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Thank You for Your Service review – American Sniper writer fires blanks

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Oscar nominee Jason Hall’s directorial debut assembles a strong cast, including Miles Teller and Amy Schumer, yet his tale of PTSD is aimless and ineffective

From war to war, only the proper nouns change. Boys with no idea what they’re in for, barely past schooling age, still get seduced by the promise of military camaraderie and the sense of purpose it affords. The harsh reality of combat still grinds the spirit right out of them – sometimes gradually over a span of months, sometimes in the course of five harrowing minutes – until only a hollow shell remains. And they still bring the battle home with them, forced to reintegrate into a society that doesn’t know what to do with them, and isn’t particularly concerned with figuring that out. These emotional processes haven’t evolved much since humankind first got organized about killing itself, and even more regrettably, neither has the government’s response.

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