Home of the Brave (2006 film)

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Home of the Brave
Home of the brave.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Irwin Winkler
Produced by Irwin Winkler
Screenplay by Irwin Winkler
Mark Friedman
Story by Mark Friedman
Starring Samuel L. Jackson
Jessica Biel
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson
Christina Ricci
Chad Michael Murray
Music by Stephen Endelman
Cinematography Tony Pierce-Roberts
Editing by Clayton Halsey
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Millennium Films
Nu Image
Release dates
  • December 15, 2006 (2006-12-15)
Running time 106 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12 million
Box office $499,620

Home of the Brave is a 2006 drama film following the lives of four Army National Guard soldiers in Iraq and their return to the United States. The film was shot in Morocco and in Spokane, Washington.

Plot[edit]

Shortly after learning their unit will soon return home, American soldiers Lt. Col. William Marsh (Samuel L. Jackson), SGT Vanessa Price (Jessica Biel), SPC Tommy Yates (Brian Presley), SPC Jamal Aiken (Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson) and PVT Jordan Owens (Chad Michael Murray) are sent on a final humanitarian mission to bring medical supplies to a remote Iraqi village. On the way they are caught in an ambush by insurgents. The forward vehicles of the convoy are trapped in the narrow street where they are forced to fight the attackers. The rear vehicles manage to escape the initial barrage by taking a side-street, only to be met with an improvised explosive device hidden in the carcass of a dead dog. SGT Price, the driver, is seriously wounded, having been somewhat protected from the blast by her front seat passenger who is killed instantly. While pursuing the young boys who left the bomb along with other attackers, a soldier in their team is shot and killed. When Aiken, Yates and Owens head out to shoot down the attackers, Aiken trips on loose bricks from a broken wall and injures his back, so Yates and Owens continue on alone to find the shooters in a graveyard.

Wounded in the leg, Yates falls behind as Owens races after the shooter, thinking he knows the shooter's position. But the shooter has moved, and Owens is shot from behind. The shooter escapes before Yates can move forward to attack. Yates comes upon Owen, who is bleeding profusely from his wounds, but it is too late. Owens dies in Yates's arms.

At a field hospital, a mortar attack injures multiple personnel and destroys many vehicles. The medical staff is struggling to address the urgent care required of the wounded and dying as mortars rain down upon the compound. A young soldier carries his squad-mate into the trauma care ward. When the doctor (Samuel L. Jackson), turns to address another soldier's wounds, the man draws a Beretta side arm and threatens to shoot Dr. Marsh if he doesn't take care of the dying soldier right away. Another squad-mate comes up and pulls the threatening soldier away.

Price and Aiken are each transported via medevac helicopter to a field hospital, where Price loses her right hand to amputation. Aiken survives his wounds, and returns to the unit when they rotate back to the states. Price is remanded to a formal hospital for physical therapy and fitting for a non-functioning rubber hand.

Upon returning home, each of the main characters struggles to deal with their transition back to civilian life. Price struggles with day-to-day things, like learning to unbutton her clothing with only one hand while trying to resume her job as a crippled P.E. teacher and a one-handed basketball coach. Tommy struggles with employment, having lost his job at a gun shop during his deployment. His father pushes him towards the police academy, but Tommy, witnessing the self-destruction of Jamal who had become frustrated and angry at being denied VA benefits for his back injury and the rejection of a girlfriend, walks out of the academy's entrance exam.

Dr. Marsh begins to slip into self-destructive behavior as his son, angry about the senselessness of the war and what it's done to his family, gets into trouble at school. Drunk on Thanksgiving Day, Marsh brings home three yard workers for dinner to the dismay of his wife and family and afterwards his wife catches him in his study with a loaded pistol, implying that he was contemplating suicide. He agrees to go to therapy for PTSD, where he reveals that he doesn't feel any emotion over the soldiers that died, but as a doctor he believes he should. The conflict had slowly eaten away at him until he couldn't control it anymore.

Jamal is shot by police at the small fast-food diner where his girlfiend worked; a result of him taking her and her co-workers hostage when he brought a pistol to the diner to force her to talk to him. The doctor's wife reaffirms her love for him and that she will help him through his counseling. Price finds new love in another coach at her school, whom she had rejected when she had first returned because she was still trying to transition back to her life. Tommy, after an emotional outburst at his father's shop, decides to re-enlist.

As the movie ends, Marsh's son is happily playing in a soccer match at the school where Price teaches. She introduces her new boyfriend to Dr. Marsh's wife and confirms dinner plans with them. The scene changes to show Tommy going through basic training again, then continuing to patrol the streets of Iraq so that other soldiers won't have to go through what he's been through.

Prior to the credits, a quote of Niccolò Machiavelli appears briefly: "Wars will begin where you will, but they do not end where you please."

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

The film was opened in only 3 theaters in 2006 and earned $51,708 at the box office domestically and $447,912 in the rest of the world.[1] Originally released on December 15, 2006 for Oscar consideration, the production studio re-thought the release pattern and decided to pull it from theaters, planning on showing it to a wider audience later in the year. It was re-released on May 11, 2007 in 44 theaters, but this did not increase the film's financial earnings.

Critical reception[edit]

The film received negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes currently gives Home of the Brave a 22% rating on its site, indicating "rotten reviews". The consensus stated; "The ensemble cast works hard, but hammy direction and a script lacking in nuance ruins this movie’s noble intentions."[2] The A.V. Club named it in its top 100 flops.[3] TV Guide gave the film 2 stars out of 4 and commented that the film "starts with a bang and ends in a long, protracted whimper" and Stephen Holden from The New York Times said you "feel as if you have just sat through an earnest made-for-television movie" and in the end "an honorable dud".[4][5]

Home media[edit]

The Numbers reported 236,905 units sold, accounting for revenue of $4,735,731.[6]

Awards[edit]

It was nominated for a Golden Globe award for Best Original Song ("Try Not to Remember") which was performed by Sheryl Crow. Jessica Biel and Samuel L. Jackson each received a Prism Award nomination for Performance in a Feature Film.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Home of the Brave (2006)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 4, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Home of the Brave (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-24. 
  3. ^ Nathan Rabin (18 October 2007). "My Year Of Flops Case File #77 Home Of The Brave (2006)". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2010-07-24. 
  4. ^ Ken Fox (2006). "Home Of The Brave". TV Guide. Retrieved 2010-07-24. 
  5. ^ Stephen Holden (15 December 2006). "Home of the Brave (2006)". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-07-24. 
  6. ^ "Home of the Brave – DVD Sales". The Numbers. Retrieved September 4, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Prism Awards: Winners & Nominees". Entertainment Industries Council. Retrieved September 4, 2009. 

External links[edit]