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DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 121 minutes, making of documentary, deleted scene
VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)
AUDIO: English 5.1 Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

STUDIO: Warner Independent Pictures/ Nala Films/ Summit Entertainment/ Samuels Media
RELEASE DATE: 2-19-2008

IN THE VALLEY OF ELLAH is a mystery that also explores the effect the Iraq war has on the soldiers when they come home. A retired military man, Hank Deerfield (Tommy Lee Jones), goes to track down his son Mike Deerfield who has recently returned from Iraq. The Army is of no help and he turns to Detective Emily Sanders (Charlize Theron) to help him. Soon it is discovered his son was murdered and Hanks looks for who killed his son.

Paul Haggis makes another fantastic film. Whether he is just writing a James Bond film or be the force behind CRASH, Paul makes the viewer think or at least entertain them. IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH is inspired by true events and also tackles the effect the Iraq War has on our soldiers (and the treatement system being inadequate). Tommy Lee Jones turns in another powerful perfomance (better than what he in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN). He shows Hank's unspoken grief and determination. Charlize Theron continues to amaze me with her depth to handle different roles. This film is worth seeing.

IN THE VALLEY OF ELLAH: AFTER IRAQ and IN THE VALLEY OF ELLAH: COMING HOME are part of a two part making of documentary that explores the production, the actual events that inspired the film, the prep work the actors went through, and thoughts on the iraq War and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder treatment (or lack of). Also included is a deleted scene that shows Hank looking for his son's girlfriend, Jennifer Lopez.

FINAL ANALYSIS: IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH is an engrossing drama that also makes you think.

this DVD review is (c)2-21-2008 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com  

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