The Messenger

Ben Foster is riveting as Staff Sgt. Will Montgomery, an American soldier returning from war. He has a little time left on his commitment, and he’s assigned the duty of informing next-of-kin about military deaths. Partnered with the hard-nosed, by-the-book Capt. Stuart Dorsett (Woody Harrelson), they go door-to-door, giving the worst of news. Foster, who has irritated me in the past, gives the sort of reserved, searing performance that I didn’t know he was capable of. Harrelson has never been better, and he should be in line for an Oscar nomination; he’s already received a Golden Globes nod. Samantha Morton is excellent as one of the people they have to visit. The movie is often very hard to watch; while director Oren Moverman balances out his film with suitable levels of warmth and humor, the movie is principally about the pain and the hardship of delivering people to their worst nightmares. Well-done on all levels.

Credits

Director:

  • Oren Moverman

Cast:

  • Ben Foster
  • Woody Harrelson
  • Samantha Morton
  • Jena Malone
  • Michael Chernus
  • Halley Feiffer
  • Peter Friedman
  • Kevin Hagan
  • Jenny Kirlin
  • Sam Kitchin
  • Lindsay Nader
  • Armand Schultz

Producers:

  • Steffen Aumueller
  • Nathaniel Bolotin
  • Benjamin Goldhirsh
  • Mark Gordon

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