Earlier this month a research-screening veteran conveyed measured enthusiasm about Joseph Kosinski‘s Granite Mountain (Lionsgate, 9.22), a Peter Berg-style firefighting melodrama based on the real-life Yarnell Hill tragedy of 2013 in which 19 elite firefighters (all from nearby Prescott, Arizona) bought the farm. The worst firefighter tragedy since 9/11.

Pic costars Miles Teller, Ben Hardy (who?), Taylor Kitsch, Jennifer Connelly, Jeff Bridges, Andie McDowell and Josh Brolin.

I half-trust this “measured enthusiasm” guy because he loved Call Me By Your Name, which he saw at Sundance at the same Eccles showing I attended, and because we sat down in Las Vegas couple of days ago and talked about the whole realm.

“It’s average Peter Berg fare in most respects, but emotionally it hit harder than your normal fact-based epic,” he opined. Take this with a grain but he claims that Teller delivers his “best work, a mature and nuanced performance.” (MT is portraying Brendan McDonough, the one member of the 20-man Granite Mountain Hotshots who didn’t die in the blaze.)

“Bridges keeps it going with his underbitten West Texas accent from Hell or High Water, and it never gets old. Jennifer C. has some awesome scenes when she yells and cries…pretty heartbreaking.

“I normally hate films like this, but fuck, this hurt,” he wrote. “This was the first time I’d been in a theater of 500-plus [in which] everybody was visibly moved and audibly sobbing by the finale. It’s a shift to simpler fare for Kosinski, as opposed to his previous future/sci-fi forays (Tron: Legacy, Oblivion). Granite Mountain will probably make a shitload of money. Strong performances, excellent pacing, all-around good movie.”

From Wikipage: “According to the National Fire Protection Association, the Yarnell Hill fire [caused] the greatest loss of life for firefighters in a wildfire since 1933, was the deadliest wildfire of any kind since 1991, and brought about the greatest loss of firefighters in the U.S. since the September 11 attacks.”