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The Messenger [DVD] [2009]

Ben Foster , Woody Harrelson , Oren Moverman    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 5.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton
  • Directors: Oren Moverman
  • Writers: Oren Moverman, Alessandro Camon
  • Producers: Mark Gordon, Lawrence Inglee, Zach Miller
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: None
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • DVD Release Date: 17 Oct 2011
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005EEQ0UG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,068 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Multi-award winning, The Messenger is a timeless story that examines universal themes of redemption, hope and the resilience of the human spirit. The first film directed by Oren Moverman, a combat veteran of the Israeli army, whose earlier screenplays include the Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There (2007) and Jesus' Son (1999), The Messenger follows two officers (Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson) faced with the unenviable task of notifying the loved ones of fallen soldiers. The two men form an unlikely bond that is threatened when one of the officers finds himself drawn to a young widow (Samantha Morton), setting off an ethical dilemma that plays out in touching and surprising ways. The film is a deeply moving tale about the complex and unexpected ways that people reach out to and gain strength from each other, offering a unique and inspiring vision that deftly balances strong emotion with humour, compassion and empathy.

The Messenger won the Silver Berlin Bear for Best Screenplay and the Critics Award and Grand Special Prize for Best Film at the Deauville Film Festival, whilst Woody Harrelson garnered Best Supporting Actor Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominations and won the Best Supporting Male Independent Spirit Award for his portrayal of Captain Tony Stone.

Product Description


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Customer Reviews

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3.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bereavement Notification 21 May 2013
You never know how you are going to be received, and knocking on the door of someone's home to tell them their son or daughter has been killed in the war is fraught with all kinds of danger. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have created a divide with all of us. We are split between the people who have been directly affected by the war and those who have not. Staff Sgt. Will Montgomery, played by Ben Foster is just home from Iraq with a medal for heroism. His superior officer has given him a new job to round out his time and the Army calls the job "bereavement notification." His new officer will be a captain named Tony Stone, played by Woody Harrelson.

There are many rules to this new job and communication of the right kind is topmost. You only talk to NOK (next of kin), you never touch the NOK, you deliver the message sometime between 7am and 10pm at night. You provide a set sentence, letting the loved ones know their soldier was killed within the last 24 hours. Someone from the army will be in touch soon to assist. Is there someone we can call for you? You can imagine the responses are mixed, always sorrow and often hysteria. Many do not thank you, but most do. You are the bearer of horrible news. This takes its toll, and the two men drink or not, carouse, and at times talk. Communication is the name of the game. Both men have been through a great deal and have friends and lovers by the wayside.

Very few of us understand what our soldiers have been through and there are several examples shown throughout the film. They have become a part of a very select part of society, and most of us will never enter that ring. I finished reading Sebastian Junger's book 'The War' a few days ago. Junger was embedded with an infantry platoon in Afghanistan.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very modern war film 24 April 2012
By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER
Though The Messenger shows no actual combat or scenes of fighting, it would seem to be in the vein of some of the anti-Vietnam movies of say, Oliver Stone and such, showing an alternative way how war messes up people.

The Messenger is also a largely unlikeable film, being also difficult to watch and now, to review. A messenger in this sense is someone who has to knock on next-of-kin's doors and inform them that their son/daughter has been killed in action. Reactions, unsurprisingly are mixed and unpredictable.

Naturally, this requires a special type of person to handle such and in military captain Tony Stone (Woody Harrelson), who's been decorated but also in A.A., we find a flawed and angry man. Taking on a younger new recruit, Staff Sgt Will Montgomery (Ben Foster) there's the obvious clash of experience and outlook and the even more inevitable buddy type of hanging out together.

Unfortunately for us, both men seem to like to resort to thrashing out heavy metal and punching the walls as a means of coping with the pent up frustrations that the job's rigid rules around emotion and self control insist upon. This makes it all jarring and unsettling, which may well have been what director Oran Moverman wanted. This is Moverman's first film and is reasonably accomplished.

There is some very welcome support from two of the world's finest character actors - Steve Buscemi and Brit Samantha Morton. They play father and wife, respectively of two entirely different men killed in Afghanistan and their characters feature big in the emotions of our two leads. Morton as widow, who Foster helps but fortunately (for both the film and us) does not get too emotionally involved, is probably the easiest role to both like and believe.

The Messenger is a well acted, reasonably well directed film but one that is also quite long. As I said, I didn't find it particularly enjoyable and as such, cannot readily extend to four stars.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well acted and moving. 20 Feb 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Excellent film, not I think released in the UK, in which a war hero gets given the job of telling the news to families of soldiers in the US who have died.

Apart from that there isn't much plot, its about just what it is like, and says quite a lot about the whole being back in civvies thing.

Very good film.
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1 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable 28 Jan 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Not the best movie that I have seen. It is okay when you have nothing else to look at if I had read reports on it I would not have purchased.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars God Bless America. 2 Mar 2014
By JC - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I feel that this is a must see movie for everyone. It will give you pause for thought, enough said.
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Story... 24 Feb 2014
By kathleen kelleher - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I really liked the relationship that build between these two men. It also shows what good actors they are. I certainly would recommend seeing this...
4.0 out of 5 stars Great 11 Feb 2014
By Nancy Barrett - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Very Moving film and now I have become a huge Ben Foster fan. Woody Harrelson is solid as always, worth the angst.
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