Miles Teller is serious about showing you that he is a serious actor with his second serious role about a serious matter within two weeks. Last week he played a Hot Shot firefighter in "Only the Brave" and now he stars in "Thank You For Your Service" as a returning combat soldier. His previous film before these was "Bleed For This", the hardly seen biopic about boxer Vinny Pazienza.


Usually when an actor gets involved in this many defining roles, he/she is making a bid for a body-of-work Oscar consideration. That's what Matthew McConaughy did when he peeled off "Bernie", "Killer Joe", "The Paperboy", and "Mud" before his Oscar winning role in "Dallas Buyers Club". With Teller, he is simply trying to wash the foul taste of the "Divergent" series, "Fantastic Four", and "War Dogs" from everyone's memory.


As Sgt. Schumann, Teller is a Middle East combat soldier finally returning home to is growing family from a particularly tough tour. One of the guys in his unit caught a bullet in the head and during the rescue, Schuman drops him. Not long after that another guy gets killed when a bomb explodes near their passing HumVee.

Haley Bennett plays his attentive wife and mother of their two children. She begins to notice there is something wrong when he seems to constantly forget they have two children and not just one. But her biggest concern is getting a new job and moving back into their old home.


Returning home with Adam are two other in his unit, Solo (Beulah Koale) and their buddy (played by Joe Cole). But Joe Cole's character comes home to an empty house because his fiance bailed and cleaned him out leaving him alone with his pistol. Solo, isn't too much better. He's been through multiple tours and multiples explosions but can't get a grip on the fact that one in his truck gets cooked alive after a bomb explosion.


PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) has set in and both Solo and Schumann acknowledge it but there are very few resources available to them; the local facility is drastically backed up.


Solo gets involved with a shady arms dealer guy and Schumann finally reconnects with the guy he dropped with the hope he can find some form of redemption. He has relived most of that one particular day, but needs to get pass the entire day, which he shares with Solo.


Teller and Koale turn in magnificent performances as tortured souls. In her brief cameo, Amy Schumer does a great job as the widow of the guy who burned. But is the writing that wins this film.


"Thank You For Your Service" is an effective and touching look at the old saying "War is hell". Writer/director Jason Hall continues to give the gritty background of modern warfare and the toll it takes on everyone.   -- GEOFF BURTON