In 2003, 30 years after they served together in the Vietnam War, former Navy Hospital Corpsman Larry "Doc" Shepherd re-unites with ex-Marines Sal and Mueller on a different type of mission: to bury Doc's son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War. Doc decides to forgo burial at Arlington Cemetery and, with the help of his old buddies, takes the casket on a bittersweet trip up the East Coast to his home in suburban New Hampshire.

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I thought this was one of director Richard Linklater's best films, as he also co-wrote the screenplay with Darryl Poniscan, from whose book the movie is based. The three leads here Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, and Laurence Fishburne give terrific performances, with Yul Vasquez and J. Quinton Johnson adding well to the mix in supporting roles. This film can be dark, crass, and very unsettling one moment but also be poignant and laced with humor that works more often than not. Also, the movie can be brutally anti-military at times, yet strongly patriotic as well. Somehow, the filmmakers managed to blend all of this together effectively. All in all, I found this to be an exceptional film that stayed with me long after it was over.

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