7.1/10
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The Messenger (2009)

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2:21 | Trailer
An American soldier struggles with an ethical dilemma when he becomes involved with a widow of a fallen officer.

Director:

Oren Moverman
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 44 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Foster ... Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery
Jena Malone ... Kelly
Eamonn Walker ... Colonel Stuart Dorsett
Woody Harrelson ... Captain Tony Stone
Yaya DaCosta ... Monica Washington (as Yaya Dacosta)
Portia ... Mrs. Burrell
Lisa Joyce ... Emily
Steve Buscemi ... Dale Martin
Peter Francis James ... Dr. Grosso
Samantha Morton ... Olivia Pitterson
Paul Diomede Paul Diomede ... Motorcycle Cop
Jahmir Duran-Abreau Jahmir Duran-Abreau ... Matt Pitterson
Gaius Charles ... Recruiter Brown
Brendan Sexton III ... Recruiter Olson
Brian Adam DeJesus ... Teenager #1 (as Brian DeJesus)
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Storyline

While on a recent deployment to Iraq, US Army Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery is injured when an improvised explosive device goes off within close proximity to him. He is back in the States recovering from the more serious of those injuries, including one to his eye and leg. He has resumed a sexual relationship with his long time girlfriend Kelly, despite the fact that she is now engaged to another man who Will knows. With the few months Will has left in his enlistment, the army assigns him to the Casualty Notification Team in his area. Not having a background in counseling, psychology or grief management, he is unsure if he is well suited to this job. He is partnered with a career soldier, Captain Tony Stone, who teaches Will the precise protocol involved in the job. Tony tells Will, who quickly learns by on the job experience, that this job has its own dangers. As Will learns to adapt to the range of emotions of the next of kin, he is unprepared for the reaction of Olivia Pitterson, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

4 December 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El mensajero See more »

Filming Locations:

New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$44,523, 15 November 2009

Gross USA:

$1,109,660

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,521,261
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Co-Writer and Director Oren Moverman had wanted to have a scene with Will (Ben Foster) and Tony (Woody Harrelson) singing a song but couldn't decide which song to sing, and settled on "Home on the Range" after hearing the song being played from an ice cream truck while scouting locations. This is then paid homage to after Will's first notification when he's sitting in Will's car and an ice cream truck passes by playing "Home on the Range". See more »

Goofs

SSG Montgomery should have at least two service stripes on his left sleeve, in addition to the missing Overseas Service Bars. Each service stripe denotes 3 years of service and he'd likely have at least 2 of them. See more »

Quotes

Captain Tony Stone: One more thing. You do not touch the Next-of-Kin. Avoid physical contact, unless it's a medical emergency, like they're having a heart attack or something. You're representing the Secretary of the Army, not Will Montgomery, so in case you feel like offering a hug or something... don't.
Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery: [sarcastic] I'm not gonna be offering any hugs, sir.
See more »


Soundtracks

Hot House
Written by Jonathan Edelstein
Performed by Fiasco
Courtesy of Fiasco
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Messenger sticks with you
1 June 2010 | by razmatazernSee all my reviews

I'm normally pretty hesitant about watching movies that have to do with war, but I'm glad that I chose to watch The Messenger. The movie took a completely different stance than what I'm used to when watching a movie about war. I never really thought about the people that had to deliver the message about a loved one that died in the military, and the way the story is told made me really care for the characters and feel for Harrelson's and Foster's characters and the important job that they have to perform. I would never want to have to do their job, but I truly respect the people that have to perform that job on a daily basis.

Harrelson, Foster and Samantha Morton put on really powerful performances that I honestly believed. And the rest of the cast did a fine job, as well. The emotion was so intense that I could feel it, and I easily got sucked into the story. It was a powerful movie that really made me think about the hardships in a sincere and thoughtful way. Overall, I enjoyed the film and I will continue recommending it to all my friends because I think everybody should watch it at least once. The story sticks with you long after you finish watching the movie.


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