Only the Brave

Theatrical Release: October 20, 2017
Only the Brave


Based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of elite firefighters risk everything to protect a town from a historic wildfire.

Dove Review

Only the Brave is about heroism, the ability to change, and about risking everything for a greater cause. This movie is based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, who saved many lives by risking their own on several occasions. This story is particularly poignant and will resonate with many viewers after the catastrophic and deadly wildfires across the West – especially in California – as this film was wrapping production in 2017.

Bolstered by an all-star cast which features Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, and Jennifer Connelly, there are several mini stories within the framework of the picture, including young Brendan McDonough (Miles Teller), who goes from being a drug addict and getting his girlfriend pregnant, to becoming a firefighter and a caring father. The movie employs touching humor at times, as Brendan is called “Donut” as a nickname because he keeps getting zero answers right when he first gets started. But he soon earns the respect of his fellow firefighters. Another storyline features Eric March (Brolin), the supervisor of the Hotshots, and his wife Amanda (Connelly). She wants to be a mother although she and Eric agreed to no kids when they first got married. He doesn’t want to change but she tells him, “Knowing you changed my life. Life is about change.”

The action sequences include several scenes of the squad fighting fires and dealing with setbacks, such as when a helicopter drops a load of water on a backfire that was intentionally set to try to contain the spread of a serious wildfire. The squad from Prescott, Arizona, do themselves proud, especially when they take on a blazing fire in Yarnell, Arizona, about 30 miles from Prescott. The characters are brought to life in this movie—just ordinary guys…ribbing each other, making fun of one another, and yet caring deeply for each other as brothers. And they do extraordinary things.

One of the pluses of the movie is a young firefighter who reads his Bible and tells another man, “It’s good.” However, there is rear male nudity, the smoking of marijuana, and a lot of strong and harsh language in the film, including “GD”, “JC” and the “F” bomb on more than one occasion. We can’t give this one our Dove-Approved Seal, but we can say how proud we are of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. We won’t spoil the ending, but what they gave for others is truly amazing.

Content Description

Faith: A man reads his Bible and says it is a good book.
Integrity: The firefighters care about life and doing the right thing for others; a young man helps provide for the birth of his daughter although he is not married to the mother.
Sex: A few crudities are spoken about having sex; a single girl gets pregnant by her boyfriend; a few couples kiss.
Language: A lot of strong language including "J," "JC," "GD," "F," slang for male and female genitalia; and other uses of strong language throughout the film.
Violence: A near fight as a man jumps on top of another one; the destruction of a lot of trees and lives by the fires without it being graphic; a young man is bitten by a rattler but survives; some blood
Drugs: The smoking of marijuana; a man admits to being addicted to drugs; drinking and bar scenes; beer and the mention of whiskey
Nudity: Rear male nudity in one scene and half a man's rear is seen in another scene; strong cleavage in a scene; a photo of a woman in a bikini is shown; shirtless men in several scenes
Other: Tension between characters; tattoos seen on a few characters; the mention of "Buddha"


Company: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 133 min.
Reviewer: Ed C