`Valley' low

Promising performances can't rescue `Elah' from director Paul Haggis' heavy hand

Review C+

September 21, 2007|By Michael Sragow | Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic

In the Valley of Elah is too inept and diffuse to be a howl against the war in Iraq. At best, it is a manly whimper.

Written and directed with a two-by-four by that proponent of earnest overstatement Paul Haggis (Crash), it stars Tommy Lee Jones as a former military policeman who retunes his old cop reflexes when his son, back from Iraq, is hideously murdered. Charlize Theron plays the small-town police detective who helps him crack the case after he convinces her that the crime took place on public, not military, grounds.

In the Shadow of the Moon (ThinkFilm) A documentary by David Sington. Rated PG. Time 100 minutes.

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