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After serving his tour of duty in Iraq, a young American soldier who is ordered to return to the front lines as part of the military's controversial stop-loss policy opts instead to go AWOL in a thought-provoking military drama directed by Kimberly Peirce. Sgt. Brandon King (Ryan Philippe) is a decorated Iraq War veteran who once served his country with pride. After his tour of duty comes to an end, King returns to his Texas hometown and attempts to pick up where he once left off with a little help from his family, as well as long-time best friend and war buddy Steve Shriver (Channing… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 65%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's the film equivalent of a weary shrug - capturing the national mood at a moment when we'd all prefer some mood enhancers."
‑ Jessica Winter, Time Out
"[A] very worthy film."
‑ Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
"Mature, violent war drama tackles heavy issues."
‑ Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
"Following the harrowing and superbly made opening sequences of hand to hand combat in Iraq, we can feel the frustrations and the anger through the film, and we sympathise. But the film has a confused message ..."
‑ Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile
"The film gets pretty heavy handed in the last third and is weighed down by an inadequate performance."
‑ Austin Kennedy, Sin Magazine
"Stop-Loss is not a great movie, but it's forceful, effective, and alive, with the raw, mixed-up emotions produced by an endless war -- a time when the patriotism of military families is in danger of being exploited beyond endurance."
‑ David Denby, New Yorker
"Swamped by clichés, continuity problems, stock characters and very good intentions."
‑ Joanne Kaufman, Wall Street Journal
"Feverish yet bizarrely apolitical, the movie tries to have it both ways and fumbles its outraged and reconciliatory impulses equally"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Stop-Loss is a tough film to watch and one that raises issues of concern that travel far beyond the war-torn regions. But whether its message is accurately targeted is for the viewer to decide"
‑ Louise Keller, Urban Cinefile
"The reason "Stop Loss" works, unlike its 2007 predecessors, is that it cares more about its characters than it does about making a political point."
‑ Stephen Silver, The Trend
"The power of Stop-Loss -- and this is no dumb joke -- is that it shows its hero between Iraq and a hard place."
‑ David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture
"Stop-Loss can't quite decide whether to focus on making a powerful statement on a controversial and unfamiliar military policy or on a more predictable drama about the traumatic effect of war on young people's lives."
‑ Claudia Puig, USA Today
"Peirce's sincerity and smarts cannot quite defuse the overall didactic nature of the piece."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"...once it makes its point, it tends to pile on, never making an entirely convincing drama nor an entirely convincing argument."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"[Peirce's] film looks at the fallout of war in lives lost and lives ruined, pain that has a trickle-up effect on our nation's image of itself."
‑ Lori Hoffman, Atlantic City Weekly
More reviews for Stop-Loss on Rotten Tomatoes

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