Buffalo Soldiers

Rated 3.0 An excellent ensemble cast wrestles some memorable emotional depth and dark humor from director and co-writer Gregor Jordan’s leathery but over-baked military drama. Joaquin Phoenix stars as military clerk Ray Elwood, who is stationed at an American army base in Germany in 1989. He, like most other soldiers in his unit, has joined the service to avoid a prison sentence and has also established himself as a key player on the lucrative local black market. Along comes a new top sergeant (Scott Glenn) with three Vietnam tours of duty under his belt who begins cleaning house on his watch while risk-taking Elwood attempts to seduce the mean and wily veteran’s daughter (Anna Paquin) and bumps heads with an MP who runs a drug ring. This caustic crawl along the underbelly of an army insanely adrift during peacetime is based on a book by Robert O’Connor.