This Week’s Review: “Only the Brave.”

Only the Brave official movie poster I only had time for one film on October 28, and wound up seeing a film I had overlooked two or three weekends in a row: “Only the Brave.” My original target was “Thank You for Your Service,” but I could not squeeze it into my schedule. I was surprised by how good “Only the Brave” turned out to be, and am glad I saw it before it left town.
I was, of course, very aware of the deaths of several firefighters in Arizona a few years ago and, I confess, I was a bit wary of a film based on such a trauma. My fears were unjustified; the film is neither mawkish nor hagiographic. The victims and their families are portrayed as very flawed humans who still perform heroic deeds.

The cast is very good. Josh Brolin slowly reveals the flaws in his character’s background gradually, while Miles Teller’s character slowly discovers his strengths. Jennifer Connelly and Jeff Bridges are very good, particularly Connelly. The photography is good; some of the fire scenes are terrifyingly realistic.

I do wish there had been more explanation of why the firefighters’ equipment failed to protect them, but that is a very minor quibble. The film is definitely worth seeing.

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