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 (137) | 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

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

This movie highlights one of the more dangerous and misunderstood professions in America today - wildfire firefighting. The true story is told well by its characters who are extraordinary in bravery culminating in profound sadness. This is Brolin's best acting since No Country for Old Men and with Connelly make one of the more believable couples in film in awhile. A powerful movie. (10-28-17)

John C
John C

Super Reviewer


There have only been a few movies in which the theater I was in went completely silent as the credits rolled. Only the Brave tells the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who risked their lives to stop wildfires across the country. It's films like this that always move me the most. A group of people who you grow fond of during the course of a film band together in the most dangerous of circumstances for a common cause. When done right, they can be extremely powerful. Directed by Joseph Kosinski and starring Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Connelly, and Taylor Kitsch among others; all of them do a great job of creating a chemistry and realness between each other. In order to feel anything when these men are entering the flames, there has to be real friendships and relationships built between the actors as these real life heroes. Perhaps more than anything else, Only the Brave completely nailed the bond between the team of hotshots. Going along with the bonds they have with each other, the film focuses heavily on a few of the men's personal lives, which is where the real emotion lied for me. Jennifer Connelly had the biggest supporting role, as the wife of Brolin's character, but that was far from the only character's personal life I felt attached to. As much as this a tribute to the men on the team, it's also a great film to honor those lives who were affected by the team in any way shape or form. Kosinski's directing, the team of writers, the ensemble of actors and actresses, and of course everyone else doing the dirty work should be commended for the work here. Only the Brave is a deeply moving film that never takes advantage of the fiery source material to bombastic results, instead only using it to honor the lives impacted. Truly one of the best films of the year. 9.4/10

Thomas Drufke
Thomas Drufke

Super Reviewer

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