Top critical review
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on June 30, 2009
When young soldier Mike Deerfield returns from Iraq and immediately goes missing, his father, Hank (Tommy Lee Jones) tries to find him. Soon it appears that Mike was the victim of foul play, but Hank finds the military authorities strangely uncooperative and his only hope is a civilian police officer (Charlize Theron) who is disliked by her colleagues.
Though the film deals with war and murder, it is surprisingly unemotional and uninvolving. There is no tension or danger, there were too many minor characters to keep straight, and all the actors delivered their lines with such unrelenting poker-faces that it actually became tedious and boring. Jones always gives a sensitive performance and makes it look easy, but here he's given so little to work with that he seemed to sleepwalk through his scenes. Theron plays a superwoman cop and mother who looked way too glamorous and was too emotionally upset by her work to be convincing. Susan Sarandon has a small part as Mike's mother.
The movie is based on a true story and is ultimately about the futility of war and the dangers of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, but I just didn't find myself caring about any of the characters and thought it was too long and too dull.