‘Thank You for Your Service’ Review


Thank You for Your Service is a biographical war drama film written and directed by Jason Hall, in his directorial debut, and based on the David Finkel non-fiction book of the same name. The film stars Miles Teller, Haley Bennett, Beulah Koale, Amy Schumer, and Scott Haze. The story follows Staff Sergeant Adam Schumann and his fellow U.S. soldiers as they try to adjust to civilian life after returning from Iraq while dealing with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Jason Hall does a great job at humanizing these characters and letting the viewers see just how hard it is to return to civilian life. It’s hard for them to turn off the habits of a soldier and the memories of what they did overseas. Following the lives of the soldiers is well balanced and easy to follow with the use of flashbacks that blend in well to give the viewers little pieces of what happened in Iraq without totally revealing everything. The film has a somber tone throughout but is accompanied with lighter scenes that keep the story from being completely sad. The story has a few twists that are handled very well and keep the movie exciting. Hall also does a great job showing how soldiers are treated when they choose to seek help from the government for their PTSD. It’s not as easy as it should be with all the bureaucracy involved. As a result, many soldiers are unable to cope and do not get the treatment they need. It’s a sad cycle that will not likely be fixed anytime soon. The chemistry between the characters is great and believable. Miles Teller does a terrific job at portraying Staff Sergeant Adam Schumann, a pretty normal soldier struggling with guilt and inner turmoil. He tries to play it cool like he’s fine but eventually realizes that even though he’s not as bad as his friends, he’s pretty bad. The hurdles he has to go through to seek treatment for himself and his friends is rough. At one point, he’s told to get over it so that other people do not see someone in his position (a Staff Sargeant) showing weakness like that because it is bad for “Big Army”. Beulah Koale pulls off a great performance as Specialist Tausolo Aieti. He is dealing with memory issues and violent tendencies and feels that he is not ready for family life, so he wants to return to active duty. Amy Schumer does a fine job as Amanda Doster. Even though her role is nothing more than an extended cameo, she uses it to prove that she can do more than comedy. I give Thank You for Your Service a Decent 8.4/10. Hopefully, Jason Hall continues to write and direct because he is doing a great job at both.

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