The Messenger – 4 stars

A subtle, surprising movie that avoids many of the easy choices and gratuitous emotionalism of similar “coming home” war films.  Woody Harrelson received a deserved nomination for best supporting actor. Harrelson played the role of grizzled Army vet who leads a notification duo to inform relatives that they have lost a loved one in Iraq, but it’s a Jeff Bridges kind of role – old, broken down, folksy, etc . . . No real stretch.   Other nominations should have gone to Ben Foster (Six Feet Under, Alpha Dog, 3:10 to Yuma) as his new partner, recently returned from Iraq after being wounded, and Samantha Morton (In America, Minority Report) as the wife of a KIA who they inform.

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