American expatriate Jon Jost returned to the Pacific northwestthe locale of his shattering Sure Fire (1990) and The Bed You Sleep In (1993)for this 2004 drama about a confused and jobless 26-year-old whose kid brother comes back from Iraq in a body bag. Like the earlier movies, it casts nonprofessional actors as the dysfunctional family members, but apart from the bold and original use of split screen at the beginning, it’s mawkish and unconvincing. I share much of Jost’s anger and despair over the war’s impact on our national health, but he forces his hand by making all the characters unsympathetic fuckups. 104 min. (JR)

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