Movie Reviews

Film Review: “Stop-Loss”

(Paramount. 1 hour, 52 minutes. Rated R for graphic violence and pervasive language. Directed by Kimberly Peirce.) Ryan Phillippe (Brandon King), Abbie Cornish (Michele), Channing Tatum (Steve Shriver), Timothy Olyphant (Lt. Col. "Boot" Miller), Ciaran Hinds (Roy King), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Tommy Burgess), Victor Rasuk (Rico Rodriguez). Music by John Powell. Opened in Houston 3/28.

Phillippe’s gotten more press in the last couple of years for his troubled marriage to Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon than for his movie roles (they’re now divorced). Still, he’s a capable actor and his pretty-boy face works for him as he plays a decorated Iraq war hero in this fair outing from director Peirce (the Oscar-winning Boys Don’t Cry). The title refers to the government’s ability to compel those in the military (under certain circumstances, like wartime) to continue to serve, past the time period of their contract. Phillippe returns to Texas from Iraq in triumph, ready to resume his civilian life, when he’s “stop-lossed.” The rest of the film chronicles the conflicts he, his family and friends, and fellow soldiers face in the wake of this devastating turn of events. Peirce was at my screening; she’s been traveling around the country promoting her second feature (where she’s been for 9 years after her first film made such a big splash, she didn’t explain). Again, a fair movie, but it won’t have the impact of Boys Don’t Cry.