It's a shame the box office failures of "Tron: Legacy" and "Oblivion" have prevented Joseph Kosinski from ascending the ranks of Hollywood directors, because he's one of our great visualists, with a clean and precise style that often recalls David Fincher. Kosinski's meticulous framing is supported by a stellar ensemble cast, all in service of telling the harrowing true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.
Only the Brave is an heartfelt & emotive film that truly honors the heroes who died in the 2013 Yarnell Hill fire. This ain't Backdraft. I was very surprised by this film, a film about human beings in the face of destruction, working together to save lives & sacrificing them, in a most noble & communal cause. It is rare to see a Howard Hawks-like film in modern Hollywood, in its most apathetic & listless time.
Watching "Only the Brave" and how great of a film it is only reinforced why I found "Dunkirk" to be merely good. Outside of being a technical marvel, the film will undoubtedly take a step-down in quality for those who praised it once they rewatch it on HBO. "Only the Brave" and its moving tribute, empathetic characters, and powerful performances will be more up the alley of those wanting a more complete experience.
It seems like the wrong director is listed here - 'This is a Peter Berg film, no?' - but Kosinski's style is clear in many of the shots; the vistas he discovers here are as awe inspiring as any of his alien worlds. Its well shot, the cast is strong and the story - which I didn't know - is worth telling. It sounds like faint praise, but boy, how many multiplex movies these days tick those boxes?