The Tillman Story

Director: Amir Bar-Lev
Year Released: 2010
Rating: 2.0

Regrettably shallow examination of the death of former NFL player and U.S. Army Ranger Patrick Tillman in Afghanistan by friendly fire and the subsequent cover-up by the Army, who tried to use Tillman as a recruiting symbol and national hero. Bar-Lev gets to the gist of things within the first fifteen minutes, so when it comes to its third act and reveals that the 'man behind the curtain,' the nefarious Donald Rumsfeld, may have had something to do with the initial cover up (claiming that Tillman died at the hands of the Taliban instead of his own men), it can only produce a shrug. It's certainly no shock that the Army - or the government, for that matter - do a considerable amount of fibbing and spin, and again no shock that the Tillman family's pursuit of the truth, though noble, has been met with ... resistance. Tillman himself was full-loaded with bravura and moxie and was more than just a 'dumb jock' (he had wanted to meet with none other than Prof. Chomsky to discuss the war), but the picture gives only a cursory glance at why he left the NFL (and millions) to serve his country: Jon Krakauer wrote a book about Tillman, but apparently the family doesn't like it and Krakauer's (controversial) input is missing from the documentary.