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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – There’s something about real-life tragedy movies that grip you like no other, and the incredibly powerful story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots in “Only the Brave” is unforgettable.

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The story of the hotshots couldn’t come to the big screen at a more appropriate time.

With the heroic efforts of firefighters being displayed daily in California, “Only the Brave” really hits home.

Most know how the story of the hotshots ends but that shouldn’t dissuade you from seeing the movie. In fact, it should persuade you to watch it, so that you fully understand the magnitude of the loss of life our country endured June 30, 2013.

Nineteen members of the group were killed fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire. It was the greatest loss of life of firefighters since the September 11th attacks.
In “Only the Brave” you get to know the firefighters, putting a face to the victims.

It’s a gripping and emotional ride as you witness what led up to that fateful day in 2013.

This isn’t your run of the mill disaster movie: It’s not just a movie about fighting fires, it’s equal part drama, with an incredibly talented cast. You get to know the firefighters not only as heroes, but also as human beings.

As boss of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, Josh Brolin portrays Superintendent Eric Marsh, a man haunted by his own demons, taking his mind off of life by fighting fires.

Brolin is balanced out by actor Miles Teller (Brendan McDonough) who joins the hotshot crew. McDonough is an ex-junkie recruit looking for a second chance.
Jennifer Connelly adds to a wonderful cast and plays Marsh’s wife Amanda. Though the movie really focuses around the male-dominated hotshot crew, Connelly is forced to hold down the fort while her husband is away.

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She’s a bit brash, but in a movie where battling the harsh elements is king, her will compliments the firefighters who are risking their lives.

“Only the Brave” also stars Jeff Bridges and Andie MacDowell, along with an incredible cast of actors portraying the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

The movie follows the team from their journey as a Type II fire mitigation team, to certification as the first of its kind municipal fire department hotshot crew.

The film ultimately centers on the Yarnell Fire and the events of that fateful and emotional June day.

Fair warning: “Only the Brave” will lead you on a rollercoaster of emotions. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll swell with pride, but hopefully you’ll take away a new appreciation for these brave men, whose heroic actions are far too often taken for granted.

“Only the Brave” is the first movie in a long time I’ve said is a must see.

Not only is it an incredible tribute to the Granite Mountain Hotshots, it’s an honor to their families who they left behind.

What did you think about the movie? Do you plan on seeing it? Let me know:

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