The Messenger

Synopsis: 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, he is unprepared for the reaction of Olivia Pitterson, w
Genre: Drama, Romance, War
Director(s): Oren Moverman
Production: Oscilloscope Pictures
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 44 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
113 min

Here. Right here. Just wait.

Sorry. I'm late. I...

I ain't dead yet.

It's also for healing.

And celebration, you know?



- Thank you.

- I'd like to sit at that table.

- Why?

- I'd like to sit at that table.

- I know, but they're still eating. It's fine...

- I can see that.

I don't know, I think...

I think in, like, a year or so, you know,

I think I'll be ready...

...but, you know, I really...

I want to get married.

I just... Like, eventually, you know.

I don't...

I just don't want to right now.

Plus, we're kind of on this,

like, cruise control, you know?

Which is normal. I mean, it happens to

every couple. It happened to us.

Where did you tell him you were going?

- To visit you.

- Yeah, right.

To visit my dad.

- And he believed that?

- I invited him actually, but... turns out he was really, really busy.

You always were a terrific liar.

That's not fair.

- I really do love him, you know?

- Well, I do.

He's the right guy for you.

I mean, what do you want to do?

Are you thinking... Family?


College? Job?

You don't have to worry about me.

The world's my fucking oyster.

Thanks for coming.

I really wanted to see you.

I'm glad you came.

Say hi to Alan for me.

I don't think so.

Somewhere you gotta be?

No, sir.

How long has he been waiting?

Seventeen minutes, sir.

Send him in.

Yes, sir.

Come in.

Sir, Staff Sergeant Montgomery reports.

At ease. How you getting on, Montgomery?

- It's going well, sir.

- I have an assignment for you, Montgomery.

It so happens that over the few months you

have left on your enlistment... will get your chance to render some of

your most valuable service to your country.

I'm assigning you to

a Casualty Notification team.


Captain Stone will show you the ropes.

He is the expert.

But until he does,

I just want to make myself very clear...

...that although most of your time will

remain occupied by your other duties...

CNO is to be your absolute priority.

This mission is not simply important.

It is sacred.

- Sir, if I may?

- Go ahead.

I've never received any grief counseling,

let alone given it.

I'm not a religious man, sir.

We're just there for notification.

Not God. Not heaven.


...this job is about character.

Now I have had soldiers go out on

notification and break into a stutter.

Men so nervous they read from a script

or get the name wrong...

...or the address.

Too many tears.

I need men of solid stature.

Now you are a model soldier.

Hell, you're a goddamn hero.

Casualty is a soldier who's

been killed, wounded, missing...

...captured, beleaguered or besieged.

Of course, our job's mainly about killed.

What you actually need

to do is pretty simple... the guidebook, learn the script...

...stick to the script, fill in the blanks

from the casualty report.

- Can you do that?

- Yes, sir.

Can you look at me when I speak with you?

Much appreciated.

Never say stuff like lost

or expired or passed away...

...things people misunderstand.

I knew this guy once told this old lady

that her grandson was no longer with us.

She thought he had defected to the enemy,

started calling him a traitor.

We need to be clear.

Need to say killed or died.

What we don't say

is the deceased or the body.

We call each casualty by name.

We honor them. You with me?

- Yes, sir.

- Then look at me, Sergeant.

You do not speak with anybody

other than the next of kin.

No friend, no neighbor,

no coworker or mistress.

Hours of operation are 0600 to 2200 hours.

We don't want to wake anybody

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Alessandro Camon

Alessandro Camon is an Academy Award nominated screenwriter and film producer. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"The Messenger" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 9 Aug. 2020. <>.

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