In the Valley of Elah (2007) - Rotten Tomatoes

In the Valley of Elah2007

In the Valley of Elah (2007)



Critic Consensus: Though some of Paul Haggis's themes are heavy-handed, In the Valley of Elah is otherwise an engrossing murder mystery and antiwar statement, featuring a mesmerizing performance from Tommy Lee Jones.

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Movie Info

"In the Valley of Elah" tells the story of a war veteran, his wife and the search for their son, a soldier who recently returned from Iraq but has mysteriously gone missing, and the police detective who helps in the investigation.

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Tommy Lee Jones
as Hank Deerfield
Charlize Theron
as Det. Emily Sanders
Jason Patric
as Lt. Kirklander
Susan Sarandon
as Joan Deerfield
James Franco
as Sgt. Dan Carnelli
Barry Corbin
as Arnold Bickman
Josh Brolin
as Chief Buchwald
Jake McLaughlin
as Spc. Gordon Bonner
Wes Chatham
as Cpl. Steve Penning
Mehcad Brooks
as Spc. Ennis Long
Jonathan Tucker
as Mike Deerfield
Wayne Duvall
as Detective Nugent
Victor Wolf
as Private Robert Ortiz
Chris Browning
as Checker Box Bartender
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News & Interviews for In the Valley of Elah

Critic Reviews for In the Valley of Elah

All Critics (164) | Top Critics (50)

Jones' Oscar-nominated performance is impeccably judged. His low-key turn as a man forced to question everything from the kind of father he was to the nature of the country he fought for could be the contender to give Daniel Day-Lewis a run for his money.

January 24, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Powerful, downbeat drama with an anti-war message.

January 24, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Tense, powerful and considerably less crass than Crash, Elah may be jammed with ideas that don't all connect, but Jones' devastating performance makes this a compassionate and very human look at the Iraq conflict.

January 24, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

This is Jones' show and he makes you feel a father's fear and loss in ways that are subtly heartbreaking, never melodramatic.

September 26, 2007

The movie isn't nearly as obvious or redundant as writer-director Paul Haggis's previous film, the Oscar-winning Crash, but it still feels like the work of someone trying too hard to enlighten you.

September 22, 2007 | Rating: 2/4

The failure to avoid pat answers and cheap grandstanding dogs Haggis here as surely as it did in the overrated Crash, and robs In the Valley of Elah of much of its power.

September 21, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4

Audience Reviews for In the Valley of Elah

Not bad. From the cover, I expected a war movie, and didn't think I would be able to sit through it, but actually it was more of a mystery story, dealing with a father searching for his missing soldier son. Though initially I found the ending anti climatic and vague, the more I thought about it and how the effects of war must warp your mind , I came to respect what they were trying to say here. Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron are both outstanding here.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

A fairly decent film with a great performance from Theron, however I just wasn't too bothered about what happened. I couldn't really empathise with Hank as much as I would have liked and was just waiting for it to be over really. I didn't feel there was much mystery and it just didn't affect me.

Sophie Burgess
Sophie Burgess

Super Reviewer

In the Valley of Elah is powerful drama film. Directed by Crash director Paul Haggis, In the Valley of Elah is a stunning drama film with a great cast of talented actors. Haggis has directed yet another fine film. After his son goes AWOL, Hank Deerfield (Tommy Lee Jones) tries to find out what happened. A determined detective (Theron) is on the case to find out what happened. In the Valley of Elah is a solid drama film with a great cast and brilliant directing from Paul Haggis. Aside from Crash, Haggis yet again shows the audience how talented a director he is, and I have to say, In the Valley of Elah is a film worth seeing, and the performances and story make this film worth watching. Tommy Lee Jones is very convincing in the part he plays, and he steals the show. Jones is a phenomenal talent of an actor, and he was very well cast in the part he played here. I very much loved his performance. If you love Paul Haggis' work, then definitely check out In the Valley of Elah, this is a powerful film that has some terrific performances, and is a definite must see. Haggis' plot unfolds very well, steadily developing the drama, and making you more interested in the story. I very much enjoyed the film thought it had a brilliant story and cast, and if you're looking for a memorable drama film, then this film is for you. Paul Haggis has made another memorable film worth watching, and with a cast like this, you really can't pass up on this one.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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