The Messenger


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In theaters Nov 13, 2009
R, 1 hr. 53 min.

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Movie Info

Synopsis: An Iraq War veteran who just narrowly escaped death in combat struggles with his new post at the Casualty Notification Office while anticipating his upcoming discharge in this military drama starring Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Jena Malone, and Samantha Morton. Will Montgomery (Foster) has spent his fair share of time in army hospitals, and with just three months to go before returning to civilian life, he discovers that his girlfriend back home (Malone) has decided to move on with her life.
Director: Oren Moverman
Rated: R
Running Time: 1 hr. 53 min.
Genre: Drama, Romance
Theater Release: Nov 13, 2009
DVD Release: May 18, 2010


Ben Foster

Staff Sgt. Will Mont...
Woody Harrelson

Capt. Tony Stone
Samantha Morton

Olivia Pitterson
Steve Buscemi

Dale Martin
Eamonn Walker

Col. Stuart Dorsett

Critic Reviews

Consensus: A dark but timely subject is handled deftly by writer/directer Owen Moverman and superbly acted by Woody Harrleson and Ben Foster.
  • [An] unpredictable, episodic, deeply resonant character piece. More...
  • The bombshell is the news of a soldier's death and the delivery of that message is the heart of this unsentimental, yet deeply moving, story. More...
  • The film is premised on the verbal communication of urgent information, yet its many non-verbal moments provide the greatest strength and clarity. More...
  • Harrelson gives us layers of hurt under a callous yet needy crust. It may be the best performance of his career and certainly deserves Oscar consideration. More...
  • With the insight and sensitivity of an insider, The Messenger illuminates the sometimes invisible victims of war -- the survivors -- and a pain that is tolerated but never quite healed. More...
  • At its center lie three accomplished performances, by Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson and Samantha Morton, that are not to be missed. More...
  • The beauty in Foster's portrayal is that it never completely explodes, but anger and aching seethe behind his eyes. Harrelson, meanwhile, is a good old boy with a bad old job. More...
  • Whenever writer-director Oren Moverman moves past these scattered and admittedly voyeuristic moments into the lives of the two soldiers, the movie drifts into received wisdom and unconvincing romance. More...
  • This film doesn't take political sides -- and it's all the more heartbreaking because of its restraint. More...
  • This is a wholly different look at the fallout of the Iraq War and its effect on soldiers and civilians. It is also a gentle portrait of grief, friendship and solace. More...