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Where Soldiers Come From (2011)



Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



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Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 201

My Rating

Movie Info

Enticed by a $20,000 signing bonus and the college tuition support, best friends Dominic and Cole join the National Guard after graduating from their rural high school. After persuading several of their friends to join them, the young men are sent to Afghanistan, where they spend their days sweeping for roadside bombs. By the time their deployment ends, they are no longer the carefree group of friends they were before enlisting; repeated bombs blowing up around their convoys have led to the new


Documentary, Special Interest


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All Critics (21) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (4) | DVD (1)

Director Heather Courtney's emotional and engrossing portrait of America's bravest.

November 10, 2011 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A work that's less urgent and involving than its intense subject matter might have dictated.

October 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Courtney avoids all political posturing here, something rare in modern war documentaries. These are the guys, American kids. This is the war, it's awful. And this is what happens. In your own backyard.

September 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
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The documentary sometimes feels like the work of a filmmaker who began with a preconceived story and wasn't quite sure what to do with the one she actually got.

September 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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In its compassionate, modest gaze, the real cost of distant political decisions is softly illuminated, as well as the shame of a country with little to offer its less fortunate young people than a ticket to a battlefield.

September 9, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

To see these children of waitresses, salon workers and fathers on disability burdened because they stepped up is humanizing and heartbreaking.

September 9, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of the more valuable and compassionate entries to date in the ever-expanding catalog of documentaries inspired by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

November 17, 2011 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Courtney has crafted a visual tour de force as she links the idyllic small-town existence of the all-for-one warriors with the arid, untameable terrain of ugly conflict.

November 2, 2011 Full Review Source: JWR

The young men at the center of the film have obnoxious personalities and it takes a great deal of patience to follow their journeys.

September 22, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Threat | Comment (1)
Film Threat

An understated, delicately anthropological real-life coming-of-age tale. Not for all tastes, but these stories, alas, are the new back stories of many individual American tragedies and triumphs yet to be written.

September 17, 2011 Full Review Source:

Intriguing, personal war docu, about small-town soldiers stuck between boyhood and manhood; a good companion piece to the fictionalized The Deer Hubter, to which this work makes reference.

September 13, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

A low key but powerful expose' of the lingering effects of war---on a most personal level.

September 12, 2011 Full Review Source: Monsters and Critics
Monsters and Critics

Heather Courtney's poignant character-driven documentary presents a compelling argument that we should not send young Americans to war.

September 11, 2011 Full Review Source:

The film can't help but feel unfinished, but perhaps it might've lent more privacy to these individual's demons (the difference between looking and seeing) and found more cause in their roots.

September 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Projection Booth
Projection Booth

A documentary reminiscent of Cimino's "The Deer Hunter" but without the demonization of the "bad guys" that marred that film.

September 9, 2011 Full Review Source:

Three friends from a small town in Michigan experience Army life and its after-effects in this plaintive, intimate documentary.

September 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

A hard-hitting documentary which poses the harrowing questions: Where are the soldiers who served in the Afghan war going and what will ever become of them?

September 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Where Soldiers Come From

Heather Courtney has the best of intentions, but her bias is unabashedly evident.
December 14, 2012
Randy Tippy

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