Paul Haggis' manipulative writing style is somehow perfectly apt for this liberal-agenda movie thanks to a wholly sincere plea to stop sending young men to War™. ELAH is a chamber drama crafted in tableaux using Roger Deakins' precise framing and naturalistic lighting. Haggis also has the good sense to let his fine actors carry the weight of a script that never shies away from being an open attack on American policy.
This is the best of the slew of American military themed pics of the past decade (and probably the most purely anti-*war*). However its success is mostly down to the extraordinary performance of Tommy Lee Jones (though in far smaller roles Brolin, Theron and Corbin are terrific).