User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 73 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 73
  2. Negative: 7 out of 73
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  1. LanceD.
    Feb 26, 2008
    2
    Intriguing yet disappointing. Haggis did not explore Tommy Jones realization that his "good boy" son had morphed into a man performing unspeakable deeds while serving in an Army which he had influenced his son to join. The ending with the flag and the school janitor made me LOL so hard. It was so indignant and ungrateful to our troops and country. I have completely lost hope for Hollywood Intriguing yet disappointing. Haggis did not explore Tommy Jones realization that his "good boy" son had morphed into a man performing unspeakable deeds while serving in an Army which he had influenced his son to join. The ending with the flag and the school janitor made me LOL so hard. It was so indignant and ungrateful to our troops and country. I have completely lost hope for Hollywood drama movies. If they cannot realize that the problem is the PRODUCT and not the buyers for the slumping movie industry than they are truly disconnected and have a mental disease. Enough with the Anti-America, Anti-War, Anti-Republican movies. We get it, Hollywood is overflowing with liberals. Expand
  2. KevinM.
    Mar 1, 2008
    4
    I enjoyed the movie and understand the challenges our troops face when returning from a war zone. How dare the makers of this movie determine that this country is in distress. There are thousands of proud soldiers who come home and lead perfect lives. You could have hit a home run if the flag would have been raised and flown right side up. Instead you mock our country and what our flag I enjoyed the movie and understand the challenges our troops face when returning from a war zone. How dare the makers of this movie determine that this country is in distress. There are thousands of proud soldiers who come home and lead perfect lives. You could have hit a home run if the flag would have been raised and flown right side up. Instead you mock our country and what our flag stands for and the millions of lives lost so that you could end what was a good movie into a total bust. I am taking the movie back today as I will not own a movie that makes a statement like that. Expand
  3. DavidR.
    Dec 4, 2007
    0
    I was thinking that the President of Iran was the money behind the film. The "America is the evil empire" crowd now has their own classic.
  4. MoeH.
    Mar 28, 2008
    0
    I saw this in the cinema, and i almost died mid-way through, i left near the end of the movie, it was mind numbingly boring, all the way through. The actors barely say anything during the whole thing, nothing intresting happens, just remains the same, the whole time.
  5. EricC.
    Oct 3, 2007
    1
    When I hear someone describe this as haunting or disturbing, I nearly lose it. Paul Haggis made a movie called Crash that the mainstream hailed as brave because it took on race issues. Any one with decent sense realized that this was offensive, not because of what it was about, but because this hack thought it was his place to "enlighten" the rest of us scum bags, because he's When I hear someone describe this as haunting or disturbing, I nearly lose it. Paul Haggis made a movie called Crash that the mainstream hailed as brave because it took on race issues. Any one with decent sense realized that this was offensive, not because of what it was about, but because this hack thought it was his place to "enlighten" the rest of us scum bags, because he's clearly got morals we can't comprehend. Also, it was a horribly directed movie. Now he does it again with this crap. People will call him brave again, people will say this is the movie we all needed. I'll say he just made a 70s war movie and changed the war. That once again, he sees in himself the hero who needs to stand up on a hill and usher us forth to salvation. I'll walk the other way. If you want to follow this pompous idiot, go ahead. I hate this war we're in, and I hate how our soldiers are dispensable pawns for our ridiculous president. But this isn't the guy we want to express our anger. He's the last guy that should take on our problems, let alone be given a camera. Expand
  6. DamonC.
    Sep 16, 2007
    2
    Another schlocky, contrived piece from Haggis, this time with an oh-so predictable political message. When will he leave pretensions aside and tell a real story?
  7. Nathan
    Sep 19, 2007
    4
    Tommy Lee Jones is very very good in this movie. The film however lacks any depth. It plays on the surface of tragedy without sinking its teeth in it. There is a good movie that is dying to get out. You can see it in Jones performance, I wish the crime drama was left in the dust it buckles and eventually folds by the end.
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. 40
    The movie chickens out. In the Valley of Elah could have been really interesting -- and really daring -- if it had focused on Hank's realization that his own child, supposedly a good kid, had perhaps committed the kinds of atrocities that would make any decent human being recoil. The movie (which Haggis also wrote) dances around that territory, but doesn't dare to march straight into its terrifying maw.
  2. 80
    No one could mistake the movie for a documentary, but the picture has some of the rectitude of a good documentary--a tone of plainness without flatness.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    80
    This is a sad, subtle and very good movie, designed not so much to make you think, but to make you feel the impact of large events on little lives.