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A True Story Worth Experiencing
KJ Proulx19 October 2017
True stories are the one thing throughout the film industry that can't be known as being a dime a dozen because it seems as though almost half of the films nowadays are based on true events. Of that half, I'd say only about half of those stories are done with complete justice and care. So, it's really a toss-up when going into a film like this. With that said, Only the Brave is a fantastic presentation of these events and the men who risked their lives on a daily basis. Although it may feel a little slow at times, here is why I believe this is a film that's pretty much for everyone.

When you're trying to tell a possibly tragic story about people that may or may not have to give their lives in the wake of danger, it really does require some powerful and devoted performances in order to get the audience to emotionally respond to the events unfolding on-screen. From Josh Brolin to Miles Teller, to even Taylor Kitsch and Jennifer Connelly, I honestly thought this ensemble was one of the best of the entire year, with the standouts obviously being Brolin and Teller. Each and every one of the supporting roles gave their very best as well, making this a very believable and realistic team.

The premise of this film is relatively simple. A crew of firefighters is out to become the next crew of "Hot Shots," and they will do whatever it takes, which also entails hiring some fresh and willing talent. The film dives into their lives outside of work and really invests you in each one of their jobs. I was quite riveted throughout each one of the fires, and I loved how it didn't take it too seriously to the point of depression. With a nice blend of bickering and action, these characters were more fleshed out and likable than I was expecting them to be, which really added a level of intensity to the overall movie.

It really is the fact that this film has a terrific cast that really makes you feel for them when the climax occurs in the third act. I was not familiar with the events that occurred in real life, so I wasn't sure what to expect from the finale of this film. Although I feel there are some abrupt aspects about it, I feel as though it was handled with care and respected the families involved in the actual events. The final act of this movie is surprising in multiple ways and it did have me shedding a few tears by the time the credits started to roll.

In the end, Only the Brave is definitely a slow watch at times and its run time is slightly longer than the material needs it to be, but when it's slow it also takes its time to emotionally invest you in its characters, so it's sort of a catch-22. With terrific performances all around, direction that seems to be inspired, and sequences that will have you on the edge of your seat, this is a very well-made a memorable film that I can confidently say will be one of my favorites of this year. This movie is well-made in every regard and I highly recommend it to everyone.
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A must see...
afatedcircle19 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Personally I found nothing wrong with this movie which is something I rarely say when I go to the theaters now days. The cast was great and really got you interested in the characters. It stayed mostly true to the actual story of these brave men whilst throwing in a little bit more drama and action to "Hollywood" it. The ending will have you shedding a tear even though we all knew what happens going into it. Was well worth the money spent and deserves a higher rating than critics have given it.
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A riveting and different movie about real heroes
phd_travel19 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
With the recent fires in Napa & Sonoma this movie is even more involving and relevant. It's well made and filmed. And the story is firstly interesting then exciting and tragic. It doesn't feel like it is over 2 hours long.

There have been many movies about fighting fires in buildings in cities but not many about tackling wildfires in the country side. What is different to see is they actually stop fires by controlled burning. and use portable bags as fire shelters. There is quite a lot of back story about some of the characters mainly Josh Brolin the head of the unit and his quest to get the team certified Hotshot. His lovely wife played by the mesmerizing Jennifer Connelly. Sometimes she is so slim on the horse she looks like she is in a photo shoot. Glad they gave her a large role. Miles Teller's character as a reformed drug addict also has a pretty wife played by Natalie Hall. Miles is quite different looking here and acts well. Taylor Kitsch is the comic relief. Could have done with a some more background about the others in the team though.

There are a couple of small faults. The words on screen to show the locations was in small white letters and hard to discern. The dialog wasn't always easy to make out. Some of the accents were a bit thick. Jeff Bridges always had sketchy diction. There isn't too much lingering on the tragic deaths but would have been better with a bit more shown about how they got actually got trapped. The part about getting certified as hotshots could have been swapped for more of this.

The reaction of loved ones is handled in a straightforward way.

It's good to see a movie about heroes that are just pure heroes without any question mark of war or politics hanging over their actions. One of the better movies about firefighting.
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A Team for the Ages
Thomas Drufke22 October 2017
There have only been a few movies in which the theater I was in went completely silent as the credits rolled. Only the Brave tells the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who risked their lives to stop wildfires across the country. It's films like this that always move me the most. A group of people who you grow fond of during the course of a film band together in the most dangerous of circumstances for a common cause. When done right, they can be extremely powerful.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski and starring Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Connelly, and Taylor Kitsch among others; all of them do a great job of creating a chemistry and realness between each other. In order to feel anything when these men are entering the flames, there has to be real friendships and relationships built between the actors as these real life heroes. Perhaps more than anything else, Only the Brave completely nailed the bond between the team of hotshots.

Going along with the bonds they have with each other, the film focuses heavily on a few of the men's personal lives, which is where the real emotion lied for me. Jennifer Connelly had the biggest supporting role, as the wife of Brolin's character, but that was far from the only character's personal life I felt attached to. As much as this a tribute to the men on the team, it's also a great film to honor those lives who were affected by the team in any way shape or form.

Kosinski's directing, the team of writers, the ensemble of actors and actresses, and of course everyone else doing the dirty work should be commended for the work here. Only the Brave is a deeply moving film that never takes advantage of the fiery source material to bombastic results, instead only using it to honor the lives impacted. Truly one of the best films of the year.

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An intense emotional roller coaster film about the firefighters that battled the Yarnell Fire.
cruise0120 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Only the Brave is a great emotionally driven drama film about the Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighting crew that battled the Yarnell Hill fire. Well, the film is great. Director Joseph Kosinski did a great job in keeping up the pace from the intense fire battle sequences. Joseph Kosinski tackled the big budget visual effects flicks like Tron Legacy and Oblivion. Seeing him take on a smaller budget drama film was well handled.

The film follows Eric (Josh Brolin) who is trying to get a crew of firefighters together. He convinces the town mayor to help get them evaluated. He recruits a young pothead Donut (Miles Teller), who gets high all day and finds out his ex girlfriend is pregnant. Then, there is Eric's former crew of Jesse (James Badge Dale) and Chris (Taylor Kitsch). Donut is trying to take responsibility and wants to better himself by supporting his girlfriend by giving her baby supplies with the money he makes. Meanwhile, Eric's wife Amanda (Jennifer Connelly) has been struggling with their marriage, as she wants a family. But Eric is too focused on his fire crew and away all the time battling fires. But the event that will test them is when a wildfire in Yarnell storms out of control.

It is a great film. Yes, if you know the story you will know how it will end. But the build up with every character that are so distinct from each other. Seeing them bond and form a family friendship is what hits really hard with the film. You see rivals form a brotherhood friendship. Characters making a life changing decisions to better themselves. The character development is well done in the film. The plot is one of those inspirational stories of seeing these heroic firefighters crew battling through hell with these wildfires. They are like the brute force that goes in with only certain amount of gear with their chainsaws, digging tools, and their safety gear.

It has a huge cast ensemble. I am sure, there are familiar faces with the fire crew and some that wont have enough screen time. Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, James Badge Dale, Taylor Kitsch, and Jennifer Connelly all did great.

The director managed to keep the intensity on the fire sequences. When the climax arrives. The ending does become a little emotionally difficult to watch. But it does pay a great tribute to the hardworking firefighters that battled the Yarnell fire and all the firefighters around the world.

Overall, Only the Brave is a great drama action film. The cast ensemble was great. The plot and characters were great and inspirational. It was never slow or boring. The direction was great as it captured the intensity of these fire crew battling with the wildfires.

I rate the film 5 out of 5 stars. I definitely recommend seeing the film on the big screen.
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Wild fire disaster movie packs an emotional wallop
Paul Allaer21 October 2017
"Only the Brave" (2017 release; 133 min.) brings the story if the Granite Mountain Hot Shots fire squad. As the movie opens, "Based on True Events" we are reminded, we get to know Eric Marsh and his gang, as they are trying to get certified as Hot Shots, allowing them to combat wild fires in the front line. We also get to know Brendan, a doped-out loser whose girlfriend just got pregnant. Realizing he needs to turn his life around, Brendan applies to join the fire squad and for reasons unknown until much later in the movie, Eric decides to give Brendan a shot. In a parallel story, we also get to know Eric;s wife Amanda, a horse whisperer. But not all is well in their marriage... At this point we are 15 min. into the movie but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from up-and-coming director Joseph Kosinski, who previously directed "Ton: Legacy" and "Oblivion". In his latest, he steers away from sci-fi and instead brings us the incredible story of the Prescott, AZ wild fire squad, nicknamed the Granite Mountain Hot Shots. I expected a disaster movie, and there is certainly that too, but the movie does much more than that: it brings the story of a group of people in a way that you are completely emotionally invested in those people, and you CARE. Kosinski directs an all-star cast, headed by Josh Brolin as Eric. Is it just me, but Brolin only seems to get better as he is getting older. That guy is just solid and authentic. Miles Teller plays the role of Brendan, an unlikable character at first. Jennifer Connelly is outstanding as Eric's wife Amanda. Taylor Kitsch is one of the guys in the fire squad. In much smaller roles, Jeff Bridges is Duane (Eric's superior), and the ageless Andie MacDowell plays Duane's wife. The movie's photography is eye-candy, and the wild fire scenes, which I imagine are mostly CGI, look very real to me. Last but not least, there is a very nice musical score, courtesy of composer Joseph Trapanese (who has worked with Kosinski before).

"Only the Brave" opened wide this weekend, and I was really looking forward to seeing it. The Friday evening screening where I saw this at here in Cincinnati was attended only so-so (less than half a fairly small theater), somewhat to my surprise, given the stellar critical acclaim this movie has been getting. I can only speak for myself, but I found this to be an outstanding wild fire disaster movie that packs an emotional wallop I didn't expect. I encourage you to check out "Only the Brave", be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.
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Unbelievably Good
jondmac22 October 2017
Superb acting with a story line that'll draw you in and really make you feel like you're part of the crew. Loved it. Can't believe someone would rate this poorly and call it cliché. It's based on a true story so I'm not sure how that's cliché. Either way - it's amazing and I'm glad they made the movie so the world can honor these brave heroes.
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WOW! Definitely an emotional roller coaster
spikesforchrist5419 October 2017
Having fought wild land fires in Bastrop, TX and being in similar situations as this movie depicted, it was definitely personally emotional.

I laughed, I cried, but at the end I but walked out speechless... The last 45 minutes of this film had me on the edge of my seat. The way all the characters have a special personal touch to them makes this film all more special! I wont spoil the movie, but bring a tissue box, the ending had me in all the feels!
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You can't not see it.
Stewball22 October 2017
I dreaded going to see this but I couldn't not. It's one of those movies you feel you need to see to get a dose of historic reality, like "Schindler's List, "United 93" or "World Trade Center", so that you understand better what happened, and remember. But for me at least, it's only the once. The reality of it is incredibly evident.
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Ouch My Heart
Amthermandes21 October 2017
Not everybody has heard the true story this movie is based on. I went into this movie only based on what I saw in the trailer. Since it's nonfiction, I knew it wouldn't be your typical cookie-cutter type narrative, but I still expected it, and was blown away by the tragic events, and the extraordinary way it was presented on screen.

This is the story of a special group of trained firefighters in dealing specifically with forest/brush fires. Their primary goal is to save as much land and lives as possible, as well as homes, from massive fires. These men train for years and when they meet certain requirements, are given qualifications to be labeled as "Hotshots," which seems to be the equivalent of an actuary obtaining their Fellowship, or a boy scout achieving his Eagle Scout, or a junior varsity becoming varsity (or a varsity obtaining their Letter). Hotshots also literally fight fire with fire, opposed to regular firefighters who fight fire with water. This is based on an actual crew, their lives and relationships with each other and their families, along with the work they bear, the hardships they endure, and the fires they face.

The most efficient aspects of the film are the acting, storytelling, and cinematography. The movie focuses more on their lives and relationships than the actual firefighting, but it does contain a fair amount of action. Beautiful Arizona scenery surrounds the key players and their fellow crew members as they battle an only-slightly-predictable threat.

Only cons I have are ones I had to nit-pick. The film in an effort to reach out to a wider audience, should have toned down the profanity, which is heavy even for a modern PG-13 movie. A few of the relationship dramas/arguments seemed contrived, and while they did a great job explaining the countermeasures they take to battle the fires, there still is some confusion to their methods, and it would have been nice to know some of the other members of crew better.

Phenomenal film, however, and was a tremendous memorial to these men and women.

This isn't just a story about specific men and women in history who made sacrifices to protect one state, this is about all emergency responders. Just like how most stories about the military focus on certain groups and individuals, but remains a tribute to ALL who make a living from defending other people's lives and liberties.

God bless our emergency responders, as well as our military, police, city firefighters, paramedics, so forth.
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Good Portrayal of Real Life Heroes based on a True Story
svhot19 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Only the Brave" conveys the true story of the heroic firefighters from Arizona, known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots. This movie is definitely relevant and timely, considering the recent disastrous fires in California. I know that there have been other movies based on firefighting stories, but none of them have tackled the issue of fighting and controlling a wildfire in the countryside. "Only the Brave" does that, which makes it so special and outstanding.

Josh Brolin plays the role of the team leader of this brave group of firefighters. Mr Brolin has definitely given one of the finest, and perhaps one of the best performances of his career in this movie. Apart from him, there is the legendary Jeff Bridges ("The Dude") to add to the star value of this flick. The rest of the star-cast have also given commendable performances.

The director, Mr Kosinski , has done an excellent job to depict this true story of firefighters on screen. He has delved quite deeply into the mechanics of firefighting, and viewers will definitely appreciate and give more respect to firefighters after watching this movie. I would love to become a story-screenplay writer for movies because intriguing stories keep developing in my mind all the time. Employers can contact me at
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A Towering Inferno meets The Tree of Life
rbrb13 November 2017
"Based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of elite firefighters who risk everything to protect a town from a historic wildfire."

First rate intense performances with few exceptions from all the main players.

This is a gut-wrenching yet compelling drama.

As the concluding credits are about to start the roll call at the end reveals the real bravery of those being portrayed:

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Brave doesn't even describe it
TheLittleSongbird11 November 2017
With such a harrowing and inspiring real-life subject and a talented cast and crew, 'Only the Brave' had a lot going for it and the potential was enormous.

Potential that was more than lived up to. No other film this year so far has affected me emotionally as much as 'Only the Brave', even 'God's Own Country'. 'Only the Brave' is to me one of the best films of 2017, one can argue thus far but the end of the year is near so will leave out the thus far, considering that 2017 has been a very inconsistent year for films this is saying a fair bit. Like what was said in my review for 'Paddington 2', another highlight film of the year, after seeing my fair share of overblown big-budget blockbusters with little soul, films that waste great premises and films that attempted laugh-a-minute laughs and doing it in a way that came at the expense of heart, 'Only the Brave' was a much needed refreshment. Having said that, it is also a wonderful film in its own right.

'Only the Brave' is exceptionally made on a visual level. The cinematography in particular is done beautifully and the practical effects will leave one spellbound. The music drives the action well and fits the film's tone, while the direction has both a hard and sympathetic edge that allows the drama to have full impact while not going over the top either way of overblown or anaemic.

The writing is intelligent and poignant, really making one think. The story is particularly good in 'Only the Brave'. It captures the full harrowing impact of this tragic event, without ever getting excessive and the action is certainly the opposite of trivialised. The final act is one of the most earth-shattering and emotionally devastating of any film in a long time to me, it really hit me hard. Underneath all the emotion however, it also pays tribute to these courageous individuals, doing it in a way that's honest and inspirational.

Another truly impressive component is the acting. Josh Brolin and Jeff Bridges are especially perfectly cast, while the support from Miles Teller and Jennifer Connelly is similarly on point.

In conclusion, a brilliant, incredibly powerful, moving and exceptionally made and acted film and one of the year's best. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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Serves up piping hot emotional tribute
trinaboice3 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Grade: A-

In a Nutshell: Based on a true story and an article written in GQ Magazine, this is a timely film that spotlights true heroes who fight fires. More specifically, it honors the real men called the Granite Mountain Hotshots in Arizona.

Uplifting theme:

Brotherhood, unity, loyalty Courage Family Second chances and forgiveness "Doing something that's never been done before takes time." - Duane Steinbrink (Jeff Bridges)

Things I liked: Wow, how did they film some of those scenes? The fire looks very real. Great job. You get to see pictures of the actual men who served in the Granite Mountain Hotshots team at the end of the movie.

Jennifer Connelly makes a gorgeous cowgirl and gives the best stand- out performance in the movie. Her emotional range was stellar. She spent time with the real Amanda Marsh to prepare for her role in the film. Jeff Bridges sings in a band called "Steinbrink and the Rusty Pistol" in a bar scene!

I thought it was interesting that the famous travel empire, Conde Nast, was involved with this film. You see some beautiful Arizona landscapes. In terms of emotion and exciting fire action, Only The Bravereminded me of the 1991 movie Backdraft, which I loved. Congrats to Miles Teller for having two movies in theaters at the same time! He's currently also starring in Thank You for Your Service I liked Dierks Bentley's featured song Hold The Light

Things I didn't like: There are several other movies also titled "Only the Brave", but they are not related to this movie. Seems like they could have picked another title, right? There were some scenes that were annoyingly dark, as in, I couldn't see the expressions on people's faces when they were talking in a dark room. I'm sure it was an artistic choice, but it still bugged me. Sometimes you can't quite hear the dialogue, because there are so many other sounds going on. I like Jeff Bridges, but lately he only plays the same old character in all of his movies. This is the first time he and Josh Brolin have worked together in a film since True Grit, another fantastic movie where Jeff Bridges plays the same kind of character. Don't get me wrong...he does it very well! Lots of spitting. ha ha

Tips for parents: Some profanity, trash talk, and 1 F-bomb. Someone gets a rattlesnake bite. Drug use Talk of sex Lots of dangerous fire and perilous situations People die. Wounded horse.


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Best Movie I've Seen this Year
characters-132-6637751 November 2017
For me, a movie is mostly about escapism. I see a movie to forget about a bad day at work or global turmoil. If I can learn something in a move, all the better. This movie achieved both for me. Being from Nevada, I was familiar with the tragedy and I have visited Prescott several times, so I was eager to watch the movie. What I didn't expect was the fine acting in the film. Brolin really played his part well and the other characters are certainly those you will begin to care about and relate to. This movie was not about fighting fires it was about brotherhood and courage. I learned that confronting a fire is similar to being in a war zone and the comradery among the men just as strong. It's a seriously emotional experience, but worth every one of the 134 minutes. See it.
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Only the Brave is a tribute to these brave men
hollywoodhernandez-7086819 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Only the Brave is another movie that is based on a true story. This one tells the tale of the brave volunteer firefighters known as The Granite Mountain Hotshots, who risk their lives to protect their remote community.

Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men) stars are Fire Chief Eric Marsh, a grizzly old man who loves both his job and his men. Miles Teller (Whiplash) is the young new recruit who finds the support he needs in the tight fraternity of firemen. Jennifer Connelly plays Teller's wife, Amanda, who keeps the home fires burning while her husband is out putting fires out.

Only the Brave does an excellent job of showing the danger that the volunteers have to endure and it also shows the bond between the tight group of men who put their lives on the line each day. The movie also goes out of its way to show the stress that the job puts on the men's home life.

The movie is based on an actual incident where 19 firefighters lost their lives defending their small town against a wildfire. Director Joseph Kosinski, who's directed a couple of Tom Cruise's action films, puts you at ground zero of the raging wildfire and, using CGI effects, gives you the incredibly scary feeling that the men must have faced while running to the raging fire instead of away from it. That is an amazing feat of courage.

The movie has many quotable lines. My favorite among them was, "We don't see things as they are; we see things the way that WE are." This movie is a fitting tribute to the brave men who died, from their perspective, doing what they were only thought was right, because it was their job.

Only the Brave runs a little over 2 hours and it's rated PG-13. On my "Hollywood Popcorn Scale" I rate this amazingly inspiring movie a JUMBO.
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A story that needed to be told
dhakimian1 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I don't usually think about firefighters or the other service people who are tasked with keeping us safe. This movie brought them into my life and into my heart. It is unsentimental, almost unreal, almost documentary. I hadn't read anything about the story and so I had no idea where they were going with it so I allowed myself to become completely engaged with the characters, with their lives.

I suggest you watch it without reading anything...Let yourself hear the story in beautiful fashion how it unfolded. Respect and learn
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A perfectly told story, and an amazing achievement in Character and Emotion.
Keith Clark27 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I didn't know that there was such a thing as a Hotshot before I watched this film. Taking a look at the premise of Only the Brave, I unfortunately knew how it was going to end. However, that did not hinder the quality of the film. I was blown away by Only the Brave, because it took a little known tragic event and made it one of the best character-driven and emotional films ever.

The characters in this film are nothing short of perfect, and the casting was spot-on. Josh Brolin gave the best performance I've ever seen from him. Miles Teller, Taylor Kitsch, James Badge Dale and Jeff Bridges were also flawless, and completely dissolved in their characters. And Jennifer Connelly is back!

Anyway, Back to the characters. All of them have qualities the audience can relate to. Any clichéd dialogue or events that occur are pure human moments, and don't feel out of place or too predictable. Brolin and Teller's characters have true arcs, and are fleshed out extremely well. My point is, you CARE about these characters and sitting in the theater, you feel like you are with them doing this incredibly dangerous yet heroic job that adds a whole other level to this story about them.

As the film progresses, we start to see that Teller has his own subplot trying to connect with his new family. At first I was skeptical about this and wondered why this character was getting way more screen time than the other members of the crew, and why he had his own backstory. This works for the film all because of the resolution. I will explain this later.

The visual storytelling in this movie was phenomenal, because we see how mighty and powerful these forest fires are, and truly realize how brave these men are, getting so close to the fire. Even though we do not individually know all 20 members of the crew, because that would obviously take too long to go into full detail on, we still connect with all members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots watching them work, interact, and celebrate. Two thirds into the movie, we are aware that they are all heroes, and therefore people we care about. The film realized this concept excellently, and added so much to the emotional side of the story. And oh boy, did I feel some emotions towards the end of this film.

Watching the incredible visual effects, and listening to dialogue throughout the movie, I knew something bad was bound to happen. The Yarnell Hill Fire happened. 19 of 20 Granite Mountain Hotshots died. Deadliest wildfire since 1991. One single lightning strike caused all this havoc. It's cruel. Here's what this film presented:

It's the night before the fire. Brolin is angry at Teller for wanting to leave the crew so he can feel safer and be closer to his family. Brolin goes home with his wife, they connect, and he realizes what a dick he was to Teller. Now we're in the Yarnell Hill Fire, and right before Brolin assigns Teller to lookout, he redeems their relationship and says he will support Teller's family in any way and respect whatever decision he makes. Thus, Brolin's arc is complete. Then over the next 15 minutes, some unfortunate events lead to a windy storm coming in, Teller barely being rescued, and the fire overruns and kills the other 19 members of the crew. Once Teller realizes this, he drops the phone, and you can feel the pain his character is experiencing at this moment. Fast forward to the scene of all the families of the Hotshots, knowing that only one of those families is going to be relieved when Teller walks through the door. At this point, I'm tearing up. After Teller reveals that he is alive, and he looks around the room, and he storms out, and Jennifer Connelly confronts him, I start tearing up again. We all deal with unjustified guilt in our lives, but I've never seen a scene in a film that dealt with that theme so brilliantly.

I felt so emotional at that moment because I spent an entire film watching real people develop into uncompromising heroes. The sudden death of these men led to not only Teller's character feeling guilty, but us audience members as well. And in realizing that our guilt is completely unjustified, we feel an emotional connection with everyone still in the picture. We learn that only the bravest men can be Hotshots, and they are not afraid of any tragedies that may occur. And in this moment, we know that these men should deserve our fullest amount of respect, for they have saved countless lives and are the actual heroes we all dream of becoming.

What made this heartbreaking ending scene work was that we were given an entire subplot devoted to Miles Teller's character. Since he is the only one of the crew who survived the event, this section of the film pays off. Based on his arc throughout the film, we know he will feel the guiltiest because his life leading up to this was probably very different than the other crew members. And having seen his journey unfold, we know he will feel the most guilt about the tragedy. Because of this, we can see all the families in one place and still feel the same emotions as if every Hotshot member's family life was fleshed out with their own subplot. We still connect with these other families we know nothing about. This is very hard to do, but the filmmakers knew exactly how to pull it off, and I must give it my highest praise for that.

This film connected with me on a deeply emotional level, and I hope it does for many others as well. Everybody should see this film, it is one of the best of the year.

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a must see. everyone in the theater applauded in the end
Bo21 October 2017
Very touching story. These people are real heroes. They are brave not only on fighting fires but also fighting drugs. It's amazing that Brendon picked up his life. That is responsibility! That is MAN! Keep up Brendon! I really appreciate that director Joseph have given everyone a chance to know those heroes.
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Super depiction of actual fire fighting.
jdesando19 October 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"If this isn't the greatest job in the world, I don't know what is!" Eric Marsh (Josh Brolin)

True to its title, Only the Brave depicts with authentic-seeming imitation, the hell of fire encountered in numerous fire fights, the most famous being the 2013 Yarnell Hill fire in which 19 firefighters died. When Director Joseph Kosinski, an expert in action filming, dramatizes the rigorous routine of the fighters, with the help of first-rate CGI, you seem to be right there in the midst of the flames.

Like many films about war, this docudrama takes pains to reveal the domestic tensions with wives waiting for fighters or to become pregnant or to take care of the children. All of this is to say, one could become impatient with the non-essential melodrama as the real interest is in the mechanics of fighting.

Of course, some domestic story is necessary to humanize the heroic firefighters. However, this film seems to take too much time fleshing out the details of loves and family that take second place to the fires. It's the Granite Mountain Hot Shots, from Prescott, Arizona, who are the stars as they fight heroically without complaint.

Given the current fires raging in California, Only the Brave is timely if nothing else. It will help put into perspective the danger and valor of the firefighters; it will also dwell unnecessarily on the non firefighting.

All but one of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots do not come home from the Yarnell fire. We are better able because of this film to appreciate the danger of their jobs and the longing of their families. If you want an up close look at how these heroes fight fires, this is the film for you. Certifiable heroes they are.

"I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine." Kurt Vonnegut
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A gripping re-telling of history...
natalicoetzee7 November 2017
The story was compelling and gut-wrenching, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The finer sense of humour was tucked in nicely beside the bitter side of life. Real life at its best.

It is not often that I would recommend a 'based on real life' movie, but I would definitely commend Only the Brave.
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A First-Class, Forest Fire Film!!!
zardoz-131 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
A top-notch, true-life, tale of tragedy, "Only the Brave," starring Josh Brolin, Jeff Bridges, Miles Teller, Taylor Kitsch, and Jennifer Connelly, salutes an elite team of ill-fated firefighters immortalized as 'the Granite Mountain Hotshots' who died in the line of duty battling the disastrous 2013 Yarnell Hill blaze in Prescott, Arizona. "TRON: Legacy" director Joseph Kosinski with "Black Hawk Down" scenarist Ken Nolan and "American Hustle" scribe Eric Warren Singer have fashioned a first-rate, inspirational film about the lives of the nineteen men who died in the inferno as well as the sole survivor who miraculously escaped. Imagine watching a synthesis of a boot camp training movie and a contemporary western, and you'll have a good idea what happens in this memorable movie about a maverick team of underdogs. Ordinary, blue-collar, middle-class guys, who drove trucks, drank beer, danced with their wives and girlfriends at country hoedowns, and pranked on each other made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots. Initially, this struggling company of firefighters, who fought fire by starting other fires to avert bigger blazes, gained little recognition. Comparatively, these firefighters resemble the 'smoke jumpers' from epics like "Red Skies of Montana" (1952) and "Firestorm" (1998) who bail out of planes and parachute into the worse spots to set fires to stop fires. The gung-ho Granite Mountain firefighters found themselves pushed around like minor leaguers at every fight until they earned their certification to be 'hot shots.' This certification enabled them to advance from the rear echelons to the front ranks. The sacrifices that they made to attain 'hot shots' status is comparable to the rigorous regimens that U.S. Navy SEAL teams must master. At times, "Only the Brave" ladles out more than enough sentiment to elicit tears no matter how imperturbable you count yourself.

"Only the Brave" doesn't dwell on the tragic Yarnell Hill fire. Instead, the filmmakers save one of the deadliest conflagrations for the grand finale followed by a funeral. Meantime, they trace the origins of these heroic firefighters, introducing the main characters as go-getters, and they provide us with glimpses of the supporting characters, primarily the rank and file firefighters and their families. A sense of camaraderie unifies these stout lads as they vow to become 'hot shots' so they can play a greater role in vanquishing timber fires. Veteran firefighter Eric Marsh (Josh Brolin of "Gangster Squad"), who started out as a Prescott, Arizona, fireman, lives and breathes to battle blazes. This bespectacled but brawny fellow with a macho handlebar mustache assembles the men and forges them into a well-oiled outfit, rather like a drill sergeant shapes raw recruits into disciplined soldiers. Former Prescott Fire Chief Duane Steinbrink (Jeff Bridges of "True Grit") serves as March's worldly-wise mentor who counsels him about how to achieve his dream. Steinbrink delivers the best line of dialogue when he warns the men after a few setbacks about 'sympathy.' "You want sympathy, you can find sympathy in the dictionary somewhere between s#&t and syphilis." Meantime, Marsh follows his instincts when he takes his men to wild land fires, and he talks to an approaching fire as he tries to guess what will happen next. Marsh can see beyond the obvious when sizing up applicants for his crew. When a former junkie, Brendan McDonough (Miles Teller of "Whiplash"), approaches Marsh about joining his outfit, Marsh gambles on giving this loser a chance. Admittedly a sorry specimen of a man, McDonough wants to reform because his estranged girlfriend has given birth to his daughter. Initially, Nathalie (Natalie Hall of "Pretty Little Liars") wants nothing to do with him. Everybody in Marsh's company has nothing but contempt for McDonough, especially Christopher MacKenzie (Taylor Kitsch of "Savages"), who loves to humiliate McDonough every chance that he gets. Ironically, MacKenzie and McDonough wind up becoming close friends. Shrewdly, Kosinski uses McDonough to acquaint us with the rank and file members. Later, McDonough and his girlfriend get married. Meanwhile, Marsh doesn't have it easy himself because his own wife Amanda (Jennifer Connelly of "The Rocketeer") have a marital squabble when she insists that they have a baby.

Naturally, director Joseph Kosinski and scenarists Ken Nolan and Eric Warren Singer have taken liberties with their depiction of the Granite Mountain Hotshots to create emotion-laden, dramatic impact. Specifically, the real-life McDonough didn't tangle with a rattlesnake, but the cinematic incident cements hid friendship with MacKenzie. Sometimes, two characters must be compressed into one character. For example, Kosinski and company compressed Fire Chief Duane Steinbrink's character with former Deputy Chief Darrell Willis, too. The people who made "Only the Brave" didn't want to clutter up a story already crowded with too many characters, no matter how essential those individuals were. The point is to make a movie where audiences don't have to maintain a score card because too many characters are in it. At one point, the cinematic Eric Marsh chews out McDonough because the latter wants to settle down with his wife and work as a city firefighter. Marsh reprimands him for wanting to abandon the crew. According to a USA Today article, the Granite Mountain Hotshots experienced a lot of turnover. Rather than shaming McDonough into sticking with the team, the real-life Marsh supported his decision to leave. Nevertheless, despite these discrepancies, "Only the Brave" is still a genuinely enthralling actioneer, with sterling performances. Josh Brolin is appropriately cast as the sturdy leader of the gang, with Miles Teller, Taylor Kitsch, and James Badge Dale standing out as Brolin's men. Jeff Bridges steals more than one scene with his quirky personality, and he appears on stage in concert during one scene strumming a guitar. Earlier, Bridges won his Best Actor Oscar for "Crazy Heart" where he portrayed a singer. Altogether, if you can tolerate some of its dramatic contrivances, "Only the Brave" emerges as a tribute to the courage and defiance of those 19 firefighters who looked death in the face.
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Incredible Practical Effects and Character Development
rannynm30 October 2017
The film takes time setting up each of the characters, making them feel very well developed. The use of practical effects makes the movie seem more real, because real fire is used instead of CGI for the fire. The characters also act like true heroes and seem very real.

The storyline is about a group of firefighters who want to become 'hotshots,' which are the elite group of firefighters that work in the fire itself. When it comes time to assess them, their Chief doesn't agree with the assessor's opinion on not burning the wood and takes his own path which risks having their certification taken away. But the chief thinks it's better to do it that way so they burn the logs, making the correct choice in the situation and, as a result, they get their certification. After that, they go into many dangerous wildfires to protect nature and homes. One day when the Yarnell Mountain fire comes on June 30, 2013, they are especially challenged.

Josh Brolin portrays Eric Marsh the fire chief. He has proved his skill in many movies including Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy and as Beck Weathers in Everest. Miles Teller, the actor for Brendan Mcdonough, the protagonist, has been in Footloose and The Divergent series which were both huge hits.

One interesting thing about this film is its timing. I live in Northern California where huge fires in the North Bay have left many people homeless and injured. Another interesting thing is that Only the Brave is one of the movies in the 21st century with the most practical effects.

The message is to get awareness for the firefighter community, which it got 100% loud and clear. Kids will be influenced to save people's lives. There isn't much reckless behavior except when someone falls asleep while driving. I recommend this for ages 12 to 18 who will understand the shear force of the message of this film, although I think it was intended more for an adult audience. This movie is fantastic and I am happy to give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewed by Abraham F., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic.
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Absolutely amazing
aubreylonergan29 October 2017
I went into the theater that day not knowing very much about the actual historical event. I left that theater completely and utterly in awe of Miles Teller and the entire crew. The tragic reality that this movie is based on makes you feel so incredibly grateful for those who are risking their lives while saving this country. I cannot urge viewers enough to go out and watch the film, all the while educating yourself on these reoccurring environmental issues. The sacrifice these men make day after day in attempt to preserve our country in very eye opening, and a week later something I am still thinking about it.
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A well-told movie about true events.
FilmReviewer83526 October 2017
Only the Brave is a movie directed by Joseph Kosinski and stars Josh Brolin, Miles Teller and Jeff Bridges. The movie is essentially a biography about the the rise of the Granite Mountain Hotshots and how they come together to put their entire lives at risk to protect their town from a dangerous wildfire.

This managed to be a very interesting movie that brings you in very quickly when the movie starts. It is very well acted from beginning to end with interesting characters and motives. It's interesting to see how the members of the Hotshots' lives have changed as the organization forms and grows big. The movie isn't fully character driven, fortunately. The movie does have a large focus on dealing with the area's large wildfires, which are also highly engaging. It's admittedly hard to critique the execution of certain scenes like the firefighting scenes in Only the Brave when it's based on true events. If I would like to point out an issue that I have with the movie, it's that I thought the story structure was a bit all over the place, but again, it's hard to properly critique a biography movie due to the fact that it is based on true events.

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