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. CydneyB.
    Sep 14, 2007
    5
    Except for Tommy Lee Jones' performance, this is a predictable piece of Hollywood schlock. Treachly music at end... Charlize Theron is just plain boring, and Susan Sarandon is wasted. What a snore.
  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. 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.
  4. BillyS.
    Sep 22, 2007
    6
    Tommy Lee Jones gives a remarkable Oscar worthy performance in "In The Valley Of Elah", it's just too bad that the movie doesn't. The acting in the movie is the only thing that elevates it above a very poorly executed anti-war movie that ruins its best dramatic scenes with cheap symbolism. Haggis made a beautiful tapestry about race with Crash, but this time he just throws a big Tommy Lee Jones gives a remarkable Oscar worthy performance in "In The Valley Of Elah", it's just too bad that the movie doesn't. The acting in the movie is the only thing that elevates it above a very poorly executed anti-war movie that ruins its best dramatic scenes with cheap symbolism. Haggis made a beautiful tapestry about race with Crash, but this time he just throws a big old Iraqi blanket over us without trying to be subtle. In the Valley of Elah is my first big disappointment for a movie with such high anticaption. I hope the Academy will atleast remember Tommy Lee in No Country for Old Men come nominations, he's a great actor and deserving. Expand
  5. TimoV
    Mar 15, 2009
    6
    Suburbian horrors of the warfare hit Tommy Lee Jones and his wife, as their kid goes missing. In the Valley of Elah is a Iraq-topic film with a twist.
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.