McGuire is sent to Afghanistan, and is presumed dead when his helecopter crashes in the middle of nowhere. Feeling remorseful, Gyllenhall starts doing odd jobs for Portman, who is grieving as he (and his friends) do things like assemble a new kitchen for her.
When it turns out that McGuire had been picked up by Afghan rebels, only to be released later, he is flown back to the US where he struggles to reintegrate himself into his family and "normal life." The rest of this film watches this attempt at integration.
The film sort of irritated me, for a couple of reasons. It's set in the upper midwest. I don't think that works for the film. Both brothers came across as a little stiff. If it had been set in Texas say, where they could be more like "good ol' boys," I might have believed them more.
Secondly, I hated the fact that the film seemed to be saying that you need to do something dreadful to get Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. McGuire came back from Afghanistan a broken man, and the film seems to imply that that only happened because of one act he had to do. As far as I'm aware, it doesn't have to be like that, and it irritates me that the film lessens what PTSD sufferers go through, because of that implication.