Rated 2.0

A returning Iraq War hero (Ryan Phillippe), expecting to muster out, instead receives a “stop-loss” order sending him on another tour of duty; he angrily goes AWOL with the girlfriend (Abbie Cornish) of his best friend (Channing Tatum) to seek help from his senator—or maybe to skip over the Canadian border. Setting aside the politics of the war, and the typical Hollywood view of the military as either trigger-happy cowboys or psycho basket cases (or both), and considering the movie simply as drama, it’s pretty much a basket case itself. Written by magazine writer Mark Richard and director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry), the movie offers an effective opening scene of urban combat in Tikrit, after which its two-dimensional characters slide into road-picture inertia with flashes of overwrought melodrama.