REVIEW: Only The Brave (2017) - ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Only The Brave (2017)

Run Time: 134 Mins
Rated: PG-13
What To Expect:  Good visuals, decent story – a tale of manly heroism

Firefighter films are a go-to manly movie niche but they don’t always work out.  For every Backdraft (1991) there is a tepid Ladder 49 (2004).  Ensemble movies don’t always work either, but Only The Brave, the ensemble firefighter movie based on the Yarnell Hill Fire, one of the deadliest in American history, is a surprisingly watchable film. Although it’s a bit clichéd, everyone shows up for work.

Josh Brolin heads the cast as Eric ‘Supe’ Marsh, leader of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, an elite group of firefighters  Also among The Granite Mountain Hotshots are Taylor Kitsch, James Badge Dale and Miles Teller. We follow the group as it grows from a fuels mitigation crew, to a handcrew (Type 2 I/A) in 2004, and ultimately to a hotshot crew — with a little help from Jeff Bridges.  If you aren’t aware of the real life events, it’s probably best to not research them or for me to mention them any further if you intend to watch this one.  It’s easily spoiled.

The film suffers major tropes, for instance Miles Teller’s junkie,  Brendan ‘Donut’ McDonough, fathers an unexpected baby and must get his shit together, so he tries to join the crew.  But Taylor Kitsch’s Chris MacKenzie rides him and tries to block his entrance, making the former prove himself.  From their first encounter, you know where it’s leading.  It’s also a soft rated movie, don’t expect anything ‘R’ here, which might disappoint some.

But some people are criticizing this movie for being too ‘macho’, I don’t know what such people were expecting from a film about hard-bitten fire fighters.  Do they expect men to go up dangerous hills and try to talk the fire down?  The film has (well acted) bravado and I would expect nothing less.  One thing that worried me too, was visual corner cutting.  These days we see too much blue screen; fake car rides, fake helicopter rides, or fake ‘on location’ set pieces.  I was pleased to see that this movie was (mostly) practical.  When the men set out on a Huey, that’s the cast right there on board.  They’re also up there on smoking hills, somewhere… with great cinematography I might add, the film looks as expensive as its cast.

The extras to consider on this DVD release:

• Deleted Scenes
• Feature Audio Commentary with Director Joseph Kosinski and Josh Brolin
• Featurettes:
– “Honoring the Heroes: The True Stories”
– “Behind the Brotherhood: The Characters”
– “Boot Camp: Becoming a Hotshot”
• Dierks Bentley featuring S. Carey’s “Hold The Light” Music Video & Featurette

Overall, it’s a bit long, but never becomes tedious.  The men definitely deserved a film with a good cast.  It’s worth one watch — the fact I did not Google the events beforehand hammered home a good (savior) ending.



  1. Mucho Macho

    March 11, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    Our review of the manly classic “Backdraft”

    • Eric Hutchison

      March 12, 2018 at 12:00 am

      Out of curiosity, did you ever review “Firestorm” with Howie Long?

      • Mucho Macho

        March 12, 2018 at 3:27 am

        No bro I haven’t reviewed it but funny you should mention that movie cause while watching the Superbowl I was talking about it with a friend of mine who doesnt know too much about Football but is a movie fan. Chris Long is Howie Long’s son & he was a part of the Patriots last year & he was a part of the Eagles this year. Howie Long still does football commentary during the pre & post shows through out the season & I pointed him out as Travolta’s henchman from “Broken Arrow” & then we started talking about “Firestorm”. I remember watching it in the theater still.

        I remember Long saying how he wanted to make more movies & shit & people saying maybe he was going to be a new action star but just like Brian Bosworth times were changing & that type of film star was not in demand as a few years before. ” Firestorm” obviously was shit on by critics & was not a box office hit & Long has not been in a starring role again on a big studio movie ( he had a supporting in the underrated “3000 miles to Graceland”) but he aint doing bad BTW,he is one of the former athletes that has done very well for himself, like I wrote he is a top football analyst on TV, he’s doing commercials and his son has won back to back superbowls.

        I like ” Firestorm” & its one of those cool 90s actioners that Hollywood hardly makes anymore. BTW, I think its definetly of a review here & sorry if a wrote a lot but you thankfully gave me something to do while waiting for my girlfriend to get out of the damn bathroom😀👍

        • Eric Hutchison

          March 12, 2018 at 10:53 pm

          No problem on how much you wrote, and I’m glad I gave you something to do! I’m a football fan, and I even remember Howie Long playing when I was a kid, so I was naturally interested when the movie “Firestorm” came out. I had already seen him in “Broken Arrow” and I thought he was pretty good as Travolta’s henchman.

          Speaking of Brian Bosworth, when I first saw “Stone Cold” I thought he was going to be the “next guy” so to speak. He really impressed me for that being his first time acting. That movie caught my interest for a lot of reasons, including the fact that it was set in Mississippi which is where I lived and still live. I was so glad it came out on blu-ray recently, and when I bought it and watched it I realized I still enjoy it as much today as I did back then. Everybody was so good in that, and it had easily one of my favorite performances by Lance Henriksen as Chains.

          Anyway, like you said, Hollywood has unfortunately just about killed off the genre. Now almost everything is a PG-13 movie with a character in a cape.

          • Mucho Macho

            March 13, 2018 at 12:48 am

            *I’m always surprised a tough guy Raider like that always went by the name Howie..LoL
            *Yes BTW,My gf takes forever in the damn bathroom! I’ve fallen asleep waiting for her ass.
            *I was a huge Bosworth fan when I was a kid. I don’t follow college sports like I used to when I was a kid. They don’t stick around long enough for one to get to know a squad ( & I don’t blame them BTW, I would be going pro to get paid) for instance in basketball I remember The Michigan’s” Fab 5″ vs Duke’s Laettner & Hill & in football Bosworth was huge while he played for the Hoosiers. He was a polarising figure but I was a fan. He was built & with the sunglasses & that hairdo to a kid like I was at the time he looked cool…like a cyborg from the future 😂
            I as well thought Bosworth was the next big thing. I was sure of it. & this was still ’91 , I thought he still had some time but it never came to fruition. I fuckin love “Stone Cold” & its a damn fuckin shame more people didn’t take to it. Who knows..had it come out 5 years before maybe it would’ve been a bigger hit & Bosworth would’ve been more in demand afterwards.

            *So how are things in good ol’Mississippi?

          • Eric Hutchison

            March 13, 2018 at 5:56 pm

            I guess things are okay here. Just living life, and trying to do my part to keep this world as manly as possible, LOL. That’s hard to do these days, as I’m sure you know. I really do appreciate this website because you guys are helping to keep alive a huge part of my life by weeding out the garbage and finding the good stuff to watch. I saw so many great movies at the theater when they originally came out, and I miss those days. Movies like those are rarely made now, but Many Movie helps me find them!

          • Mucho Macho

            March 13, 2018 at 10:38 pm

            I hear ya’ bro.
            I remember when movies were cheaper & better in quality. During The Oscars Kimmel made a “joke” about how movies were made to piss off Mike Pence but it really wasn’t that much of a joke. Too much focus on propaganda rather than in quality. Listen back in the day movies like 87’s Robocop had left wing subtexts but at least we got a heck of an all-time action classic. Now there is so much crapola is sad.

            Glad to read you are okay, have fun out there. This site has also become a part of daily life. Takes the mind away from other things u know😀👍

  2. Mucho Macho

    March 11, 2018 at 11:07 pm

    Just saw the movie a few days ago.
    Good movie & the cast was excellent. If you don’t know the story “Google it” after watching this movie. These firefighters are great.

  3. Eric Hutchison

    March 11, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    They think it’s too “macho” because we live in a country now where masculinity is considered evil by the left.

    • Mucho Macho

      March 12, 2018 at 8:19 am

      My name alone just makes some insecure tulips mad…
      Even when I’m been nice😂

    • Jack Caine

      March 12, 2018 at 1:47 pm

      The ‘men’ over at Buzzfeed had their testosterone levels tested a few months back. Here are the results. Beneath are listed the average T-levels according to age group.

      As you can see, the manliest one amongst them has the T of a 100 year old. These are the leftist men of tomorrow. A bunch of emasculated low-T soyboy SJW beta cucks. And the mainstream media is glorifying them.

      • Eric Hutchison

        March 12, 2018 at 10:55 pm

        You’re sadly right. Makes me want to puke.

      • Mucho Macho

        March 13, 2018 at 11:49 am


  4. noahm

    March 12, 2018 at 1:36 am

    Just saw the movie a few days ago.Good movie & the cast was excellent. If you don’t know the story “Google it” after watching this movie. These firefighters are great.

  5. salvador marques

    March 12, 2018 at 7:20 am

    Just saw the movie a few days ago.Good movie & the cast was excellent. If you don’t know the story “Google it” after watching this movie. These firefighters are great.