Critic scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.
Covering their lives with intimate access from before boot camp to the difficult return home, Heather Courtney's documentary packs a savage but understated punch. Read full review
Where Soldiers Come From is, more than anything, a commentary on class. In its compassionate, modest gaze, the real cost of distant political decisions is softly illuminated, as well as the shame of a country with little to offer its less fortunate young people than a ticket to a battlefield. Read full review
Much of what's presented is familiar territory, but it's the moments that fracture prejudices and expectations that stick with you. Read full review
To see these children of waitresses, salon workers and fathers on disability burdened because they stepped up is humanizing and heartbreaking.
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It's only during the last third that the film finds its footing, as the PTSD fallout and collective sense of disillusionment suggest a bigger picture regarding why we fight, etc. Otherwise, this decent, if decidedly personal, look at small-town soldiers works better as an erratic scrapbook than a representative statement. Read full review
There's a good deal of honest emotion onscreen, particularly from the parents left behind to worry, yet the documentary sometimes feels like the work of a filmmaker who began with a preconceived story and wasn't quite sure what to do with the one she actually got.
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A four-year study of an Afghan war-bound group of friends (the mother of Cole, the goofy joker of the group, compares the boys to the characters in The Deer Hunter), Courtney's documentary is equal parts heartfelt and public-television predictable. Read full review
Despite the film's unvarnished emotionality and even-handed messaging, Courtney never seems to have found an appropriate focus, resulting in a work that's less urgent and involving than its intense subject matter might have dictated. Read full review
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