Only the Brave tells the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of elite firefighters who risked everything to protect a town from a historic wildfire. Josh Brolin stars as Fire Chief Eric Marsh who loves his job as much as his men who work alongside him. Miles Teller is a young recruit who needs support as he has a baby on the way and is battling a past addiction with drugs. This is directed by Joseph Kosinski who previously directed Tron: Legacy and Oblivion and is scheduled to direct Top Gun 2. Joseph Kosinski brings his visual style to this true story that is uncompromising and breathtaking.
Only the Brave does an excellent job showing the danger of the men involved in protecting towns from fires. The raging fire and use of CGI effects captures what the men really went through to protect families. As Josh Brolin says in the first trailer for Only the Brave, the fire is the most beautiful and terrible thing I have seen. Sometimes biopics can be mundane but what really strengthens this movie is the incredible bond of the men. Miles Teller is the odd man out in the beginning of the film and many of the men working with him don’t see him as a good fit for their team. Through learning of Teller’s character and what he is willing to go through, Teller quickly becomes an integral part of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. One of my favorite scenes comes when Taylor Kitsch’s character, who doesn’t believe in Teller for half of the film and is very vocal about it, finally accepts him and eventually ends up living with Teller because he needs a place to stay. Those moments of understanding and brotherhood are what set this movie apart from other biopics. It provided a lot of heart and smiles because the actors in this movie gave natural performances to create that authentic sense of brotherhood.
The acting in Only the Brave provides a lot of emotion that stresses the importance of the job and how it affects their families at home. We’re given a side story from Brolin’s character’s wife played by Jennifer Connelly whose character provided a sense of realism to the movie by allowing the audience members to get a behind the scenes look at the effects of the job and the dangers of it. Even though Jennifer Connelly provided that sense of realism, I still wanted the scenes to focus on the core group of Hotshots. The Hotshots were the weight of the film and whenever the movie switched to anything else, I found myself wanting the film to get back to the group.
Since I didn’t know much of the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, I was able to view this movie with a clear mind. I think was an advantage for myself as I found most of the dramatic moments to be effective. I am a 26-year-old man and I’m not ashamed to say that I cried at the end of the film. I cried because I felt connected to the group of men and watching their relationship build was satisfying for me as it strengthened the ones who needed it the most.
The journey the men had endured during Only the Brave was an inspirational one and honored the heroes of Granite Mountain in a respectable way. The effort put into this film on screen and behind the scenes results in a tremendous tribute to the responders involved in the story. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the memorial the film provided for these men.
Only the Brave was a powerhouse of a film with raw emotions that I found to be effective and heartbreaking. Each cast and crew member gave forth their all to create a touching biopic that paid tribute to the emergency responders. The acting is career-best for some of the actors involved and that makes it more natural than ever. Thank you to the emergency responders everywhere that risk their lives to protect others.
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Only the Brave runs 2 hours 13 minutes and is rated PG-13 for thematic content, some sexual references, language and drug material.