Stop-Loss movie poster

A hiatus of nine years since Kimberly Peirce’s first feature, the gender-bending Boys Don’t Cry, is practically like starting from scratch. And blended into a crowd of Iraq War films, this bring-the-troops-home agitation (“With all due respect, sir, fuck the President!”) is not designed to claim the same attention. The chronicle of close-knit young vets in Brazos, Texas, dutifully covers a range of possibilities (domestic and alcohol abuse, desertion, a military hospital, a suicide, and so on), but the punches are telegraphed, and, for all the overacting, do not have much power behind them in any case. With Ryan Phillippe (compare his understated work as a WWII vet in Clint Eastwood’s Flags of Our Fathers), Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Abbie Cornish, and Timothy Olyphant. 2008.

Duncan Shepherd

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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