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Parents' Guide to

Thank You for Your Service

By Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Violence, language, intense themes in powerful PTSD drama.

Movie R 2017 108 minutes
Thank You for Your Service Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 18+

disappointing - 18+ content

The way they display and disrespect our service men and women is horrible. Embarrassing and disrespectful. Way too much crude, vulgar, sexual crap.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 17+

Portrays servicemen inaccurately

Very disappointing they portrayed significant issues as vular and crude as they could. Sad they chose to portray veterans and uneducated low class. 41 years between my spouse and I several topics are big issues among our peers but this movie was a very poor representation of my brothers.

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (3 ):

This is one of the more thoughtful, well-realized PTSD dramas you're going to see. It marks the directorial debut of writer Jason Hall, who wrote the excellent American Sniper -- which was also an effective PTSD drama that was miscast by some as a glorification of war (its director, Clint Eastwood, called it an anti-war film). Thank You for Your Service does include some combat scenes, but there's no "cool" factor in them. They're there to explain what "broke" these strong men, some of them decorated heroes. Thank You's concerns are squarely with returning veterans as they struggle to adjust, to accept they need help, and to get help before it's too late.

Hall's cinematic technique is admirably understated. The score, which is a non-orchestral one, is used subtly. The camera doesn't move unnecessarily. He skips unnecessary edits in favor of letting viewers see people react to each other and letting moments land. With very few exceptions, his script avoids mouthfuls of "message" dialogue while conveying important information, and he effectively captures male bonding. Hall is helped enormously by a very strong cast. Teller, who deserved an Oscar nomination for Whiplash, is totally believable as a rock-solid, selfless sergeant who has to accept that it's his turn to be saved. We buy him as a leader of men who's calm and collected on the outside while things are breaking inside. It's a fascinating contrast with his other recent film, Only the Brave: In that movie, though characters are less well-developed, Teller's crack addict-turned-firefighter reads as a totally different guy from his heroic soldier here. Their internal clocks tick differently. Big-screen newcomer Koale's work as a physically powerful soldier facing forced retirement from the service is simple and sympathetic. And Bennett, as Schumann's wife, conveys love and frustration. Twice, her reactions to shocking news (the depth of Schumann's emotional struggle and the height of the mountain to climb to get VA services) are affecting. Thank You for Your Service is likely too serious and realistic to strike box-office gold, but it's beautifully executed and feels truthful.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: October 27, 2017
  • On DVD or streaming: January 23, 2018
  • Cast: Miles Teller , Haley Bennett , Keisha Castle-Hughes
  • Director: Jason Hall
  • Inclusion Information: Indigenous actors, Polynesian/Pacific Islander actors
  • Studio: Universal Pictures
  • Genre: Drama
  • Character Strengths: Courage , Empathy
  • Run time: 108 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong violent content, language throughout, some sexuality, drug material and brief nudity
  • Last updated: July 2, 2023

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