Three soldiers returning home from Iraq (Tim Robbins, Rachel McAdams, Michael Peña) are thrown together for a cross-country road trip after an electrical blackout grounds every flight out of JFK, and as they drive from New York to Saint Louis to Salt Lake City to Las Vegas, each feels increasingly alienated from what was once home. Past movies about Iraq veterans have been box-office poison (Stop-Loss, Home of the Brave), but by structuring this as a comic road movie, writer-director Neil Burger (The Illusionist) manages to examine the emotional isolation of returning vets without sinking into a bog of despair. Typical of the movie's waggish sense of humor is the scene in which an explosive argument drives the characters out of their minivan onto the side of the highway; when they finally resolve their differences, they realize they've locked themselves out. R, 115 min.
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