Man Down is a movie that is hard to define. It appears to be a Gulf War movie. It shows a young soldier (Shia LaBeouf) with a family going off to war in Afghanistan. He has a life changing experience while fighting in the Mid-east and after receiving counseling (Gary Oldman plays the military counselor) he's dismissed from the service.
When he returns home it appears that the war has followed him home and he spends all of his days, with his best friend (also a returning vet), searching for his wife and young son. But is this real? Spoiler Alert: the movie has a very powerful message about the mental health issues that returning Gulf war soldiers deal with. I don't want to reveal too much because I don't want to ruin the movie's surprise ending of the film.
There's a huge red flag about this movie. In a season where movie companies release films that have been "on the shelf" for a while, trying to get in a little Oscar buzz for their film, Man Down has been sitting around since 2015. It was shown at the Toronto Film Festival and never saw the light of day after that (until now).
Shia LaBeouf gives a good performance and Gary Oldman is excellent as a military counselor trying to get the real story out of the marine. This movie is rated R for violence and strong language and has a run time of about 90 minutes. The last 30 minutes are the best of the film and it will effect you (in one way or another).
On my "Hollywood Popcorn Scale" I rate this movie a MEDIUM.