The 2008 feature “American Son” stars Nick Cannon as Mike, a 19-year-old who joins the Marines to escape a life of dilapidated bungalows, broken cars, dysfunctional families, a drug-addicted older brother and a group of friends who are going nowhere. With his training completed and his unit set to deploy to Iraq, he is given 96 hours to return home for Thanksgiving to say his goodbyes.
He initially tells nobody he’s being sent to Iraq, but when the secret gets out, he must deal with the realities of his imminent deployment along with repercussions among his family, friends and new girlfriend. His mother is furious; his father, a former Marine, berates him; his girlfriend begs him to look for a way out; and his drug-dealing friend is resentful at being left behind in their dead-end hometown. Along the way, he meets a disabled former Marine, wounded in Iraq and suffering from PTSD, who forces him to come to grips with his decision, all the while wearing a T-shirt that reads, “I went to Iraq and all I got was crippled.”
This movie is about relationships, accepting responsibility and how the choices we make affect those around us. A timeless film, it could just as easily be set in 1944 or 1968. It is an American story repeated far too often, in far too many families, for far too many years.
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