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We’ve all seen video of the horrific wildfires that swept California, either on the news or Facebook. A new film, based on the true story of one group of wild land firefighters, is out on VidAngel and ClearPlay.

“Only the Brave” is the story of the real-life Prescott, Arizona firefighting

unit known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots. These men appear to be the last line of defense working on the front lines battling wildfires in scorching heat using their specific techniques and skills while attempting to contain massive blazes, and prevent the loss of land, homes and lives.

Josh Brolin plays Eric Marsh, the crew’s boss. He’s deeply devoted to his job, and wife Amanda (Jennifer Connelly) isn’t happy about it. Their relationship struggles take up a significant amount of “Only the Brave”. Brolin is as good as ever and Connelly is excellent, these scenes drastically amps up the flow of what is already an emotional ride.

Miles Teller plays a troubled young man looking for redemption. His Brendan is a drug addict and minor criminal who finds out he’s a father. So he’s given a chance to join the team by Marsh, even though Marsh and the rest of the crew are less than comfortable with him. Granted the subplot involving Brendan was a bit forced, it really hit hard.

“Only the Brave” devotes the first half of its 2 hour, 15 minute runtime (which doesn’t feel that long) to allowing us to get to know these three and a few other main characters: firefighter Chris (Taylor Kitsch) and Eric’s superior Duane (played by Jeff Bridges, who even does a bit of singing in the film). The team has to pass a test before they can officially become “Hotshots”, I’m sure the locals knew how this all went but this was quite comical even though we figured it would happen.

The visual effects used to depict the fires at least towards the end looked a little off, but the scenes showing these brave men fighting them are very believable. The trench digging scenes during the training gave time for some comedic dialogue to lighten the emotional toll.

“Only the Brave” was made because of what’s portrayed in the final 15 minutes. This sequence is legitimately intense and moving, with a raw energy and emotion that was prevalent through the film but really climaxes here. Director Joseph Kosinski (“Oblivion”, “TRON: Legacy”) does an amazing job with the cast showing remarkable people doing remarkable things. Stay for the end credits.


PG-13 (for thematic content, some sexual references, language and drug material)

This one pushes the rating limit considering both VidAngel and Clearplay have listed 7 ‘F” bombs (2 clearly heard according to IMDB) and quite a bit or rear male nudity

IMDB 7.8/10







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