REVIEW: While Flawed In Areas, ‘Only The Brave’ Is Largely An Endearing Tale Of Heroism

Many dramatizations of heroic actions follow a certain pattern and “Only the Brave” is no different. However, this flick does contain some great features that put it above others.

The film tells the tale of a group of elite firefighters called the Granite Mountain Hotshots. As the movie describes early on, Hotshots are normally federal level firefighting units. However, because the Granite Mountain crew lived in an area prone to wildfires, they were able to become the first municipal unit to get the Hotshot title.

Leading the crew of Hotshots is Eric Marsh (Josh Brolin), who’s the classic tough but fair supervisor. This is very true with the newest recruit Brendan (Miles Teller), a recovering drug addict who’s trying to turn his life around and gets a chance to do so by Marsh. As the movie goes along, it explores the Hotshots earning their title and facing extremely dangerous wildfires in the process.

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REVIEW: Solid Acting Isn’t Enough To Save Melodramtic “Mountain Between Us”

Idris Elba and Kate Winslet are both talented performers and they bring their abilities to the table in “The Mountain Between Us.” However, the movie surrounding them is largely weak.

The film introduces Elba’s and Winslet’s characters at an Idaho airport where most of the planes have been grounded because of poor weather. Because the two need to get out of the area quick, though, with Alex (Winslet) needing to get to her wedding and Ben (Elba) having to get to a surgery, they are rather desperate to get in the air.

That’s when Alex comes up with the idea of taking a smaller charter plane from the airport and invites Ben to come along. At first the flight seems to be going well enough, but that soon flips as a series of events causes the plane to go down. The pilot dies in the accident and the rest of the film follows the two protagonists having to work together to get through a cold, harsh part of the country.

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In the Heart of the Sea review

Director:
Ron Howard
Cast:
Chris Hemsworth
Benjamin Walker
Ben Whishaw
Brendan Gleeson
Rated: PG-13

“In the Heart of the Sea” tells the story of the whaling ship Essex which sank in the Pacific Ocean after an attack by a sperm whale. The film, directed by Ron Howard, is told through flashbacks during an interview between “Moby Dick” author Herman Melville (Whishaw) and survivor Tom Nickerson (Gleeson).

As the movie gets into the final voyage of the Essex, the audience is shown that First Mate Owen Chase (Hemsworth) was originally supposed to captain the ship. However, he was demoted when the position was given to George Pollard (Walker) because of the family name. This created tension aboard the ship that was already in dangerous waters with the whale.

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Everest review

Director:
Baltasar Kormakur
Cast:
Jason Clarke
Josh Brolin
Jake Gyllenhaal
Sam Worthington
Rated: PG-13

“Everest” tells the true story of a group of mountain climbers who were caught in a severe storm while trying to reach the summit. The film centers on the real-life climber and guide Rob Hall, played by Jason Clarke, who led a group on the mountain in the mid-1990s.

Other true to life characters in the film are portrayed by Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, John Hawkes and Sam Worthington. The film follows these characters as they prepare for the climb and the eventual storm that arrives when they take on the endeavor.

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San Andreas review

Director:
Brad Peyton
Cast:
Dwayne Johnson
Carla Gugino
Alexandra Daddario
Ioan Gruffudd
Paul Giamatti
Rated: PG-13

Bring your checklist of famous landmarks and be ready to check them off one by one as they get destroyed.

The major California fault-line goes wild in “San Andreas,” a film that centers on the scenario of a huge earthquake hitting the West Coast. Ray, played by Dwayne Johnson, is a fire-rescue first responder who has main duties in helicopter rescues.

In his personal life, Ray is currently trying to deal with the divorce between he and his wife, Emma, played by Carla Gugino, which has put a strain on the relationship with his daughter Blake, portrayed by Alexandra Daddario. The family has to come together, though, once the earthquake hits the metropolitan areas and causes widespread destruction.

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Wild review

Director:
Jean-Marc Vallee
Cast:
Reese Witherspoon
Laura Dern
Thomas Sadoski
Rated: R

“Wild” follows the true story of Cheryl Strayed, who walked 1,000 miles on what is known as the Pacific Crest Trail and documented it in a book. Reese Witherspoon plays Strayed, who goes on the journey as a way of healing herself following multiple traumatic and tragic events in her life.

As she goes along her journey, Strayed meets a number of different characters and personalities and begins to recover as a person.

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Into the Storm review

Director:
Steve Quale
Cast:
Matt Walsh
Sarah Wayne Callies
Richard Armitage
Max Deacon
Nathan Kress
Rated: PG-13

“Into the Storm” follows a group of characters in Oklahoma who face a day of danger when a huge system moves into town that produce multiple tornadoes.

Included in the stormy fray is a Vice President named Gary (Armitage), his sons Donnie and Trey (Deacon and Kress), and storm chasers Allison (Callies) and Pete (Walsh).

Their subplots all converge as they continually have to dodge tornados and seek shelter from the powerful weather.

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The Grey review

Director:
Joe Carnahan
Cast:
Liam Neeson
Dallas Roberts
Frank Grillo
Nonso Anozie
Rated: R

The characters Liam Neeson plays just can’t catch a break.

“The Grey” follows a group of men who work for an oil company in Alaska. The main character, Ottway (Neeson), a trained wolf hunter for the company, seems to be one of the outsiders at the oil company and keeps to himself. Eventually, the crew of the company is to be flown back to a major city for a break however during the flight the plane goes down.

Upon regaining his bearings, Ottway begins searching for survivors and finds a handful, he also finds that they are surrounded by a pack of hungry wolves. Ottway soon establishes himself as the leader of the scared group of survivors and begins a journey to try and bring them back to civilization.

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