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In the Valley of Elah
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In the Valley of Elah

2007
Drama
Suspense/Thriller
2h 1m
The story of a war veteran, his wife and the search for their son who recently returned from Iraq but has mysteriously gone missing, as well as the police detective who helps in the investigation.
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In the Valley of Elah

2007
Drama
Suspense/Thriller
2h 1m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 52.91% from 1175 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(1175)
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Rated 10 Aug 2018
64
45th
The most somber version of the "Give me back my son!" genre. A sort of mishmash of Ransom, Conspiracy Theory, We Were Soldiers, Edge of Darkness, The Patriot, The Bounty and Chicken Run. Well, not Chicken Run. Otherwise that's actually a little accurate.
Rated 20 Mar 2008
86
86th
What I loved about the film was how no one was perfect. Everyone had their moments of weakness and even those that commit the "bad deed" of the film have more depth than simply serving as the killers. There are some pretty ham-fisted moments but the acting is superb, especially Jones and Theron, and all the characters are great. Yes it's a bit of a retread of current issues and plot but it's still very good.
Rated 10 Feb 2008
8
78th
A film that relies on its story, and never lets go, not afraid to show the God's honest truth, which can be hard sometimes.
Rated 18 Apr 2016
65
44th
A touching and effective discover of a son by his father through the investigation on his death, that indeed it's the discover of the truth behind the military rethoric. It has flaw, and cliches, especially in the crime elements, like the classic conflicts of jurisdiction, but overall it's less heavy-handed that you can expect, because the gentleness with which the strong feelings are shown, summarized in the restraint of the Tommy Lee Jones face expressions.
Rated 06 Oct 2007
86
89th
Writer-director Paul Haggis follows 'Crash' with even less restraint and more intended manipulation, but he has orchestrated 'Elah' brilliantly as an emotional journey led by a reserved Tommy Lee Jones in stunning form. Theron also impresses. A superb film about the loss of man's decency in war, Haggis delivers once again. One of the year's best.
Rated 16 May 2008
60
28th
Paul Haggis is considering his audience as being 3years old ?? Too obvious and ridicule in every way. The eventual revealing of the investigation is too easy, the cheap symbolism was just an insult and the ending was horrific. ... A nice try to launch himself as the conscious of Hollywood, but lacks subtilty in convincing me.
Rated 17 Mar 2011
65
42nd
Paul Haggis' follow-up to his Oscar-winning "Crash" is a quieter, more modest and, ultimately, better film, that, despite suffering from the same narrative flaws, articulates its noble message in a less obvious but more effective way. The low-key approach is both the film's strength and weakness: sentimentalism and cheap storytelling are avoided, but, on the same time, it never becomes truly fascinating. Also, thank God for the upside down flag in the end. Last thing we need is another "SPR".
Rated 07 Mar 2009
6
55th
Not bad. There is something extremely satisfying in seeing Tommy Lee Jones call someone a wetback then beat the shit out of them. A lot of the stuff was pointless though. Like Susan Sarandon's entire character and most of the flashbacks. Also, I hate Haggis's sappy music.
Rated 07 Feb 2008
87
89th
Actually, this is a lower volume Redacted.. or one might say a decent version which was well directed and played.
Rated 01 Aug 2009
73
73rd
As you would expect from a cast boasting Lee Jones, Sarandon and Brolin amongst others, the performances are excellent. The cast really do bring a real depth to the very well fleshed out characters, and Haggis' direction is neat and efficient. That said, even though this movie tackles many current issues head on and with some skill, it never quite seems to really provide any answers to it's own questions or plausable theories to the issues it raises. Still all-in-all very good.
Rated 17 May 2011
80
78th
An underrated gem. The subtly disturbing ending (and the whole movie for that matter) is not quite what I expected and that's what makes it so good. The performances are great, too.
Rated 06 Oct 2007
89
70th
Decent follow-up to Haggis' Crash, dealing again with the 'Big Issues': Death, hate, grief, and most of all America in Iraq. Tommy Lee Jones is absolutely masterful in his strong, restrained performance. A solid film which manages to convey a feel of deep sadness.
Rated 24 Feb 2008
67
60th
Iraq is a new Vietnam for USA. They think they're fighting against Goliath (pagans or Satan himself) and they sent their young boys against him. But none of them is David. Maybe this is an important movie for Americans but I'm full of pictures and news of happenings in Iraq. Tommy Lee and Theron acts very good. Brolin's and Sarandon's part are pretty brief.
Rated 14 Jun 2009
3
22nd
Tommy Lee completely saves Haggis' attempts at blowing hot air all over the Iraq war, his symbolism is at times childish.
Rated 24 Feb 2008
66
42nd
An ok story that feels all too familiar. Tommy Lee Jones manages to lift it just a bit above mediocrity.
Rated 13 May 2008
70
66th
There's just enough of crime genre in it to remain entertaining, but it's really a drama - superbly acted and quite disturbing. Still, it's probably a film of a moment, not too likely to be remembered in a decade.
Rated 07 May 2008
60
50th
Far from perfect but moving story with a great cast. Paul Haggis proved he's a very talented writer/director with "Crash" but fails to live up to expectations here. Still, it's a fine film and worth the rental.
Rated 24 Nov 2015
83
46th
Great acting from Tommy Lee Jones
Rated 07 Feb 2010
80
51st
Deeply moving, I must say, a man returns home only to go missing and no one seems to care because it is an army mess. His father however cares enough to take it upon himself to get answers. He begins to trust a local cop and together they unravel the case. Not a big off the all spectacular film, but one that has morals and plays off peoples common sense and their loyalties to their country. A solid ensemble cast, Brolin, Jones, Theron, Franco make up this true story unfold in an honest way.
Rated 16 Dec 2011
7
73rd
Watchable crime drama, featuring returned soldiers from Iraq, with a strong (unsubtle) anti war/'isn't America in a mess?' Message. Convincing performances from Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron but nothing else particularly outstanding or original.
Rated 23 Apr 2009
68
49th
Not so great 2nd movie by Paul Haggis, Crash was definitely much better than this. The movie focuses on the post traumatic stress disorder of soldiers return from war. Tommy Lee Jones gives a good performance, Chalize Theron does a decent enough job as well. A movie made in good faith like Crash. Could have been done better.
Rated 21 Jan 2013
83
81st
Clean, very clean shots. A good plot and a solid cast!
Rated 27 May 2008
75
89th
Very Good.
Rated 02 Mar 2008
99
96th
I cannot recommend this film highly enough. It has everything the viewing connoisseur would want: Intrigue, plausibility, deep characters, natural dialogue, and topicality. Not only did Tommy Lee Jones deserve his Oscar nomination for his performance, he should have won.
Rated 15 Feb 2009
67
71st
good movie
Rated 05 Dec 2007
85
68th
dovrebbero farlo vedere nelle scuole. toccante, intenso, squallido e tenero. lee jones a me fa piangere. SEMPRE. il momento della rivelazione, la confessione dell'assassino e la comprensione di cosa stava facendo mike nel filmato fatto con il telefonino e di cosa c'è, per terra, nella fotografia del furgoncino, fanno accapponare la pelle
Rated 24 Feb 2008
60
45th
Nothing new under the sun. Everything has been seen thousand times before and the way they solve the case is really too easy.
Rated 01 Aug 2013
2
17th
Paul Haggis is considering his audience as being 3years old ??
Rated 12 Feb 2008
84
52nd
Nothing groundbreaking but i liked it. Tommy Lee Jones acts above average and I liked his face expressions. Sometimes a few cliches and could have used a bit more action.
Rated 05 Dec 2009
68
15th
non proprio un film adatto a rilassarsi il sabato sera, anche se sul finale si percepisce il profondo disagio sociale dei militari che rientrano dalle missioni "di pace": la guerra è dentro ognuno di loro...
Rated 01 Jan 2011
73
50th
73.250
Rated 12 Dec 2011
70
41st
Could not be less subtle if it tried but still a powerful film with some very good performances.
Rated 23 Jul 2009
76
82nd
TLJ never backs down in pursuit of what really happened to his son.
Rated 14 Oct 2012
60
31st
Bland and overwrought. Skip it.
Rated 07 Apr 2024
68
50th
I get what this movie was trying to convey and sometimes it works. Sometimes it gets just a bit too preachy. I had issues with Tommy Lee Jones' character because all he did was undermine other characters constantly by being a better detective than any trained detective could be. Was there anything he couldn't do better than other people? Other than that, it did do a decent job of conveying the trauma and change that soldiers can go through when they try to adjust back to the normal world.
Rated 04 Jan 2010
59
55th
Paul Haggis always have good stories, but he doesn't seem to be that good in putting them on celluloid. I see this film much better as a Clint Eastwood film (not to diss Tommy Lee, he did a good acting job here), he is always good at handling difficult, emotional stories. With direction of Haggis the film gets rough and manipulative, but the ending scene is what really kills any regard for the film. Like 42 stabs with knife.
Rated 06 Jul 2012
55
74th
#12#, rw3, story, liked, Charlize.T!/10, oldies(2) }*{ #08#, reviews, story, (writer Haggis), Charlize.T!, (cast).
Rated 05 Jun 2013
77
51st
A well done thriller whose hamfisted attempts at relevance and audience manipulation undermine what could be a more interesting story. It's still very good, but I get annoyed when I can sense a director working and it's not with an experimental aim.
Rated 15 Oct 2013
85
89th
Ever since Tommy Lee Jones hit fifty, he just got ten times more awesome. This movie is a borderline hard-boiled mystery and Tommy is exactly where he needs to be.
Rated 20 Oct 2007
83
52nd
Attention to the supporting characters inner life, along with the usual impeccable work of Jones and the other "names", makes this a quality film experience; Much in the vein of A SOLDIER'S STORY, and A FEW GOOD MEN...
Rated 21 Feb 2013
76
43rd
A film with a very serious tone, which often straddles the line between moving explorations of disjointed families, and NCIS-style police procedural mystery solving. It's a shame that it ends up doing more of the latter, as it's far less interesting. Tommy Lee Jones's typically good performance is the main reason to tune in.
Rated 07 Apr 2008
73
47th
The story is certainly interesting, but the blatant intent of a moral message is pretentious and doesn't seem interesting despite being a topical subject at the moment. The actual development of the murder case here unfolds with strange pacing and at times lingers around for far too long getting nowhere. The acting is fine for the most part but no performance in it actually impresses as Jones plays the same character he always does and Theron just isn't a great actress. It's good, not great.
Rated 24 Aug 2009
80
79th
Very moving and powerful story. Great performances from all, although Theron feels a little out of place. A movie that will remain with you long after the credits have rolled
Rated 13 Oct 2010
70
59th
Tommy Lee is delivering one of his best performances in this very much underrated film that suffered from not being up to par with Crash and Million Dollar Baby. Still it's a very good film.
Rated 29 Jan 2013
70
65th
A lot better than what you'd normally expect from a movie, based on an article, printed in Playboy magazine. Sorry, that has nothing to do with the review, but, you know, mind blown, wanted to share... Jones is excellent! Probably much better than Clint Eastwood, who was originally set to star. (Sorry). ...It means well, but it handles a little heavy, especially now that Kathryn Bigelow has taken to war commentary, and made that genre her own.
Rated 04 Apr 2009
74
11th
For me a letdown. Mediocre war coverup flick.
Rated 17 Dec 2011
63
58th
Decent story, beautifully performed by TL Jones etc. The film's main strength is the feeling that everyone has their flaws and you can see what damages wars do to young minds... and the last shot - like the end credits song - is impressive.
Rated 19 Oct 2013
74
48th
74.000
Rated 17 Jan 2013
40
14th
4- might want to skip this one, not that hot
Rated 20 Apr 2008
75
58th
It tells about Iraq War and its phsycological effects on soldiers rather than investigation. Acting is suberb but the film is a little bit boring.
Rated 23 Sep 2009
57
31st
Good, but nothing special I will remind for the rest of my life. The pace is a bit too slow, the beginning is actually a bit boring and it could have used a bit more action. Tommys acting is good, but not that lively, what can be said about most of the cast. On the other hand, camerawork andso are great.
Rated 25 Oct 2012
72
63rd
* Casting, Acting : 8 * Script : 7 * Directing, Aura : 7 * Ease of Viewing : 6 * Naked Eye : 8
Rated 29 Mar 2010
51
8th
Can sikan Irak savasi konulu dramatik yapimlardan. Alttan alta verilen milliyetci mesajlar, inadina hakli gorulen bir savas ve tek hakli olay olan askerlerin psikolojik iflasi. Tamamen Amerikada gectigini ve aslinda konunun farkli bir eksende oldugunu da soylemek lazim.
Rated 22 Feb 2014
48
11th
good production and mostly well acted, but the storyline was a bit weak at points, the military "facts" a bit over-stereotyped and inaccurate, and the ultra-conservative undercurrents (e.g., "let me show you how to fly this flag properly, foreign immigrant janitor man"; "wife, stay at home while i work on this man's problem") i found nauseating.
Rated 27 Feb 2009
70
50th
Tommy Lee Jones is a national treasure and I could watch him forever, Charlize Theron is also good. But there were things that annoyed me, especially the amateurish stereotyping of male police officers and U.S. soldiers. It's obvious writer/director Paul Haggis has anti-white male disorder.
Rated 14 Jul 2008
20
10th
This movie proves that a good to great movie can be destroyed by the ending. Such a bad and offensive ending. Tommy Lee Jones is amazing, however.
Rated 28 Nov 2010
10
9th
"A namby-pamby tirade against the war in Iraq, In the Valley of Elah is a Canadian's Sydney Pollack-inspired drag revue." - Ed Gonzalez
Rated 27 Jul 2008
35
8th
Moving forward at about 5 mph with a Tommy Lee Jones on prosac and a story that tries to go three different ways at the same time and ends up going nowhere.

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