In the Valley of Elah

September 28, 2007 0 By Fans
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

Still of Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron in In the Valley of ElahStill of Susan Sarandon in In the Valley of ElahSpike Lee and Paul Haggis at event of In the Valley of ElahStill of Charlize Theron in In the Valley of ElahStill of Charlize Theron in In the Valley of ElahStill of Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron in In the Valley of Elah


A retired military investigator works with a police detective to uncover the truth behind his son's disappearance following his return from a tour of duty in Iraq.

Release Year: 2007

Rating: 7.3/10 (35,966 voted)

Critic's Score: 65/100

Paul Haggis

Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, Jonathan Tucker

In Monroe, Tennessee, Hank Deerfield, an aging warrior, gets a call that his son, just back from 18 months' fighting in Iraq, is missing from his base. Hank drives to Fort Rudd, New Mexico, to search. Within a day, the charred and dismembered body of his son is found on the outskirts of town. Deerfield pushes himself into the investigation, marked by jurisdictional antagonism between the Army and local police. Working mostly with a new detective, Emily Sanders, Hank seems to close in on what happened. Major smuggling? A drug deal gone awry? Credit card slips, some photographs, and video clips from Iraq may hold the key. If Hank gets to the truth, what will it tell him?

Writers: Paul Haggis, Mark Boal


Tommy Lee Jones

Hank Deerfield

Charlize Theron

Det. Emily Sanders

Jason Patric

Lt. Kirklander

Susan Sarandon

Joan Deerfield

James Franco

Sgt. Dan Carnelli

Barry Corbin

Arnold Bickman

Josh Brolin

Chief Buchwald

Frances Fisher


Wes Chatham

Corporal Steve Penning

Jake McLaughlin

Spc. Gordon Bonner

Mehcad Brooks

Spc. Ennis Long

Jonathan Tucker

Mike Deerfield

Wayne Duvall

Detective Nugent

Victor Wolf

Private Robert Ortiez

Brent Briscoe

Detective Hodge

One Father's Fight To Find The Truth.


Official Website:
Official site [Japan] |
Warner Bros [France] |

Release Date: 28 September 2007

Filming Locations: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Opening Weekend: $133,557
(16 September 2007)
(9 Screens)

Gross: $29,527,293
(29 March 2009)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


According to Paul Haggis, Clint Eastwood helped get this film greenlight.


The opening subtitle says that the Deerfields live in "Munro, Tennessee", but the address on the side of Hank's truck says "Munroe, Tennessee".


[first lines]

Spc. Gordon Bonner:
What are you doing? Get back in the fucking vehicle man! Mike, get back in the fucking vehicle. Let's go, Mike, now!

User Review

Why do most critics attack this film for being heavy-handed?

Rating: 9/10

Only Roger Ebert and the reviewer for Rolling Stone seem to see the
truth here: this film is slow and elegiac because it deals with heavy
matters, but it is never boring, not if you understand the situation
and the depth of feelings being explored. It's as if reviewers don't
get it because they didn't really feel what the film is saying. Saying
that there have been dozens of films about how war ruins men so it's a
cliché, and that this one is too dreary and slow means that a person
has stopped feeling for what is really hurtful, is even in denial. And
that's the theme of this film: what happens when we lose touch with
what's painful and don't care any more. The film is restrained but
powerful, which is why it has such a strong effect.

Jones is wonderfully grim, with a face like a road map, as he explores
what happened to his son. Charlize Theron is beautiful even though she
is playing a woman who is forced to act as non-sexy as possible to get
on in her job in a male police force. Susan Sarandon is not, as some
critic said, "underused"; she gives a performance that is all the more
powerful because it is restrained. This movie should be a must see for
all who believe that the Iraq war should continue until there is an
honorable time for America to leave. That time is already passed.