Only the Brave

Rated 5.0

Director Joseph Kosinski and writers Ken Nolan and Eric Warren Singer recount the story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a 20-man crew of firefighters from Prescott, Arizona, 19 of whom died fighting a wildfire in 2013. It’s a harrowing story of heroism and dedication, and the movie does it full justice. A slew of well-known names—Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Connelly, Andie MacDowell, Taylor Kitsch—all but disappear into their sharply drawn characters; this movie looks and feels real on every level, and there’s hardly a cliché to be found. The script is the movie’s main asset, but there’s plenty of credit to go around—to cinematographer Claudio Miranda, to editor Billy Fox, and to the effects technicians who created some of the most terrifying fire scenes ever put on film. J.L.