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Mormon Moviegoers is a collective of LDS film reviewers helping you to make informed decisions about Hollywood films. It was founded by family counselor Jonathan Decker (of Ask a Mormon Therapist).

WHAT’S ONLY THE BRAVE ABOUT?

The compelling true story of how the Prescott (AZ) Volunteer Fire Department became the Granite Mountain Hotshots, the camaraderie of their brotherhood, and the harrowing fires they fought together.

IS IT ANY GOOD? (GRADE: A-)

Without a doubt the best-directed effort of Joseph Kosinski (Oblivion, Tron: Legacy), Only the Brave succeeds at creating authentic viewing for the audience. Every element feels true to the experience of being a “hotshot” firefighter– from the dialogue amongst the crew to the trials, frustrations and fears of those who work in and around the profession.

There is plenty of action, a surprising amount of levity and humor – one scene, where two single crewmen attempt to care for a baby overnight was particularly hilarious – and a fair share of emotional punch. Although the runtime is a bit long (2 hours, 15 min), the story keeps you fully engaged. The film boasts an all-star cast and the acting is mostly outstanding, especially Josh Brolin as the team’s supervisor. The fire sequences do not disappoint.

IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR FAMILY?

Only the Brave is rated PG-13. There are 3-4 f-words and a medium amount of swearing throughout. There is no sexuality or nudity. However, there are a couple of overtly crude and sexual conversations amongst the crewmen and there is one scene showing a man taking drugs. The rating is largely due to the frightening fire sequences and language. 

ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?

The pain and joy associated with the repentance process (see Enos 1:4-9). Show compassion and withhold judgment on others, allowing them to grow (see Luke 15:11-32). There is no greater love than being willing to sacrifice your life for another (see John 15:13). Much of the film highlights examples of Christlike love, humility, and sacrifice. The conflict resolution and relationship dynamics between Josh Brolin and Jennifer Connelly effectively illustrate the complex love, devotion and change requisite for a healthy marriage.

For movie night recommendations and Gospel discussion guides, order 250 Great Movies for Latter-day Families, available in paperback and Kindle.

Chris Loumeau works as a health care consultant at Leavitt Partners in Salt Lake City, UT. He is married to his sweetheart Christina and has three daughters – London, Brooklyn and Audrey.