“Stop-Loss” stars Ryan Phillippe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Channing Tatum, and many more uprising stars . It’s directed by critically acclaimed movie director Kimberly Pierce (Boys Don’t Cry), who is partially credited for writing the story.

After serving his time and duty in Iraq, dedicated war hero Sgt. Brandon King (Ryan Phillippe) returns to his home in Texas, only to find out that he has been stop-lost. This is a military term meaning the extension of ones service involuntarily. When Sgt. Brandon King hears this, he goes AWOL and escapes in a desperate attempt not to return to Iraq.

Being hailed as an anti-war/pro-soldier drama, “Stop-Loss” is both a powerful and harrowing film. Director Kimberly Pierce does an outstanding job at digging deep for the performances of a lifetime given by both Ryan Phillippe and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The stable performance by Ryan Phillippe is compelling , but the truly riveting act here was dished out by Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the soldier falling apart. I took the time to relish each moment he was on screen, proving to be the best performance of his career and possibly worthy of an Oscar nod.

You know that little box in your head that stores every memorable movie? “Stop-Loss” fits neatly in that box, being one of the top ones you pull out to recommend. It’s the best anti-war movie I have witnessed in my career of viewing movies and is the first must-see drama of the year. The acting is top-notch, especially by Joseph Gordon-Levitt who gives the first perfected performance of his accomplished and growing career. The hand held camera work is used at times to polish the rawness of the film. These are just a few of the things that prove that Kimberly Pierce was born to direct such emotionally effective films like this one. The only thing the film is truly lacking is the praise it so rightfully deserves.

As I looked around at the dead-empty movie theater, I couldn’t help but wonder why nobody is going to see this great movie. If there is one movie to be seen in theaters right now, that movie is “Stop-Loss”. The film is not without it’s flaws, but none of them are clearly noticeable. If you probe hard enough you might find these blemishes, but you will have one hell of a time seeking them out. I was very impressed.