Only the Brave

3 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
Only the Brave

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Firefighters go into battle in a sturdy piece of based-on-real-life heroism that's kept at an emotional distance

Soaked in Americana and twangy guitars, Only the Brave offers an uncomplicated glimpse into the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite firefighting crew that combats the worst forest blazes. Led by Josh Brolin’s superintendent, the film treats its firefighters more like soldiers, complete with basic training and chopper rides into battle with an enemy they dub ‘the beast’. It’s the developing brotherhood among the men, and the sense of community around them, that ultimately juices up the story.

Director Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy) depicts the infernos in dazzling aerial shots that glide over the Arizona forests. But despite the looming peril on display, Kosinski never imbues his movie with a real sense of danger until it’s too late to take the threat seriously. For all of the movie’s flair, Only the Brave lacks a sense of dynamism.

The luxuriantly moustached Brolin is compelling, despite having to do little more than glower. His wife, Jennifer Connelly, has even less heavy lifting to do, save one emotional talk. And the decent cast – including Jeff Bridges – is often reduced to performing via reaction shots. Brolin also serves as a mentor to a new trainee, an underserved Miles Teller, but the blond-rinsed Whiplash actor is left as distanced from the story’s emotional core as the rest of us. 

By: Zachary Shevich



Release details

Release date:
Thursday November 30 2017
134 mins

Cast and crew

Joseph Kosinski
Ken Nolan, Eric Warren Singer
Josh Brolin
Jeff Bridges
Miles Teller
Jennifer Connelly

Users say (1)

3 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

Write a review..ONLY THE BRAVE would be a good double bill with BACKDRAFT. This is a well crafted movie with impressive eye-catching cinematography of epic fires consuming the wide landscape. The ensemble of firefighters are like a close knit family. This is a story more for faith based demographic. Joseph Kosinski as director is a skilled film-making technician. Kosinski next film will be helming the long awaited TOP GUN sequel.