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The War At Home

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The War At Home

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In a generally successful bid for artistic legitimacy, Emilio Estevez stars in and directs this adaptation of James Duff's play Homefront, the story of a Vietnam veteran forced to confront his past over the course of one Thanksgiving weekend in 1972. Until the disappointingly stagey and overwrought conclusion, The War At Home hides its theatrical origins better than most films, thanks largely to thoughtful performances by Estevez and, as his parents, Kathy Bates and real-life dad Martin Sheen. The film convincingly illustrates the difficulty of readjusting to civilian life after the war. An early scene, in which a fragile-looking Estevez attempts to reconcile with a pre-war ex-girlfriend who says she can't imagine him killing anyone, makes the jarring differences clear. It's the strength of such moments and the believable familial interaction—aside from an under-written sister played by Kimberly Williams—that make The War At Home worth watching, despite its flaws.