“Superheroes” is a wrenching two-hander about the visible and less visible scars an Iraq vet attempts to live with, after his normal life is transformed into a portable battlefield of pain and regret. Dash Mihok’s top-notch perf as an erstwhile productive member of society and ex-family man reduced to just getting through the day, lends compassionately told tale its engaging moral center. Somber, affecting indie is a conversation-starter for folks who assume getting home in one piece is all that matters. War may be hell, but the personal aftermath can be purgatory.
Ben Patchett (Mihok) forms a wary, tentative friendship with earnest young video-maker Nick Jones (Spencer Treat Clark) at the VA outpatient group Nick tapes for internal use. Sensitive and courteous where Ben is medication-deadened and gruff, Nick agrees to accompany Ben on a change-of-routine vacation from Flushing, N.Y., to an isolated country retreat. Scripter/helmer Alan Brown uses shrapnel — which can remain buried or suddenly surface — as an apt metaphor. Nick’s ex-girlfriend’s strenuous dance rehearsals feel tacked on, but the dicey give and take between the two men draws viewers in and keeps them there.