In the Valley of Elah Synopsis
A war vet and his wife search for their son, who went missing after recently returning from Iraq.
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings


San Francisco Chronicle

For the most part it is an effective, disturbing and - a rarity for Haggis - subtle exploration of the stateside war story.
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Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
Paul Haggis' In the Valley of Elah is built on Tommy Lee Jones' persona, and that is why it works so well. The same material could have...
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Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
It's the first Hollywood Iraq movie to remind me of a Vietnam film like Coming Home, and it does more than disturb. It scalds, moves, and...
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The Hollywood Reporter

By Michael Rechtshaffen
A deeply reflective, quietly powerful work that is as timely as it is moving.
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USA Today

By Claudia Puig
A rare blend of emotional content and intelligent material that makes it simultaneously gut-wrenching and thought-provoking.
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Philadelphia Inquirer

By Carrie Rickey
Haggis' earnest and eloquent film about the impact of the war in Iraq on U.S. soldiers, and by extension, their nation, is human-scaled....
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Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
The haunting, heart-piercing Elah isn't perfect. It's something better: essential.
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Boston Globe

By Wesley Morris
Paul Haggis switches from the problem of racism to the problem of Iraq. The war is a better fit. None of the exasperating guilt on display...
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New York Daily News

By Jack Mathews
What Haggis obviously wants to explore is what the war in Iraq is doing to the humanity of our soldiers there. By approaching it...
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Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
The more I thought about it, the less I liked what it turned out to be -- a vague promise unkept.
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False Advertising

By Yoda51
My wife and I had high hopes for an enterntaining time at a well-acted movie. Tommie Lee Jones is a great actor and the supporting cast was very good. The movie developed with its theme and seemed...

Thumbs Down

By chips1
Don't go see this movie, unless that is you hate our military. Then you'll love it. It's another attempt by Hollywood (you know, we hate the war but we support our troups crowd) to convince us that...


By tonygallego
We thought the movie was very informative, shows what war does to the minds of our youth. Some become very violent and do things they would never think of doing, and some loose their senesces...

War Politics all over this one

By bster82
I like Tommy Lee Jones! I see most of his movies and think he is a great actor but....I don't like his politics or Susan's. His acting is great in the movie but..let's many different ways...

In The Valley of Elah

By frank1234
Excellent movie, I recommend it very highly....

In the Valley of Elah

By Fran Meckler
Anything that Tommy Lee is in is always a great movie. After watching this film you left the theatre with a whole new perspective on the war and it's effect on all of us....

no one's mentioned the nudity

By joprit
I agree with the reviews that I've read so far that Tommy Lee Jones and Charize Theron do a suberb job. Susan Sarandan could have had more time on screen. What I haven't seen mentioned is the strip...

In the Valley of HELL - Sarandon style

By TheaternotDVD
Come on, Susan Sarandon somehow got this pushed through. Our soldiers don't need this type of political statement. Tommy Lee, could you? Please avoid at all costs, this is nothing more than...

Five Word Review

By redyeah
Intense movie that deserves attention...

Good, not great...

By DaCoach68
I was really hoping that this would be the first GREAT movie of the "great movie" season. It was GOOD...very good...but NOT great. The Actors WERE great-saved the movie from becoming like an...

More Info

Rated R | For violent and disturbing content, language and some sexuality/nudity
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says Intense, mature murder mystery tackles Iraq war.
Read the Common Sense Media Review