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In The Valley Of Elah [DVD] [2008]


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Product details

  • Actors: Charlize Theron, Tommy Lee Jones, Susan Sarandon, Josh Brolin, James Franco
  • Directors: Paul Haggis
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 26 May 2008
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0012XQJ9U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,468 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Synopsis

"Your son is missing." It’s the phone call every soldier’s father dreads. What Hank Deerfield (Tommy Lee Jones) had never thought to fear was that this call would come when his son was home in the U.S., on leave from service in Baghdad. Facing military indifference to the disappearance, Hank decides to take matters into his own hands and discover the truth about what’s happened to his son. With the reluctant help of police detective Emily Sanders (Charlize Theron), Hank embarks on a journey that will bring him up against the closed ranks of the armed forces and the harsh realities of modern warfare.

Written and directed by Academy Award ®- winner Paul Haggis and starring three Academy Award ®-winning actors – Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron and Susan Sarandon – alongside James Franco, Josh Brolin and Jason Patric, In the Valley of Elah is the powerful story of one father’s search for the truth.

Extras
  • Featurette: After Iraq Featurette: Coming Home Interview With Paul Haggis Additional Scenes TRAILER
  • From Amazon.co.uk

    Notch up another great role for Tommy Lee Jones here, as his starring performance in the lead of In The Valley Of Elah is a further acting performance of real merit. And this from the man who has already recently added the equally excellent No Country For Old Men to his CV.

    In The Valley Of Elah, however, is a very different beast. It’s the new film from writer/director Paul Haggis, he who previously brought us Oscar-winner Crash, and Jones stars as Hank Deerfield, a man who decides to take matters into his own hands when he finds out that his son has disappeared. However, what complicates matters is that Deerfield’s son is a soldier on leave, and the military are proving to be little help in getting to the bottom of the mystery.

    Yet there’s far more to In The Valley Of Elah than that, even though its narrative is interesting and surprising. No, there are real layers of drama here, and none more obvious than those surrounding Jones’ character (the lead actor, incidentally, snagged a richly-deserved Oscar nomination for his work here). He’s an understated, yet brilliant, creation, and one quite wonderfully brought to life. In conjunction with Susan Sarandon as his wife, and Charlize Theron as the detective he enlists the help of, In The Valley Of Elah emerges as one of the most unfairly overlooked films of recent times, and one that’s ripe for discovery on DVD. A superb piece of work. --Jon Foster

    Customer Reviews

    4.1 out of 5 stars

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Northern Warrior on 12 Feb 2008
    Format: Blu-ray
    The movie centres around Jones as Hank Deerfield, a Vietnam veteran (presented at the outset as something of a patriot) who receives a message from the military that his son has gone "AWOL" on return from Iraq. Deerfield travels to the area in order to conduct his own search however, shortly after his arrival, dismembered and partly burnt human remains are found near the army base which are quickly identified as being his missing son. We also learn that Deerfield's other son joined the military but was killed in a training accident.

    Most of the rest of the movie focuses on Deerfield's dogged attempts to get the death properly investigated - Susan Sarandon as his wife is pretty much relegated to an extended cameo role. The military want the affair to go away while the civil police assign Det. Sanders (Charlize Theron) who at the start of the film is evidently not taken seriously by her colleagues and gets the cases no-one else wants. Video footage taken from the son's mobile phone (secretly recovered by Deerfield from the barracks) is used to gradually fill in the back story of his tour in Iraq. Not the most effective tool and the events depicted on the phone (particularly when linked coherently towards the end of the movie) seem more concerned with denigrating the behaviour of US soldiers in Iraq than a key plot device. Indeed throughout the film, the producer seems anxious to show the Army personnel as dehumanised sub-humans inhabiting a drug fuelled shadow world of topless bars and clip joints.

    The denouement when it comes is fairly low key and, particularly when we learn that Deerfield's son himself was not exactly the model soldier his father thought, is not all that satisfying. Indeed the movie just seems to come to a sudden and bleak end.
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    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Feb 2009
    Format: Blu-ray
    `In The Valley Elah' follows Tommy Lee Jones as he investigates the death of his son who has retuned from a tour of duty in Iraq and was murdered on a night out from base. Jones plays the roles of father perfectly and draws on his own military experience to aid Theron's character as she investigates the death further. The story is interspersed with footage the son shot in Iraq on his mobile phone, which fleshes the back story out and leads to a disquieting conclusion. Jones and Theron both acted superbly and Sarandon's role was shamefully small and with a steller supporting cast, the acting was amply taken care of. The storyline was ok, it lacked a certain tension you come to expect from these detective murder type stories, but it still managed to get you second guessing and intrigued whilst you watched. I feel Jones performance in `No Country For Old Men' to be better than this, but he certainly seems to be on a roll at the moment, picking class acting roles and performing them to perfection. For a couple of hours of solid acting and a fairly good murder thriller type story, set against the timely backdrop of the US war in Iraq, you can't do mush better than this. Worth a look.

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    25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Dec 2008
    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    "In The Valley Of Elah" isn't really a movie about the Iraq War - it's about the soldiers who return home from it and the parents of those soldiers who don't return home at all.

    Written and directed by Paul Haggis (who did the equally superb "Crash" and "Million Dollar Baby"), the movie is far less showy than "Rendition" and less posturing than the ridiculous "Lions For Lambs". And while "Elah" has an unfolding power in its carefully measured pace, it's also braver in its assessment of the American military and their less-than-angelic ways...

    Tommy Lee Jones and Susan Sarandon play Hank & Joan Deerfield, the parents of a young soldier Mike Deerfield, who has inexplicably gone missing since his return from a tour in Bosnia and Iraq in November 2004. Hank visits the base where his son bunked, but neither Jason Patrick as Lieutenant Kirklander, James Franco as Sgt. Carnelli nor any of his division buddies are helpful - and worse - many seem unnerved - almost as if they're hiding something very nasty. A local beleaguered Detective in the police force, single-parent Emily Sanders (played by a superb Charlize Theron) gets embroiled in what she suspects is a grieving father being shafted by the canny US military. And without giving away too much, on the story goes...

    One of the movies great strengths is of course the presence and capability of real heavyweights like Jones, Sarandon and Theron. Tommy Lee in particular is sensational. Just when you thought you'd seen every stone-clad grimace he can throw at you, for "Elah" he digs down deep and finds tremulous moments that floor you with their power and humanity.
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    6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Oct 2008
    Format: DVD
    This is an interesting film; a good solid whodunit combined with a bit of Americans-in-combat-angst. Usually such a mixture would result in a mess, but in this case they fit together wonderfully well. There are lots of good performances linked to two main ones from the female cop (Charlize Theron) and Tommy Lee Jones as the institutionalised ex-military policeman. If the film has a theme (other than just a damned good plot) it is to do with the lack of male communication. This is admirably communicated by Jones in his at times robotic performance. Is it grief at the death of his son or is a life of polishing shoes and creasing trousers just ingrained, the story does not feel the need to tell us; which is very much part of the theme? But Jones suggests both; such that an apology or compliment from him is a high feature in the character development. The film lacks easy villains (though it tempts you to believe in them before removing the rug from beneath your feet). There are a number of times where the story looks to be over most tidily only for it to kick off again. Most films cannot manage one good ending, this one manages several.
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