Stop-Loss (2008)

Stop-Loss Poster

A veteran soldier returns from his completed tour of duty in Iraq, only to find his life turned upside down when he is arbitrarily ordered to return to field duty by the Army.

"Stop-Loss" is an American war drama movie released in 2008, directed by Kimberly Peirce. The movie features Ryan Phillippe, Channing Tatum, Abbie Cornish, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The story utilizes the term "stop-loss" as its core style, describing the controversial U.S military policy that enabled the extension of the service of American troops involuntarily.

Plot Summary
"Stop-Loss" focuses on the life of Sergeant Brandon King, played by Ryan Phillippe, who is on return to his Texas home town after serving in the Iraq war. He is honored with several military awards for his service. Brandon anticipates settling down and letting go of his traumatic war experiences. Nevertheless, things take a drastic turn when Brandon gets 'stop-lossed', suggesting he is ordered to return to duty in Iraq.

Conflicts and Issues
Brandon is deeply disturbed by this unanticipated order, which throws him into an internal dispute. He feels betrayed by the nation he served so dedicatedly and is also scared to go back to the dreadful war scenario. Furthermore, his confusion is increased by the injuries his fellow soldiers, Steve Shriver (Channing Tatum) and Tommy Burgess (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) suffer, originating from their own war experiences.

Mission and Journey
Motivated by his disillusionment and decision not to return to Iraq, Brandon embarks on an objective to Washington, D.C to seek answers from the Senate. He is accompanied by Steve's fiancée, Michelle, played by Abbie Cornish. During this remarkable journey, their relationship cultivates, and Michelle establishes sensations for Brandon.

Brandon's efforts to appeal against his stop-loss order turn out to be futile. His journey to Washington shows not successful in altering his military orders, but it does cause self-realization and approval. He accepts that he can not leave his destiny and surrenders to the authority by choosing to return to Iraq. The growing tension in between Brandon and Michelle fixes when Michelle decides to support Brandon. The film ends with Brandon boarding the bus to report for responsibility, while his good friends and Michelle provide him a goodbye.

"Stop-Loss" is a poignant narrative about the truths of soldiers' lives post their service and the emotional implications of being stop-lossed. It effectively highlights the battles faced by these war heroes in their personal lives and psychological health, apart from the physical threats on the battlefield. The movie is both a critique of the stop-loss policy and a more comprehensive commentary on the expenses of war, making it a compelling watch. It functions as a thought-provoking piece and reflects on the unsaid stories of numerous soldiers who continue to be tortured by the policy and their memories of the war.

Top Cast

  • Ryan Phillippe (small)
    Ryan Phillippe
    Brandon King
  • Abbie Cornish (small)
    Abbie Cornish
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt (small)
    Joseph Gordon-Levitt
    Tommy Burgess
  • Channing Tatum (small)
    Channing Tatum
    Steve Shriver
  • Josef Sommer (small)
    Josef Sommer
    Senator Orton Worrell
  • Timothy Olyphant (small)
    Timothy Olyphant
    Lieutenant Colonel Boot Miller
  • Ciarán Hinds (small)
    Ciarán Hinds
    Roy King
  • Linda Emond (small)
    Linda Emond
    Ida King
  • Steven Strait (small)
    Steven Strait
    Michael Colson
  • Alex Frost (small)
    Alex Frost
  • Rob Brown (small)
    Rob Brown
    Isaac 'Eyeball' Butler