Thirty years after serving together in the Vietnam War, Larry “Doc” Shepherd (Steve Carell), Sal Nealon (Bryan Cranston) and the Rev. Richard Mueller (Laurence Fishburne) reunite. Each having led very different lives from one another since the War, this time they get together for a different type of mission: to bury Doc’s son, a young Marine killed in Iraq. The Military has deemed Doc’s son a war hero and he is to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. But after learning the details of his son’s death, Doc wants to bury his son at home, and with the help of his old buddies, they take the casket on a bittersweet trip up the coast to New Hampshire. Along the way, the three men find themselves reminiscing and coming to terms with the shared memories of a war that continues to shape their lives. 

That’s the simplified version of this thoroughly fleshed-out story. With perfect delivery and character development, Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne, all three brilliant actors, made me laugh, cry, and fully understand the depth of trauma, physical and mental, caused from serving in wars with no genuine meaning to the people who willingly give their life for their country. LAST FLAG FLYING is mindful of the permanent pain caused to families who lose loved ones, the emotional scarring to those who lived, and the lies told by the government to shield us from the realities of what goes on when the outcome of fighting in countries far away have no or little bearing on the safety of our own.

There were many heartbreaking moments where I sobbed, there were also moments that were warm and hysterically funny. The characters were real and the dialogue on-target. LAST FLAG FLYING is relevant and necessary for everyone to see.

Steve Carell – Larry “Doc” Shepherd
Bryan Cranston – Sal Nealon
Laurence Fishburne – Richard Mueller
Cicely Tyson – Mrs. Hightower
Yul Vazquez – Col. Willits
Deanna Reed-Foster – Ruth Mueller
J. Quinton Johnson – Charlie Washington
Richard Robichaux – Anorak
Lee Harrington – Jamie
Kate Easton – Jackie
Graham Wolfe – John Redman
Ted Watts Jr. – Leland

Directed by Richard Linklater
Based on Last Flag Flying by Darryl Ponicsan

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