When Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery (Ben Foster) returns to the US with a war injury, he assigned to a Casualty Notification Unit for the remainder of his service team. Along with his mentor, Captain Tony Stone (Woody Harrelson), Will travels around the base delivering the news of soldier's death to loved ones. It is a horrible assignment that messes with the already fragile mentality of a wounded soldier. The relationship Will forms with Tony is deep but volatile and he begins to find himself becoming closer and closer to a woman he recently informed of her husband's death.
"The Messenger" is an excellent film that gives the viewer an honest look into the life of a soldier when he's not at war. As you might imagine, though, it is very difficult to watch. Will Montgomery is broken and delivering the notifications to families unwilling or unable to accept this news slowly breaks him down even further. Watching the scenes of Will and Tony talking to the families is a haunting experience and makes you wonder how anyone could do this job. However, it's a worthwhile investment if you can fight through the authentic, heart breaking tone of the film. Both Foster and Harrelson (who earned a Best Supporting Oscar nod for the role) are OUTSTANDING and the emotions contained within the film are genuinely human. "The Messenger" at its deepest level is about humanity and how that is personified through the results of war. There are some continuity issues here and there and a couple of unnecessary lulls, but these are only minor bumps in comparison to the strength finished product.