Credit: Jacob Yakob / Bleecker Street

The most moving scene in Megan Leavey, Hollywood’s latest big-budget war drama, doesn't take place in the desert, or on the bomb-cratered streets of Ramadi, but rather in a quiet neighborhood in upstate New York. The film’s title character, played by Kate Mara, wakes up in the middle of the night to a loud, wailing sound coming from outside her bedroom window. She’s just returned from Iraq. Half-awake, she stumbles into the yard, where she sees her father walking towards his car. “Don’t open it!” Leavey screams. Her father, confused, tells her the noise is just a car alarm. It takes a moment for Leavey to realize where she is, and that nothing is about to explode. All of the drama unfolds on her face. And that’s it. Scene over.

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