Movie Review: The Tillman Story (2011)

He gave his life for this… and THEM?! __ 9/10
Review by Brian Wright

A rerelease of the original review seven years ago, on the threshold of the 2019-20 NFL draft. Let’s keep in mind every time you see the flyovers of military jets at your next football game. — Ed.

Pat Tillman: (per Russell Baer) “I’m Pat Fucking Tillman! I’m Pat Fucking Tillman! Stop shooting! Stop shooting!” (April 2, 2004, Afghanistan)

Pat Tillman, in case you were away, was the former NFL safety who enlisted in the Army to fight terrorism overseas. He was killed in action 4/2/2004, which later was discovered to have been ‘friendly fire.’ The government and military did their best to cover up and contain the truth of what happened to Pat Tillman; this movie lays open the harsh reality.

Screenplay by Mark Monroe
Narrated by Josh Brolin
Directed by Amir Bar-Lev

Pat Tillman … Himself (archive)
Dannie Tillman … Herself (mother)
Russell Baer … Himself (soldier)
Patrick Tillman Sr. … Himself (father)
Philip Kensinger … Himself (General)
Stan Goff … Himself (career soldier)
Jason Parsons … Himself (soldier)
Marie Tillman … Herself (wife)
Richard Tillman … Himself (brother)
Kevin Tillman … Himself (brother)

Stan Goff: [retired soldier, who helped with Dannie’s investigation] I run a blog, so I wrote something about the Tillman case, a commentary piece about perception management aspect of the war. She realized I’d been around: Vietnam, Guatemala, Grenada, El Salvador, Peru, Columbia, Somalia, three assignments with Ranger units, two assignments with the special forces unit, one assignment with the counter-terrorist unit. It wasn’t just that I had experience in Pat’s unit, also that I could sort of help them read the hieroglyphics in that special operations world. Because it is a culture.

Don Rumsfeld: [In memo to subordinate generals after he’s sent a special letter to Tillman thanking him for enlisting.] This Tillman kid is special. We might want to keep an eye on him.

Stan Goff: “‘Pat Tillman’s been killed.’ 45 minutes later, ‘he’s been killed by fratricide. Oh shit, what do we do now?’ Okay, let’s spin this as an heroic action, turn his dead body into a recruiting poster.”

Pat Tillman Sr.: They [the Army] destroyed his helmet, his body armor, his diary, every piece of evidence that could ever be used to determine what happened was eliminated. Continue reading