"Life Overcomes Death"
What You Need To Know:
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE is one of the most effective coming home from war movies. The acting by Miles Teller and Beulah Koale as Adam and Solo, and Haley Bennett and Keisha Castle-Hughes as their wives, is excellent. The movie’s main focus is a concern for veterans and their needs. As such, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE has a strong moral, patriotic worldview. However, extreme caution is advised for abundant foul language, extreme violence, some drug references, and a brief but explicit bedroom scene.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE is a powerful, compelling drama about the plight of two Iraq War veterans suffering from PTSD after returning home in 2007. Based on a true story, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE has a strong moral, patriotic worldview, but it has abundant foul language, extreme violence, some drug references, and a brief but graphic bedroom scene.
The movie opens on the streets of Iraq, where Sergeant Adam Schumann leads some Humvee soldiers onto a rooftop to escape an ambush. On the roof, a soldier named Emory, is hit on the right side of his head by a sniper’s rifle. It produces a bloody graze that knocks him unconscious. Adam tries to carry Emory down the stairs to safety, but he drops the soldier.
Back at home, Adam and two of his fellow brothers in arms, a soldier from American Samoa nicknamed Solo and a soldier named Will try to greet their loved ones at the airport. Adam and Solo are married with children. However, Will’s fiancé, Tracey, doesn’t show. He discovers she’s left him and even took out all the furniture from the house they shared. Adam offers to let Will stay on the couch at his house, but the next morning Will commits suicide in front of Tracey at the bank where she works.
Adam and Solo are stunned by Will’s suicide. Soon, it becomes evident that Solo is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He can’t member things and is plagued by the death of their platoon leader, Doster, who took Adam’s place as the bomb spotter one day on the Humvee they rode to patrol the streets of an Iraqi town. Solo blames Adam.
Meanwhile, Adam tries to act like the incidents with Emory and Doster didn’t affect him, but it becomes clear they did. Two scary incidents involving his wife and baby boy cause him to visit the local VA office with Solo to get help, but the bureaucracy proves to be even more frustrating than the war. Adam even jokes that waiting in long lines at the VA is also giving him PTSD.
Jokes aside, however, Adam and Solo’s efforts to get help face many obstacles. As their PTSD threatens their lives and the lives of their loved ones, the question becomes, Will Adam and Solo become another homicide statistic like their friend, Will?
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE is one of the most effective coming home from war movies ever made. The acting by Miles Teller and Beulah Koale as Adam and Solo, and Haley Bennett and Keisha Castle-Hughes as their wives, is excellent. Scott Haze is memorable playing a soldier with a brain injury that hasn’t sapped his desire to enjoy life.
The movie doesn’t take any cheap political potshots, but does expose the bureaucracy and incompetence that’s infected the VA for too long, despite many platitudes from elected American officials. The movie’s primary focus is concern for the needs of the American veterans who protect the freedom of the homeland, despite great cost to them and their loved ones. Thus, the movie has a strong moral, patriotic worldview. Ultimately, it’s not just the camaraderie and compassion the soldiers have for one another that helps them survive, according to the movie. It’s also their commitment to life and the joys it offers. Some of their buddies may not have survived the many battles, but they have a duty to those buddies to embrace and celebrate the life they still have left.
However, there is abundant foul language in THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. It also contains extreme violence, including a scene where Adam imagines a sniper’s bullet hitting his wife while they’re in bed. Finally, there are some drug references. For example, Solo hears through the military grapevine that Ecstasy can help relieve a soldier’s PTSD. He tries to find some and gets mixed up with a Desert Storm veteran who’s trying to sell some stolen rifles to a street gang.
MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. This is definitely not a movie for most moviegoers and not for impressionable youth.