The War at Home

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As a director Estevez is probably best remembered for Men at Work, a film most impressive for the stunted development and general hopelessness of the two leads. In years gone by a good parent might have reacted by packing the boys off to war to make men of them; in this gentler age Martin Sheen instead settled for forwarding his elder lad a copy of James Duff's Broadway play Homefront, concerning a traumatised young Viet vet doing battle back home in Texas with his uncomprehending family. The good news is that Estevez is showing distinct signs of maturity. Although he plays Jeremy, the protagonist barely in his twenties, Estevez the director keeps enough distance to allow that Jeremy suffers indulgent self-pity among his several problems, and gives as unreasonably as he gets. Indeed, there's some power in the film's depiction of this upstanding, traditional family unit (solidly acted by Sheen, Bates and Williams) as being the problem rather than the solution: Jeremy's past and not his future. It's never anything more than middlebrow, obvious and quite laboured - and, for good and ill, very earnest

Release details

Duration: 123 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Emilio Estevez
Screenwriter: James Duff
Cast: Kathy Bates
Martin Sheen
Kimberly Williams
Emilio Estevez
Carla Gugino
Geoffrey Blake
Penny Allen
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