A nicely shot biography of an inherently likable character; the warm and humane Buck Brannaman, the expert horseman who inspired The Horse Whisperer. His way with the animals is fascinating to observe.
Given it's thematic similarities to The Hurt Locker or Restrepo, it would be dangerously easy for viewers to dismiss this topic as old hat, but Hell and Back Again possesses an equally potent emotional gut punch, not to mention an artistic quality that previous Iraq war films have not.
A very interesting account of how peaceful environmental protest degenerated into destructive acts of so-called eco-terrorism. The film is carefully objective, simply presenting the situation and the players to the audience, allowing us to make our own judgements on the many debatable grey areas.
A gripping but upsetting time-capsule version of Chicago at its most horrifying. We actually witness conflicts unfold in front of the camera. At the same time, his film is an inspiration, replenishing our hope with his tactful exposition of the interrupters' own redemptive backstories.
The film avoids ever feeling too clinical or obsessed with the science of the situation. Rather, Marsh bubbles the emotions to the surface of this sobering tale; Not only Nim's emotions, but those of his human teachers and caregivers.
Just missed: Senna