When I was at Blaine’s the other evening, we were a bit bummed to discover that his Playstation was on the fritz and refused to load or play any films or television shows. At first, we thought his wifi network wasn’t working, but after looking it up online, we learned that the entire Playstation network went down, hence why nothing on the device was working. So, we had to raid Blaine’s DVD collection, which, I’m sure you can imagine is a wee bit dated. I spotted a movie named ‘Stop-Loss’ and had never heard of it, and after showing it to Blaine he told me he watched it a few times when he was younger and said it was a decent movie, so we decided to hit play.
‘Stop-Loss’, according to the movie’s Wikipedia Page, “… is a 2008 American war drama film directed by Kimberly Peirce and starring Ryan Phillippe, Channing Tatum, Abbie Cornish and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as young soldiers whose experience in the Iraq War leaves them psychologically shattered. It was distributed by Paramount Pictures and produced by MTV Films. The film received mixed reviews, and earned less than half of its $25 million production budget at the box office. The title refers to the U.S. government’s controversial stop-loss policy, which allows the government to extend the term of duty of soldiers who have already served their contracted number of years of service.”
While I am not a professional movie critic, I think this film is pretty damn good, despite the reviews it received when it was released. I’ll be honest in admitting that Ryan Phillippe’s Southern accent in the movie isn’t great, but that is probably the only criticism I have to offer.
I was not familiar with what a stop-loss was prior to watching this movie, and I can say with complete sincerity that I was deeply disturbed to learn that this is far more prevalent in the army than I ever thought to be possible. Phillippe’s character faces being stop-lossed after returning home from duty and wishes to leave the army, and the choices he is forced to make as a result are truly brutal considering how much he has already sacrificed to be able to serve and protect his country.
I would watch this movie again, and I recommend it to anyone who, like me, may not be aware of the concept of stop-loss in the army. It is an eye-opening film and certainly exposes some not-so-nice components of the military.