In the Valley of Elah - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

In the Valley of Elah Reviews

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Top Critic
James Berardinelli
September 15, 2007
The last scene of In the Valley of Elah may be the most ridiculously ham-fisted and over-the-top moment in all of 2007's supposed prestige cinema.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Fernando F. Croce
August 27, 2009
Condescending liberal dreck like In the Valley of Elah is just as awful as a thousand Fox-News commentators
James Rocchi
September 5, 2007
In the Valley of Elah doesn't actually say "Bring the boys home"; it mostly tells us how much Paul Haggis would like to take home another Oscar.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness
September 9, 2007
Tackles its Iraq War subject matter with such sledgehammer clumsiness that it risks giving viewers blunt head trauma.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Kam Williams
Black Star News
September 30, 2007
Postwar is hell!
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
September 13, 2007
Haggis is an extremely talented man, and much of the film works brilliantly. But it misses the mark.
Brian Gibson
Film School Rejects
October 18, 2008
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Kyle Smith
September 14, 2007
Will forever be known as the upside-down American flag movie. But showing the flag this way is heavy stuff that is supported by the movie the way a bowling ball is supported by a dandelion.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Joshua Tyler
September 10, 2007
Haggis reduces America's problems to a series of slanders and then hangs a flag upside down just to bully home the point.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
September 21, 2007
The failure to avoid pat answers and cheap grandstanding dogs Haggis here as surely as it did in the overrated Crash, and robs In the Valley of Elah of much of its power.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
September 22, 2007
Roger Deakins' beautiful cinematography makes the film look professional, but it doesn't disguise the fact that Haggis isn't a particularly inspired or visual director.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Peter Sobczynski
September 13, 2007
With "In The Valley Of Elah," his follow-up to the absurdly overpraised "Crash," writer-director Paul Haggis solidifies his position as this generation's Stanley Kramer.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Rob Humanick
Projection Booth
October 7, 2007
Haggis' canvas leaves nary an impression on the heart or mind.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Josh Rosenblatt
Austin Chronicle
September 21, 2007
Instead of a nice, clean movie about parental regret we're forced to suffer through an unnecessary biblical metaphor stretched way past its limits of applicability.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Robert Koehler
August 30, 2007
Paul Haggis'follow-up to Crash is too self-serious to work as a straight-ahead whodunit and too lacking in imagination to realize its art-film aspirations.
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
September 14, 2007
What Haggis obviously wants to explore is what the war in Iraq is doing to the humanity of our soldiers there. By approaching it indirectly, he simplifies it to a degree that I expect will anger many Iraq veterans.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
September 20, 2007
Elah uses a slightly plodding police procedural format as an opening to a discussion about the effect the war is having on returning soldiers. It's a lot to ask of one movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
September 21, 2007
Tommy Lee Jones gives such an amazingly nuanced, judicious, soulful and selfless performance as a military man distraught over the death of his soldier son in In the Valley of Elah that one can only wish it was in a movie that had the same virtues.
| Original Score: 2/4
Boyd van Hoeij
September 2, 2007
In the Valley of Elah David slew Goliath and Canadian director Paul Haggis tries to slay the US myth on the Good War in Iraq, though David was certainly more successful than Paul.
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews
September 14, 2007
In and of itself, the story offers rich dramatic material that Haggis exploits well, but the writer-director's unsubtle condescension to his audience represents small thinking.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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