It’s been a long wait for Kimberley Pierce to follow up 1999’s Boys Don’t Cry, but with Stop Loss she succeeds in tackling another serious subject with the same sort of power and poise her last film displayed.

Stop Loss is the name of the US army program designed to keep troop numbers high by ordering soldiers back into combat zones after they’ve already served their tour of duty. When Sgt Brandon King, played by Ryan Phillippe, is stop-lossed he goes AWOL in an attempt to avoid his fate, and the film conjures up a genuine sense of desperation as the net closes in around him, not to mention outrage that he’s found himself in this situation in the first place.

The cast of young, pretty actors and actresses surprisingly provide more grit than glamour, as does the story itself, and while its not a particularly uplifting film, it’s certainly a very good one.You can see a full review over at The Leisure Lab.