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Ryan Phillippe, Channing Tatum, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are Iraq veterans feeling the aftershocks of their experience as they return to their stars-and-stripes Texas town; the rub comes when Tatum and Phillippe are ordered back to Iraq through the U.S. military's stop-loss policy, assailed here as a backdoor draft. This is Kimberly Peirce's first film since she debuted with Boys Don't Cry (1999), and though its intentions are noble, it's hampered by a stock romantic subplot (Phillippe falls for his friend's squeeze, Abbie Cornish), a familiar structure (since The Best Years of Our Lives soldiers invariably come home in threes), and a lack of symmetry (some of Gordon-Levitt's story seems to have wound up on the cutting-room floor). With Ciaran Hinds and Linda Emond, both strong as Phillippe's parents. R, 113 min.

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