The Messenger

February 19th, 2010


The Messenger

No valid json found

Still of Woody Harrelson in The MessengerStill of Samantha Morton in The MessengerStill of Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster in The MessengerStill of Ben Foster in The MessengerStill of Ben Foster in The MessengerThe Messenger

An American soldier struggles with an ethical dilemma when he becomes involved with a widow of a fallen officer.

Release Year: 2009

Rating: 7.3/10 (15,747 voted)

Critic's Score: 77/100

Director: Oren Moverman

Stars: Ben Foster, Samantha Morton, Woody Harrelson

While on a recent deployment to Iraq, US Army Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery is injured when an improvised explosive device goes off within close proximity to him. He is back in the States recovering from the more serious of those injuries, including one to his eye and leg. He has resumed a sexual relationship with his long time girlfriend Kelly, despite the fact that she is now engaged to another man who Will knows. With the few months Will has left in his enlistment, the army assigns him to the Casualty Notification Team in his area. Not having a background in counseling, psychology or grief management, he is unsure if he is well suited to this job. He is partnered with a career soldier, Captain Tony Stone, who teaches Will the precise protocol involved in the job. Tony tells Will, who quickly learns by on the job experience, that this job has its own dangers. As Will learns to adapt to the range of emotions of the next of kin...

Writers: Alessandro Camon, Oren Moverman

Ben Foster - Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery
Jena Malone - Kelly
Eamonn Walker - Colonel Stuart Dorsett
Woody Harrelson - Captain Tony Stone
Yaya DaCosta - Monica Washington (as Yaya Dacosta)
Portia - Mrs. Burrell
Lisa Joyce - Emily
Steve Buscemi - Dale Martin
Peter Francis James - Dr. Grosso
Samantha Morton - Olivia Pitterson
Paul Diomede - Motorcycle Cop
Jahmir Duran-Abreau - Matt Pitterson
Gaius Charles - Recruiter Brown
Brendan Sexton III - Recruiter Olson
Brian Adam DeJesus - Teenager #1 (as Brian DeJesus)


Official Website: Official site |

Release Date: 19 February 2010

Filming Locations: Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $44,523 (USA) (15 November 2009) (4 Screens)

Gross: $1,108,684 (USA) (9 May 2010)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Germany: (Berlin International Film Festival)

Did You Know?

The scene where Will and Olivia speak to each other in her kitchen is eight minutes long and was shot in one take. Oren Moverman allowed actors to improvise in certain scenes.

Factual errors: SSG Montgomery should have at least two service stripes on his left sleeve, in addition to the missing Overseas Service Bars. Each service stripe denotes 3 years of service and he'd likely have at least 2 of them.

Alan: What happened to you guys?
Captain Tony Stone: Oh, I wouldn't worry, we do all our own stunts.

User Review

'The Messenger' is powerful and engaging film.

Rating: 8/10

Brilliantly acted film depicting two soldiers whose job it is to inform families when loved ones are killed in battle. Harrelson has never been better and Foster more than matches him all the way. It's emotional and engaging and genuinely painful at times. I had always thought how hard it must be to carry out such a job but had never really considered just what psychologically damage it could do long term to the person doing it. Harrelson depicts a man who has been doing the job far too long brilliantly and Foster in turn shows just what it can do to you initially. It's a perfect blend and the chemistry is excellent from start to finish. Deserves a much wider release and is with out doubt one of the best films of last year.


Comments are closed.