Critic Reviews



Based on 34 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Peculiarly entertaining exercise in bare-bones, Hollywood-style action heroism.
The best I can say is that I was never bored, although I was never overwhelmed, either. There are enough small things to keep it interesting even when many of the big things fail.
Act of Valor is gift-wrapped in patriotism. It was once intended as a recruitment film, and that's how it plays.
It would benefit greatly from having real actors in the major roles. That the bad guys -- who are actors -- are more charismatic is certainly not due to the fact that we are on their side. It's because they know how to make us want to watch.
Act of Valor will likely earn high praise from combat veterans and their families, the way movies like "Fireproof" and "Seven Days in Utopia" resonate with Christians. Civilians, movie critics and certainly pacifists won't be nearly as impressed.
Village Voice
The villains come across as individuals rather more compellingly than do the film's ostensible heroes, mostly mouthpieces for warrior credo recited in voiceover.
The action beats come straight out of the video game "Call of Duty." And when you have real SEALs placed in a picture that lives and dies on the same old first-person-shooter aesthetic, you have a film divided against itself.
It's thin material, to say the least, and manipulative to boot, putting women, children, and a SEAL father-to-be in jeopardy in ways more about servicing cheap thrills than any larger point about the perilous state of the world in 2012.
Act of Valor is like watching the wrestlers in dramas produced by the WWE: They're great at what they do, but being in front of the camera isn't part of that.
Slant Magazine
A movie whose cinematic ineptitude is matched only by its ideological rottenness, Act of Valor features a cast of real-life active-duty Navy SEALS in order to grant the project's us-versus-them geopolitical worldview a sham moral authority.

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