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3.1
193 Ratings

Last Flag Flying

Directed by Richard Linklater
United States, 2017
Comedy, Drama

Synopsis

Three aging Vietnam-era Navy vets—soft-spoken Doc (Steve Carell), unhinged and unfiltered Sal (Bryan Cranston), and quietly measured Mueller (Laurence Fishburne)—reunite to perform a sacred task: the proper burial of Doc’s only child, who has been killed in the early days of the Iraqi Invasion.

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Last Flag Flying Directed by Richard Linklater
It reminds me of Neil Young’s 1990 album Ragged Glory. It’s a rough, but casual, meditation on American themes, made with relaxed, subtle mastery. If the film feels a bit underwhelming on first encounter, I suspect it will gain from repeat viewings—it’s full of subtle characterizations and charming grace notes, and these things can become more resonant once they’re more familiar.
November 17, 2017
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As Last Flag Flying eases into being a road-trip film (a distinctly American genre I didn’t realize I missed so much until I was riding sidecar), Linklater, always better at time-constrained narratives, hits his stride, the guys’ camaraderie making Cranston’s shenanigans almost palatable. The film follows a familiar template, but the wounds it traces are undeniable.
November 03, 2017
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Perhaps the trio’s personalities are too limited (the crank, the sadsack, Rev. Jekyll), but the actors are terrific, with Carrel doing his finest dramatic work as the meek Larry. But Linklater, for all his gifts in directing ruminative, digressive gab, isn’t exactly the king of dramatic structure. There are clumsy, didactic, and sentimental moments scattered through the film . . . But his sensibility—sympathetic, politically skeptical—strikes through at simple, important truths.
November 03, 2017
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