Only the Brave (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes

Only the Brave (2017)



Critic Consensus: Only the Brave's impressive veteran cast and affecting fact-based story add up to a no-frills drama that's just as stolidly powerful as the real-life heroes it honors.

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All men are created equal... then, a few become firefighters. Only the Brave, based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, is the heroic story of one unit of local firefighters that through hope, determination, sacrifice, and the drive to protect families, communities, and our country become one of the most elite firefighting teams in the country. As most of us run from danger, they run toward it--they watch over our lives, our homes, everything we hold dear, as they forge a unique brotherhood that comes into focus with one fateful fire.

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Josh Brolin
as "Supe" Eric Marsh
Miles Teller
as Brendan "Donut" McDonough
Jennifer Connelly
as Amanda Marsh
Jeff Bridges
as Duane Steinbrink
James Badge Dale
as Jesse Steed
Taylor Kitsch
as Chris MacKenzie
Andie MacDowell
as Marvel Steinbrink
Alex Russell
as Andrew Ashcraft
Ben Hardy
as Wade Parker
Scott Haze
as Clayton Whitted
Geoff Stults
as Travis "Turby" Turbyfill
Thad Luckinbill
as Scott Norris
Jake Picking
as Anthony "Baby-G" Rose
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Critic Reviews for Only the Brave

All Critics (140) | Top Critics (33)

Only the Brave feels like a film that would have made sense coming from Peter Berg or Michael Bay, but Kosinski mostly pulls back on the macho cheerleading to find something more objective, and ultimately, deeply emotional.

October 24, 2017 | Full Review…

Though the movie, based on an article in GQ, by Sean Flynn, offers fascinating insights into the practical exertions and bureaucratic complications of firefighting, it places much greater emphasis on the protagonists' personal lives.

October 23, 2017 | Full Review…

Although probably a little too long, the film succeeds in being both emotionally forceful and dramatically satisfying.

October 21, 2017 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Kosinski lets the story unfold at a measured pace - so much so that by the time we reach the climactic scene, we're unprepared for what unfolds. As a result, it's even more devastating and effective.

October 20, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

It's a movie intent on telling us the hotshots were heroes, without sufficiently dramatizing either their professional decisions or their private lives.

October 20, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Director Joseph Kosinski puts the brotherhood of the unit front and center, emphasizing the bonds forged over sweat and soot. He directs with a sense of duty to honor the crew, and he does the job.

October 19, 2017 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Only the Brave

All the Peter Berg jokes have been made. And while each and every one of them might be accurate Only the Brave is as earnest a movie there is. Camaraderie, bravery, and genuine willing sacrifice are captured in this harrowing tale with an ensemble charismatic enough to make the memories of this movie, and in turn the real-life heroes, stick with you for a long time to come.

Philip Price
Philip Price

Super Reviewer


There hasn't been a really good fire film since Backdraft but this film attempts to bring something different. The film has that predictability with the setup and conclusion but that doesn't stop it from being a story worth telling. The key to the film is the characters and while it's the usual cliché riddled filmmaking, it is still a lot of fun and the acting is right on the money. The actors are strong and deliver performances that separate themselves from each other, no single character feels left out and it's this style of filmmaking that keeps this from being run of the mill. Brolin is the key ingredient here and is one of the best central actors working in Hollywood, just his presence elevates every scene he is in. Kosinski hasn't been in my high end of filmmakers with some of the choices he has made but this is an impressive step to proving the strength of actor storytelling that other filmmakers have exceeded in. 24/02/2018.

Brendan Nicholls
Brendan Nicholls

Super Reviewer

I went into this movie expecting a sappy story with light fratboy humor, but came out absolutely blown away. The performances were great, particularly by Brolin, the characters who are spotlighted are interesting, the dialogue and action sequences are well written, and Kosinski's directing is superb. My only issue is that it runs a little longer than it should, but the film never lost my attention. Truly a suspenseful and emotionally gripping movie.

Sanjay Rema
Sanjay Rema

Super Reviewer

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