HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Knife for the Ladies, A
Man in the Attic
Destroyer
Fillmore
Bumblebee
No Kidding
Honkytonk Man
Woman in the Window, The
Shed of the Dead
Dead Easy
Tucked
Widows
Last Movie Star, The
Death Game
Juliet, Naked
November
Arcadia
Sugar Hill
House with the Clock in Its Walls, The
Devil Thumbs a Ride, The
Suspiria
Secret People
Spy Who Dumped Me, The
Beautiful Stranger
House That Jack Built, The
Undercover
White Chamber
R.P.M.
Summer of 84
On Secret Service
Survive!
My Sister Eileen
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
Last Picture Show, The
Pathfinder
Skatetown, USA
Donbass
He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not
Mary Poppins Returns
Beyond the Sky
   
 
Newest Articles
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
Phwoar, Missus! Sexytime for Hollywood
   
 
  Stop-Loss the war at homeBuy this film here.
Year: 2007
Director: Kimberley Peirce
Stars: Ryan Phillippe, Abbie Cornish, Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rob Brown, Victor Rasuk, Terry Quay, Matthew Wilcox, Connett Brewer, Timothy Olyphant, Josef Sommer, Linda Edmond, Ciarán Hinds, Mamie Gummer, Alex Frost
Genre: Drama, War
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Having served their tour of duty in Iraq, soldiers Brandon King (Ryan Phillippe), Tommy Burgess (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Steve Shriver (Channing Tatum) return to their home town in Texas. The men are haunted by memories of their last fire fight, in which they lost two good friends and Private Rico Rodriguez (Victor Rasuk) was blinded and crippled. Steve struggles to reconnect with his loving girlfriend Michelle (Abbie Cornish), while newlywed Tommy descends into alcoholism. Eagerly awaiting his discharge, Brandon is horrified to learn he has been “stop-lossed”. Too good a soldier to lose, he is being shipped back to Iraq. On the run from the army and state police, Brandon enlists Michelle’s help and they drive to Washington, hoping to find some kind of political or legal recourse.

With no draft in place and a shortage of soldiers, the “stop-loss” is a duplicitous procedure used to send already, already battle-weary troops back to Iraq or Afghanistan for a second or sometimes third tour of duty. All to fight a war President Bush declared was over and won five years ago. Now that his influence is on the wane, Iraq War dramas have proliferated at the cinema. Stop-Loss ranks among the better ones, less didactic and better constructed as drama.

In her follow-up to Boys Don’t Cry (1999), Kimberley Peirce - whose younger brother served in Iraq and had friends who were “stop-lossed” - avoids overtly political statements. Like many recent films of its ilk, one could accuse this of playing it safe in being pro-army yet anti-war, yet Peirce ably depicts illustrates the psychological damage inflicted upon those who serve. In this she is aided by an exceptional cast. There is something oddly affecting about seeing the formerly fresh-faced stars of teen comedies, grow haggard and haunted. Being soldiers is all these boys know. Within hours of returning home Steve is digging a foxhole in his own front yard while Tommy shotguns his wedding presents. Reenlisting seems the only option for both men, unable to reconnect with their loved ones.

A stopover at a hospital for amputees (where Rodriguez jokes he might reenlist, because his death will earn his family their green cards) and Brandon’s brief encounter with another soldier gone AWOL (on the run for fourteen months and unable to get his sick child to a doctor), deftly illustrate Peirce and co-writer Mark Richard’s point. That the present administration has squandered “America’s greatest resource” and the “stop-loss” procedure is a tremendous injustice. A few scenes seem unnecessarily melodramatic including Brandon’s freak out as he beats three street thugs and his graveyard tussle with Steve. Yet, though there are hints of romantic tension between Brandon and Michelle, the script avoids a conventional love story and develops a more fully-rounded relationship.

Inspired by videos shot by real-life soldiers, Peirce and cinematographer Chris Menges make inspired use of cel phone cameras, MTV editing, and digital video, weaving in a rock and rap soundtrack. While some will see this as flashy, the style taps the sensibilities of the young soldiers. The result isn’t quite The Deer Hunter (1978) for the Iraq War generation, but is a sincerely mounted and affecting piece of work.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2042 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: