PATRICK TILLMAN was a successful NFL linebacker—until, in 2002, he dropped his football career and enlisted in the US Army Rangers. Tillman was later killed while deployed in Afghanistan, and his death created a media bonanza—one that grew even more rampant as it came to light that Tillman wasn't killed in an ambush, as the Army originally claimed, but was instead shot by friendly fire.
The Tillman Story tracks the lives of Tillman's family as they deal with the gut-wrenching ramifications of his death, highlighting the infuriating struggle they undergo in attempting to unravel the incident that caused Tillman's demise (an incident that the family believes has been strategically covered up by both the US Army and government).
Incredibly well crafted, The Tillman Story offers its message without being preachy. While director Amir Bar-Lev's somewhat biased perspective can be distracting at times, it hardly overpowers the important questions this resonant film grapples with—questions about the transparency of war, the hypocrisy of media, the definition of heroism, and the complexities of truth.