The Tillman Story

Rated 4.0

In the wake of his sudden death in Afghanistan and the deluge of lies that followed, Pat Tillman’s status as a football player became so inflated, you’d have thought he was the next Lawrence Taylor. He was little more than a good player on a bad defense, but the truth stopped mattering once he walked away from football to join the military—his symbolic significance eclipsed everything else about Pat Tillman. This sensitive documentary from Amir Bar-Lev (My Kid Could Paint That) attempts to paint a fuller portrait of Tillman, one that departs significantly from the 9/11 warrior patriot embraced by the right wing. Tillman remains an obscure figure, but the film is more successful at outlining the obscene misrepresentation of his “friendly fire” death by the military and the Bush administration, a cover-up so contemptuous the perpetrators didn’t even bother to do a good job.