The Tillman Story – Movie Review

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The Tillman Story

Starring: Pat Tillman, Members of the Tillman Family

Directed by Amir Bar-Lev

Rated: R
Run Time: 94 mins
Genre: Documentary
4.5 frames out of 5

This isn’t the first time there has been a government cover up, but this time they picked the wrong family to do it to.

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the good part of the past decade, we all know about the U.S. involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. The most notable figure to come out of the conflict was a professional football player, that made millions of dollars playing in the NFL, left the life of fame and fortune to go serve his country by enlisting in the United States Army. That man I refer to is Pat Tillman. In this documentary, it recounts the events that lead up to Pat’s death, later noted as by Fratricide (Friendly-fire); his life pre and post fame; the relationship with his friends and family and above all Pat’s character and values.

Before screening this film, I knew a little bit about the events that surrounded the unfortunate circumstances of Tillman’s death. This film does a fantastic job of laying out the facts and gives another side of the story that we as the public were previously unaware of. We all know that the government withholds information and cover-ups in high profile cases are nothing new, but the greatest villain in the story above all else is the media. The News Media walks away with the most egg on their face in this, because it is shown that how the news was presented a few years ago and still today how much information is botched, sensationalized and produced into a pretty packaged all into controlling the public opinion for what ever their end goal may be. It reminded me slightly of the film A Few Good Men and when Jack Nicholson’s character Col. Nathan Jessup’s monologue goes on about they sometimes cover up the details of missions to protect the public. Noone was screaming “You can’t handle the TRUTH!!” but they don’t give us enough credit.

If anything walking away from this, it is a great story about a man that lived for his values and beliefs. Tillman was a human like anyone of else, he just lived, walked and breathed his character and those that knew him accepted and loved him for it. The men that he served with wished they had the “it” factor he had. Tillman was a humble guy that will be remembered for living life with integrity, honor and defending what so many in this world strive for…. Freedom.

Things to watch for: A lot of previously unreleased information about the events pre & post the assault; Heart-warming accounts of the ways how Tillman impacted the interviewee’s life.

Who should see this movie: Fans of Pat Tillman; Anyone that is willing to live life according to their values and stand up for them. Those who want to be inspired; those who fight for freedom

See it in the Theater or Rent it on DVD:
See it & own it. Go thank a solider afterwards.

About Lisa Minzey

Lisa Minzey is Editor in Chief of The Reel She has written for Phoenix Film Foundation, an online contributor for and is known to write a screenplay or 12. She's worked in Hollywood in various forms, but her first love is writing. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

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