In the Valley of Elah
Hank Deerfield is a former MP who’s son Mike is about to return from a mission in Iraq. However, shortly after his return he disappears and nobody knows where he is until body parts are found back in the desert. Hank doesn’t have much confidence in the investigation that’s being done by the military and the local police so he decides to find out himself what has happened and who has killed his son and why. With the help of detective Emily Sanders he manages to stay on top of the investigation but the things he starts to discover are about to rock his world.
Sound and Vision:
The image quality is very good with decent contrast, plenty of detail and no obnoxious compression errors.
The 5.1 soundtrack does what it has to do but since the movie is dialogue-driven there little work for the surround speakers except for in the occasional scene.
In the Valley of Elah is an anti-military movie that brings its message in a subtle way. Instead of going straight into the action of war and combat, we get to follow a former sergeant who goes looking for the killer(s) of his army son after he’s come back from a mission in Iraq. As his investigation progresses, more and more his ideas about duty and fatherland start to change and this in a very subtle way without too much fingerpointing.
The murder investigation is in fact subordinate to the feelings Tommy Lee Jones’ character has and how he deals with them and this is shown in such a perfect way that it uplifts the movie above the crowd. Jones does an excellent job in portraying Hank Deerfield and Charlize Theron’s supporting role of Emily Sanders is always well-done.
All in all definitely a movie you might want to check out as it’s got a heavy message but doesn’t fall in the traps this type of anti-war movies usually do