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Only the Brave Movie Review

It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends over at FatCats Gilbert on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline! FatCats Gilbert is the best place to see all of the latest box office hits, just like the one I’m lucky enough to talk about today, Only the Brave! To see all showtimes and to purchase tickets, you can click right HERE!

This was becoming one of my most anticipated movies of the year. Obviously, as an Arizona-native, this is one I just had to check out. This is also a very recent event. Earlier this year, a movie called Phoenix Forgotten was released, and I wasn’t very interested. Of course, I’m interested in seeing as many movies as I can, but I wasn’t invested in a fictional story based on something that happened one night twenty years ago. Only the Brave was an entirely different situation. This is something that still aches in our blistering-hot Arizona hearts, so I couldn’t wait to see the film!

Only the Brave is directed by Joseph Kosinski and stars Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Connelly, James Badge Dale, and Taylor Kitsch. This movie takes us through the story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a team of firefighters out of Prescott, Arizona, and their journey from city firefighters to bona fide hotshots, the most elite group of firefighters who face the biggest fires head-on.

This is a tough one. I’ll start off by saying that I loved the movie. I absolutely adored it, but it was not the easiest movie to watch. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t have a major bias in favor of the film, but I honestly see the toughest of the tough walking out of the theater a little bit drippy eyed. At my screening in a packed theater, I heard sniff after sniff after sniff, and I think it’s all because of the brotherhood that these guys had. This movie does something brilliant that you don’t often see in a film of this style. It doesn’t glorify these guys, or put them on a pedestal, as people. Though I walked out thinking that these men were great people who would have done anything for their families and their brothers, I didn’t feel like that aspect was magically added. I cared because through their brotherhood and through their relationships, they were real. I bought the closeness of these firefighters both to the rest of their team and to their families, and I was emotionally hooked by that connection. That brings us to the performances, which I only have one word to describe: genuine. Again, these men aren’t superheroes. They’re guys who talk about guy stuff with their brothers while they put their families first and foremost when they have the chance. The chemistry among the team brings each relationship to life, and I cared so deeply about each individual person, even if they weren’t showered in screen-time.

I also love that this story shows us the power of everyday heroes. At the end of the day, this is a story about heroes. These men saved lives, houses, cities, stores, parks, wildlife, and more. The best part is that they don’t need to be a team of Supermans to do it. No Avengers were needed in the making of this movie. I love comic book movies as much as the next person. Justice League is probably my second most anticipated movie of the rest of the year, right behind The Last Jedi. I’m not going to hide the fact that I love my superhero movies. This time, though, it’s so refreshing to see a movie about true heroes. These men actually put their lives on the line for the benefit of our entire country, and they’d be at our doors in minutes if we were watching all of our earthly possessions go up in flames. This movie doesn’t glorify the guys inside the suits, but it does give us a great understanding and appreciation of the things they do to keep us safe. Also, this doesn’t just tell the story that made national news, it showcases their journey on the way to achieving their goal of becoming the elite of the elite, and I was engaged for every second of their fiery passion for being the best that they could be.

If I had to single something out that I didn’t like about the film, it would probably be that the script is very straightforward. Sometimes you can get more out of a character from the things that he or she doesn’t say, and unsaid dialogue can be most powerful. In Only the Brave, the dialogue is very straightforward, and it doesn’t make for very interesting person-to-person conflict. Luckily, I wasn’t really here for the person-to-person conflict. I’m here to see them work together and become a better whole, which is exactly what I was given.

Overall, Only the Brave is one of my favorite movies of the year, and it left me feeling absolutely empty in the best way possible. The brotherhood and the relationships between the characters were amazing, and they were the reason that I was so attached to the film. I might have a somewhat biased opinion that’s unshakable because of how much I love Arizona, but seeing a true story of Arizona heroes made my week, and it gave me an entire new appreciation for what these men go through. Visually, it’s spectacular, and does a great job of giving us an understanding of the scope of the fires, but the heart of this movie is, well, the heart. I’m going to give Only the Brave an 8.7/10.

Will you be checking out Only the Brave? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

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Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at movies@pulseradio.fm