Movie Review - 'The Messenger' - After the Battle, Brothers In Arms A soldier returns home from Iraq, his mind is on his own griefs. Assigned to notify families about war casualties, he finds wise counsel in the person of his more experienced partner. Critic Bob Mondello says that for a film that comes bearing sad reminders about the costs of war, The Messenger is peopled by characters who seem gratifyingly alive. (Recommended)
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'The Messenger': After The Battle, Brothers In Arms

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'The Messenger': After The Battle, Brothers In Arms

Review

Movies

'The Messenger': After The Battle, Brothers In Arms

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GUY RAZ, Host:

A new movie called "The Messenger" explores the drama that takes place beyond the battlefield. Our film critic Bob Mondello says it's a small film about big emotions.

BOB MONDELLO: Unidentified Man #1 (Actor): (As Character) I'm assigning you to a casualty notification team.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE MESSENGER")

BEN FOSTER: Sir.

I: (As Character) I just want to make myself very clear that although most of your time will remain occupied by your other duties, CNO is to be your absolute priority. This mission is not simply important; it is sacred.

FOSTER: Unidentified Man #1: (As Character) Go ahead.

FOSTER: (As Montgomery) I have never received any grief counseling, let alone given it. I'm not a religious man, sir.

WOODY HARRELSON: (As Captain Tony Stone) We are just there for notification, not God, not heaven.

MONDELLO: That's Captain Tony Stone, a career soldier, recovering alcoholic, and now, Will's more experienced partner. Played by Woody Harrelson, Stone has an easy wit, he seems pretty relaxed generally. But he's firm on the rules for notifications: avoid physical contact, don't talk to anyone other than next of kin, no friends, neighbors, mistresses; and for everyone's sake, park down the block, not in front of the home.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE MESSENGER")

HARRELSON: (As Stone) You never want to park too close. They hear a car park, go to the window, see two soldiers getting out. It's just a minute of torture. Now, I should warn you, some of them do have guns.

MONDELLO: I'm Bob Mondello.

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