2017 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 48 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6 and a MetaScore of 68.