By now you should know that this is a film about how a soldier honourably discharged from active duty, struggles to adapt to life as a 'civilian', bur the beauty of this film is that this issue is tackled very obliquely, respecting the real complexity of the issue and the ability of the viewer understand. Ostensibly, this is a film about male friendship, one that very closely follows the structure of 'Training Day'. Bale plays Jim, the ex-soldier, who's trying to get a job in law enforcement. He picks up his pal, mike who's being badgered by his Missus, Eva Longeria, to grow up and find a job. Jim is a bad influence on mike, encouraging him to smoke weed, drink and generally goof off, rather than find work. What unfolds is a fascinating love triangle involving all three aforementioned characters with mike being pulled between bale and longerias characters. During the unfolding of this drama we get glimpses into the heart of darkness that bale brought back with him from afghanistan, as well as the peace he is trying to find. Bale is masterful. Before i saw this film I thought he was overrated, but in this mvie he has you, by turns, scared of him, disgusted with him, sympathising with him, rooting for him and feeling sorry for him. It's amazing. It's also thenlittle things, like the military precision with which he irons his shirt. Highly recommended.