In the Valley of Elah on DVD

In the Valley of Elah on DVD. Another film based on a true story, this is an examination of the disappearance of infantryman Mike Deerfield days after he returns from Iraq. Deerfield’s father (Tommy Lee Jones) is an ex-military police investigator and travels to his son’s base to discover what happened. The local police detective assigned to the case (Charlize Theron) is a single mom, struggling in an all-male department. Her future success as a detective is not bright considering that almost every major discovery and deductive conclusion is made by the father. The mystery is a complex web of lies and secrets nicely unwoven, though with one decisive bit of luck involved. Susan Sarandon, not one of my favorites, gives an excellent emotional performance as Deerfield’s mother and Josh Brolin reappears as a mustachioed policeman as he did in American Gangster. The unfocused bonus features are a mix of movie-making insights and political commentary about the dangers of post-traumatic stress disorder and its impact on returning soldiers.

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