Wow. Well, the main thing that I need to tell you is that this film, like many, was so under-served by its preview that it makes me want to weep. Hollywood lost my $48.50 with its suggestion of "George Bush's war" turning the poor saps who were duped into serving the cause into absolute psychopaths. Instead I only had to pay 1/48 of the price thanks to Redbox.
It's worth a watch as the script really cares about and loves each of its characters and isn't out to titillate and shock (again I have to emphasize that I swear to God that's the opposite of what the preview suggested). I rarely use the phrase "gripping," but I do feel that it is apt for many of the scenes in the film. It's a refreshingly unbiased look at war, and life after war, and avoids so many Hollywood cliches that I would give it an Oscar, even if it didn't deserve it, just out of spite. Really quickly, I'll just mention some of the cliches it avoids: "War Vet: broken and eternally unfixable," "U.S. war machine doesn't care about its troupes and much less so the brown people they've been sent to destroy," "Free spirit character always knows best in the end," "You know the bad people because they have No Redeeming Qualities Whatsoever and could never be capable of such."
And now a word about Tobey Maguire: Normally unlikable, without range, not compelling, no future, don't know why he's in motion pictures: but I am temporarily willing to suspend those heartfelt critiques because he does do a good job in this film.