It’s late October, so it’s getting to be that time, where we get intense true story movies that tug at our heartstrings and are surely meant to get Oscar nominations. Does Only the Brave manage to deliver?
This is the true story of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots, a group of firefighters who fight on the front lines of wildfires, digging trenches and burning shrubs to stop the fire at all costs. This team is headed up by Eric (Josh Brolin), who works so much that his marriage is starting to fall apart (his wife played by Jennifer Connelly). The team recruits a new member (Miles Teller) who is down on his luck and has made some bad decisions but is hoping to turn his life around. We also have Jeff Bridges, Taylor Kitsch, and James Badge Dale.
Miles Teller has been on a hot streak lately and is proving to be an incredibly versatile talent, delivering a performance here that is incredible, absolutely convincing in his transformation from deadbeat to hero. Josh Brolin and Jennifer Connelly also deliver astounding performances, I’m sure we’ll get a couple of nominations from this film but I think the front runner is Miles Teller.
This movie also delivers in terms of an awe-inspiring true story, both beautiful and tragic and educational. This is a movie you’ll stay through the credits for, to learn about these real life heroes.
I also want to commend the visual effects teams because these massive fires featured in the movie are absolutely convincing. Be it up close or far away, the visuals look incredible and make you second guess if these are real fires you’re watching on the screen.
I think the movie stumbles a bit in its final act, hoping to extend the climax and the action, but it does so by repeatedly halting the action or cutting to something/someone else. It felt jagged and might’ve actually hurt the momentum of the film.
The movie’s emotional resonance in the climax might not hit you right either. I found it believable, while others might feel cheated or disappointed in how the movie plays out. Don’t do any research on this story, go in blind, and you’ll enjoy the twists and turns.
I found Only the Brave to be a solid true story outing, full of spectacular performances. It’s suspenseful and edge of your seat, though the climax gets interrupted a few times and ruins the sense of momentum. The movie’s not getting a lot of buzz but if you want to be educated come Oscar season, you’ll likely want to check this one out.