The Last Full Measure

Watch The Last Full Measure

"The ultimate sacrifice deserves the highest honor."
  • R
  • 2020
  • 1 hr 50 min
  • 6.8  (13,641)
  • 51

The Last Full Measure is a 2019 American war drama film that tells the true story of William H. Pitsenbarger, a United States Air Force Pararescueman who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his valorous actions during the Vietnam War. Directed and written by Todd Robinson, the film features an ensemble cast, including Sebastian Stan, Alison Sudol, Asher Miles Fallica, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Plummer, Ed Harris, William Hurt, and Peter Fonda in his final film appearance.

The film opens with Pentagon staffer Scott Huffman (Stan) receiving a congressional request to investigate the circumstances surrounding Pitsenbarger's Medal of Honor nomination, which was controversially downgraded to a lesser award. Despite initial resistance from his superiors, Huffman embarks on a journey of discovery, interviewing various individuals who served with Pitsenbarger during his final mission. What he discovers is a tale of bravery, sacrifice, and loyalty to one's fellow soldiers.

Pitsenbarger (played by Fallica as a young man and Jeremy Irvine as an adult) was a pararescueman, or PJ, whose job was to rescue downed aircrew members and injured soldiers in combat zones. On April 11, 1966, he was accompanying a unit of Army soldiers that came under heavy attack from Viet Cong forces. Pitsenbarger decided to stay behind and tend to the wounded, despite being offered the chance to evacuate. He was soon joined by a handful of Army soldiers, including Ray Mott (Jackson), Frank Pitsenbarger (Hurt), and his own best friend, Takoda (Samuel Hunt). Together, they fought off the enemy for several hours, returning fire and providing medical aid to the wounded. Several times, Pitsenbarger had the chance to leave, but he chose to stay until the bitter end, refusing to abandon his comrades.

After the firefight ended, Mott and the other surviving soldiers wrote glowing letters of recommendation for Pitsenbarger to receive the Medal of Honor. However, due to the classified nature of Pitsenbarger's role as a PJ, his actions were deemed insufficient to merit the highest award, and he was instead given the Air Force Cross. Decades later, the surviving soldiers, including the guilt-ridden Takoda (played as an adult by Michael Imperioli), petitioned for Pitsenbarger's award to be upgraded. This is where Huffman comes in.

As Huffman delves deeper into the case, he encounters resistance from various Pentagon officials, some of whom have their own reasons for wanting to keep the status quo. He also has to confront his own doubts and fears, as the investigation brings up traumatic memories of his own experience in Iraq. Along the way, he forms a bond with Pitsenbarger's parents, played by Plummer and Diane Ladd, who have never given up hope that their son's sacrifice will one day be properly recognized.

The Last Full Measure is an emotional rollercoaster that tackles several themes, including loyalty, duty, sacrifice, and the price of war. The film is beautifully shot, with stunning Vietnam War reenactments and a haunting musical score by Philip Klein. The performances are uniformly excellent, with Stan delivering a nuanced portrayal of a man struggling to do the right thing in a morally complex situation.

Overall, The Last Full Measure is a deeply moving tribute to a forgotten hero and a reminder of the sacrifices made by those who serve their country. It is a must-watch for fans of war dramas and anyone who wants to be inspired by true stories of heroism and perseverance.

The Last Full Measure is a 2020 war movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 50 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.8 and a MetaScore of 51.

The Last Full Measure
Where to Watch The Last Full Measure
The Last Full Measure is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Hulu, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Last Full Measure for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 50 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.8  (13,641)
  • Metascore