In the Valley of Elah is a great movie with an awful title. I see that a lot -- the title of the movie is so self-referential or obscure that it only makes sense after you've seen the movie. That's the case here; if I hadn't seen the preview and good reviews I'd have passed the movie by just because of the cryptic title.
Fortunately, we didn't pass this movie by, we saw it at the Clyde Theatre last night. As I said, it's a great movie. Three Academy Award winning actors, a great script, tight editing, and a gritty, realistic design and lighting scheme. The only faults, besides the title, are: 1) The movie too obviously foreshadows some major plot points very early on, particularly the bit with the American flag near the beginning. 2) There are a lot of anti-war movies out, and if you're already pretty depressed by the whole Iraq situation, this movie won't exactly lift your spirits -- it's dark. 3) The same director made Crash, an Oscar winner that was also pretty ham-handed.
This movie deserves to be seen in the theatre, it's still showing over town, so get out there and see it soon. Otherwise, be sure and rent the DVD.
Movies on Whidbey Island.