Sergeant Brandon King (Ryan Phillipe) returns from his tour of duty in Iraq to a hero's welcome in his small hometown in Texas, even earning a purple heart for his efforts on the battlefield. This recognition is overshadowed by the difficulty the men who fought under him face in reacclimatizing to normal society. Tommy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) drowns his problems with booze while Steve begins beating on his fiancée. Brandon's readjustment is more successful until he is called back to the war zone by the powers that be in the United States government. So he goes AWOL and tries to conjure a plan that will keep him out of the service, all the while torn between his sense of patriotism and the feeling of betrayal by his own government. <br />
There are a couple of factors that differentiate this film from the swathe of others dealing with the Iraq war. First, it's produced by MTV so is aimed at a younger audience than your average 'war is hell' film. Also, a female director, Kimberly Peirce (<em>Boys Con't Cry</em>), is, as far as we can tell, is a first in the war genre.