Down in the Valley

30 Sep

I wish I could review In the Valley of Elah fairly, but watching it was not a great experience.

That said, this is a very good movie.

Tommy Lee Jones gives a fantastic, Oscar-worthy performance as the father of an Army private who has disappeared after returning home from Iraq. It’s one of the best performances I’ve seen from him.

This is a more introspective character and his performance doesn’t require him to bark orders or chew scenery.

Instead, he’s often quite heartbreaking — particularly in his phone conversations with his wife, played by Susan Sarandon.

Charlize Theron is also good as the local detective who helps Jones’ character find out what happened to his son.

The film is well-paced and efficiently made, and I’m sure if I wasn’t distracted as much, I’d have enjoyed it more.

So I’m going to give Elah a qualified B+ because it may be better than that.

2 Responses to “Down in the Valley”


  1. Thanks for Nothing « Martin's Musings - May 23, 2012

    […] would have gone outside and found an usher to do something, but I was enjoying the movie in spite of your kids and didn’t want to […]

  2. This Is the One that Ends Well « Martin's Musings - May 24, 2012

    […] As K in 1969, Brolin gives a very funny and perfectly deadpan performance. He’s got it all working: the same speech patterns as Jones, the same mannerisms, the look, you name it. No prosthetics are necessary here; Brolin makes you think he really could be Jones in his earlier days. (Clearly, Brolin was playing close attention when the two starred in No Country for Old Men and In the Valley of Elah.) […]

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