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In the Valley of Elah



Paul Haggis follows up his Oscar-winning Crash with this searing drama that uses the police procedural to explore the moral and psychological devastation of the Iraq war for U.S. soldiers (and, incidentally, for Iraqi citizens). Inspired by real events, it focuses on a grief-stricken father (Tommy Lee Jones, at his best) who, assisted by a police detective and single mother (Charlize Theron), tries to solve the murder of his son, who has been dismembered near a New Mexico army base shortly after going AWOL and returning from Iraq. With Josh Brolin and Susan Sarandon. R, 121 min. a Webster Place. --Jonathan Rosenbaum

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