Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Ang Lee (2016)

108min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
America gets a kicking in this reflective drama that follows a young Iraq War hero who is due to be paraded during half time at a Dallas Cowboys football match at Thanksgiving, 2004. Director Ang Lee brings Ben Fountain's novel to vivid life at a revolutionary 120 frames-per-second (the standard, which will be used at most cinemas, is 24) in 4K resolution. The effect is disconcerting - almost anti-cinematic with its glaring brightness - but in a story where the razzmatazz of propaganda casts the reality of war into the shadows, it seems apt. A desert skirmish is made even more bone-rattling, too, but this is chiefly a melodrama. British newcomer Joe Alwyn gives a merely adequate performance as Billy, who shows symptoms of PTSD and finds the adulation overwhelming. Garrett Hedlund has greater presence as his sergeant, who is being schmoozed for a movie deal by a sleazy Steve Martin as the Cowboys' wealthy owner. At home, Kristen Stewart can do angst in her sleep as Billy's sister. It's these relationships that absorb, and if the sentimental ending creates more discomfort, it also underlines the emotional illiteracy that thwarts countless young men. Like Billy, this portrait is flawed yet noble and sensitive.

Summary

A 19-year-old private is brought home for a victory tour after a harrowing Iraq battle, as flashbacks show what really happened to his squad - contrasting the realities of war with America's perceptions. Drama, starring Joe Alwyn, Garrett Hedlund and Arturo Castro.

Cast & Crew

Billy Lynn Joe Alwyn
Kathryn Kristen Stewart
Albert Chris Tucker
Dime Garrett Hedlund
Shroom Vin Diesel
Norm Oglesby Steve Martin
Wayne Foster Tim Blake Nelson
Faison Makenzie Leigh
Mango Arturo Castro
Foo Mason Lee
Director Ang Lee
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Sony PicturesGuidance: Violence, swearing.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 10 Feb 2017
Drama