'Elah' Bares Iraq Rage, Sorrow
Critics hail 'lacerating' murder probe that lays bare social scars
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2007 8:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – "In The Valley of Elah," a murder mystery with an Iraq war vet veteran as the victim, is “a raw, angry, earnest attempt to grasp the moral consequences of the war,” writes A.O. Scott of the Times. He's one of several critics who hail the film, preferring it to director Paul Haggis’ Oscar-winning "Crash."

As the victim’s father, played to near universal acclaim by Tommy Lee Jones, sets out to solve his son’s murder, he uncovers disturbing truths about the war in what EW's Owen Gleiberman calls a “lacerating, bone-deep inquiry.” But the Post’s Stephen Hunter is less convinced, saying the film’s crime is too generic to lay at the government’s feet.