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(2013)

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8/10
Fidelity to the incredible stress of modern warfare
NanoFrog16 March 2014
I was a combat soldier in the Vietnam conflict. The first thing that comes to my mind watching this film was the equipment used by modern soldiers. In Vietnam we had the clothes on our back, just underwear and shirt, pants, boots, and our weapon. Some soldiers wore "flack vests" but where I served with a small unit in the jungles of the south, I never saw that. It was just your weapon and the clothes on your back. As to the story, it raises from the very beginning all sorts of moral questions. The film opens with actual footage of the over the top training and stress imposed on elite fighting units such as the Navy Seals. We see signs right from the beginning of the film that such severe and brutal training regimens set up a trauma and stress situation inside the emotions and lives of soldiers. There is a critical point in the film where the choice to kill "innocent" people or not to kill them changes everything that happens later. A lot of people will argue about what the choice should have been, and how it might have changed the soldiers chances of survival. That moment is a key to understanding what comes after in the film.

Field Command Incompetence. Another issue defined, if not focused upon directly, is how often the field command, Colonels and up, what are called "field" officers, seem to be incompetent, arrogant and often ineffective. Recent published studies of the history of military service of American Generals, for example, show us that the field commanders of armies on the ground is often a tragic disaster.

Emotions. Like many who watched this film, I found the long combat sequence very riveting and yet repulsive, in that they are hard to watch. There are several sequences that caused me to have a strong emotional reaction and I had a lot of tears on my face by the time it was over. There is a point in the film where we see a photo of the soldier who survived (Whalberg's character) with the Afghanistan man who gave him "hospitality" and saved his life at a great cost to his village. It is very well acted by an very talented Middle eastern actor. It is very easy in this film to become angry about the bad people that are represented by the Taliban fighters. It is easy, honestly, to just become very angry about all Muslims everywhere in a film like this. Suddenly, right in the middle of this intensity of revulsion towards "terrorists" there is an incredible emergence of human dignity, beauty, that lifts the film upwards, that changes the whole narrative of the film from soldiers captured inside a desperate fight to stay alive, toward the greatest attributes of human society; that of respect and refuge, of personal honor and dignity even in the face of the most terrible events.

The film was executive produced by Whalberg, who also stars as the "Lone Survivor", and you can see in his performance and from the credits that roll at the end of the film, that he was very invested in this story. While it is a sort of "classic" Hollywood soldier story, the film has many surprises. It is incredibly effective at showing us, using dramatic events, the stress and trauma a modern soldier fighting the "war on terror" endures over a short period of time in their lives, one that leads to suicides and many other problems for our returning veterans; not to mention the villages and lives changed forever in Afghanistan and the other locations where this kind of warfare continues to this day. I think this film does a much better job at showing this dangerous stress than most other films; but this also makes the film hard to watch. This is a very mature film, very violent. The violence is showed inside of an honest context, but viewers should be prepared for a highly emotional and violent film experience.
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7/10
Pure intensity, action, death, and bravery
secondtake22 October 2014
Lone Survivor (2013)

A more-or-less accurate depiction of four highly capable SEAL soldiers dropped into enemy territory in Afghanistan. They were then discovered and attacked by dozens of area Taliban. The recreation is riveting, disturbing in its intensity, and eye-opening. Whatever you feel about the war there, or even about soldiers killing other soldiers, you end up admiring the sheer abilities of these fit, smart, determined men.

And only one survives (this is told in the title). So you go into it knowing it will end badly, and also that one of them (probably Mark Wahlberg, the biggest name here) will make it. If the fighting, which makes up most of the movie in the center core of it, is seemingly endless, that's part of the point. But when it shifts to a local village near the end the tale has another kind of intensity, and a welcome change.

This is straight up action material. It lacks even the layers that other movies with similar settings add (see "The Hurt Locker" for one example). But in a way that makes this distinctive. It moves in linear fashion through time, through the events, and so you barrel along without mental complication to the end. It forces everything on the action, and the realistic portrayal of the unbelievable hardship and pain, and death, that comes along the way.

Check out the overly-long Wikipedia page on this movie for lots of facts about production, and about the liberties they took with the facts. Or just watch the movie knowing that there are the usual permitted changes that dramatization requires. Even as pure fiction the movie has enough kinetic and heroic acts to succeed on its own terms.
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9/10
Tour de Force
kosmasp8 August 2014
The movie is not easy to watch. Right at the beginning you'll some training "videos" (more like footage) from the real people that are depicted in this movie. But it will be apparent a couple of moments later, that there is a lot of Death to follow. It's almost a case of what can go wrong will go wrong. And while there are a lot of other outcomes that this could've taken, decisions had been made, consequences had to be taken (upon).

What really gets you though are not some clichés about soldiers (and I think this stays as much as possible away from them), but the fact, that this feels as real as it can be, without you actually being in a war. Mark Wahlberg and the other actors have to go through a lot, when ... well you know what hits the fence. And it does hit pretty hard. Not for anyone squeamish, this is fraught with tension ...
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10/10
Easily the best War Movie since "Saving Private Ryan" only an actual story.
s-klose13 June 2014
If you read the book and heard the interviews with the actual "lone survivor" you know that this movie got as close to the real events as possible. The 4 actors really gave it their all. Beginning long before shooting when they started their training so they would look realistic. This movie is also the most visceral experience since "Saving Private Ryan". There were falls in this movie that actually hurt more just watching than when I broke my foot 2 years ago. And in the making of you see that crazy stunt people actually did those falls, supposedly without dying. It's of course impossible to spoil this movie given it's title but it's important to note that the guy who helped him risked his whole village for "The Americans" Safety. And he didn't think twice about it. Sometimes we forget that not all of them are Taliban. After all is said and done this is a must see if there ever was one.
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9/10
A realistic high quality action flick with a lack of depth
JaydoDre7 June 2014
Holy sh*t......

You get so many action movies nowadays following familiar formulas that when you watch one of them you know that just when the good guy is about to get overcome by the enemy, the backup arrives and helps him. The formula desensitizes you.

But when a movie is based on a real story, the good guys sometimes do not come. They do not come in an hour; they do not come in a day; and if they come, they are not invincible. Real problems do not follow formulas. Real life is sobering in its beauty and its horror.

Lone Survivor does not have a very original or interesting premise for an action movie. A squad of US navy SEALs is dispatched on an assassination mission. Things do not go as planned.

However, the quality of the cinematography, solid acting and good action is what makes this such a great film.

Out of all the actors getting to play a part not one is bad. Not one fakes it. It feels that everyone is trying to do their best.

The film is also gorgeous. It didn't have to be. It is. The Afghanistan these guys are in is fake because the entire movie was shot in the United States, but it looks authentic and breathtaking.

The action is raw and graphic. Not in a guts-on-the-floor kind of way, but falling-down-a-cliff-side kind of way. Again, you can feel that the people have tried to do a good job. You know how just much they tried? Broken ribs and punctured lungs were involved in the making of this movie.

If there is one problem I have with the film is that it has a self-imposing limit to how big or interesting it can be. It is a story about one military operation and nothing else. No background stories for the characters, no side events, and barely any relationship development. I remember as a kid I was really fascinated by the military ops and wrote a story, as good as I could, about an imaginary mission. Even as I was writing it, I realised that it can never be truly interesting to read because the range of the story is too small. And this film is like that. What's worse, the title of this film gives away the ending. It is basically a giant spoiler.

But it is a testament to the movie's quality that, even though the movie gives almost no background information to the characters, it still managed to really make me care about them. Even with weights on its legs, the film still manages to make such an interesting run.
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5/10
Well meaning but self-conscious post-9/11 war film
Kurtz979122 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I really don't wish to offend anyone with this, but whenever you have a film like "Lone Survivor" that resonates so strongly with the movie going public, it's easy to be labeled a certain way if you don't follow the film's attitude. I respect director Peter Berg's intentions; he wanted to make a film about this group of soldiers performing their duty, what they are trained to do and what so few are capable of, and the consequences of that job. However, I feel like real life soldiers are more humble than this film is subtle.

The film's opening credits feature archive footage of actual Navy SEAL training rituals, which enables the first portion of the film to feel like an extended commercial for the branch, only with movie stars. I wasn't surprised afterward to discover that Berg and his team were given unprecedented access to military resources while making the movie. You have clichéd narration by Mark Wahlberg in the beginning along with some pretty cheesy opening segments that establish our characters. Despite the star power, Ben Foster is the only one that comes off with a lived-in presence, mainly due to his acting ability with not much help from the narrowly minded patriotic script. Once the four man team lands for their mission in the Afghan mountains, the film gets slightly better.

"Lone Survivor" doesn't attempt to answer any big questions, like, what were the soldiers doing there in the first place, or why is the longest war in American history a failure? However, you can't fault the film for this; that is not its aim. Instead, Berg and company boldly attempt to show what it is like to be a Navy SEAL in the field. He creates a visceral portrait that at times really puts you in their shoes and can be hard to watch. There are two separate sequences of the soldiers literally falling off a cliff that made me wince multiple times. But these battle scenes are undermined by too much shaky hand-held camera shots with quick cuts and zooms that can make it hard to understand what's going on.

My biggest problem with the film is the post-rock band Explosions in the Sky doing the musical score. Their instrumental, contemplative and profound music is at odds with the gritty approach the filmmakers take, giving the action a sentimental and over-the-top quality. You only need a few slow motion sequences with their music to understand why people are so taken by the film. Berg used the band to score his 2004 film "Friday Night Lights", which with their score, made high school football look like a matter of life and death. Here, it can almost be played for laughs.

At the end of the day, "Lone Survivor" comes off more like "Act of Valor" in an extended celebration of the branch it depicts, rather than the cold, clinical and procedural approach of a film like "Zero Dark Thirty". The final act of the story is very different from the real life event. My theater erupted in applause when the Taliban villain who loves to behead people gets killed. In real life, there was no such threat on our main character's life once he was taken in by the villagers. With exaggerations like these, and lines like, "You can die for your country, I'm gonna live for mine," the film really doesn't do a good job at being anything other than a feel good and proud patriotic product. And don't get me started on the closing credits, with Peter Gabriel's slow and over-the-top rendition of David Bowie's song "Heroes". Not that there's anything wrong with such a film, but let's not pretend that this is the greatest war film ever made.
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8/10
Lone Survivor - Brutal and touching piece
Palidan40021 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Based on a true story - that is the most haunting part of this film. From the title and story itself, audiences already know what the inevitable ending will be, but through the determination of the four brothers, you can't help but hope for a change in their fates.

At its core, Lone Survivor is an American war film. The team members are heroes, the Taliban are enemies, and the heroes are able to fight on like in video games or movies. For the opening 40 minutes, it is a somewhat cheesy show of soldiers bravado and training, but it works. Incorporating real footage of the Navy Seals mixed with the actors lets viewers feel for the real life persons and their portrayed characters in the film. Soon after though, they are dropped into enemy territory on an operation to take out a Taliban leader. The mission goes awry when they encounter a small group of locals there, and they are faced with the decision of killing them and letting go. From here, the intensity begins to climb. What is the right thing to do? What would you do? Faced with that moral situation, they decide to cut them loose - soon after, Taliban forces are hot on their tail.

The next 40 minutes or so are an action-packed, non-stop brutal war scene. Tension builds as a scope lines up with an enemy head. The shot is fired, blood flies, and the chase begins. With an abundance of slow- mo shots, clear close-ups of kills and wounds, the excellent direction and cinematography provide a painful journey that makes you cringe or tear up the same as the four soldiers. And all of these men in the film play their roles greatly. Just listing them off - Walhberg tough as usual, Hirsch strong and vulnerable, Kitsch pulling off the difficult decisions as leader, and Foster frighteningly embodying cold but caring.

These forty minutes of intensity must be attributed to the whole team and crew though. Beyond the camera work and editing, much of the scenes work well because of the locations, the costuming, the painful makeup and design for all the wounds, the typical and tacky war-epic music. The writing and delivery of lines keep the pacing quick and engaging.

Regardless of the how the majority of the movie is taken, the conclusion of the film is a nice touch and shows - even with the bloody action and cheesiness - what the film's really about: giving the story of these men who served the country. Lone Survivor, while it can be perceived as more American propaganda, still gives a brutal yet touching look at this journey of four brothers through war. Yes, there were tears. RATING: [8/10]
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8/10
Good, but not great.
85122224 March 2014
Greetings from Lithuania.

I read some reviews about "Lone Survivor" where it was mentioned alongside to a "Saving Private Ryan" - you can throw a rock at me if this comes close to "Saving Private Ryan" which is beyond many moons and seas compared to "Lone Survivor".

"Lone Survivor" is good action movie, with some heroic stuff (they definitely couldn't avoid that...), and i know that it's based on real events, thats why i'm giving it 8, because many of things displayed in picture were sadly true, many, but definitely not all. When someone is being killed in this movie (exept for bad guys from Taliban), it's shown in a similar way as Jim Caviezel aka.Jesus was suffering in "The Passion of the Christ" - only true American heroes die like that, not afghans who are more or less just a meat between bullets and Americans in this movie.

Overall, i liked this action picture, the sound design and sound editing were really top notch (no wonder it got 2 Oscar nominations) - you can hear every detail in the forest, every breaking bone (ye, the fall from cliffs scene was gripping). Actors were just OK, nothing special. The gunfight was terrific at least in the beginning of battle, truly terrific sound design and camera work. Later, well, when bad guys were shooting with RPG's every 2 min to our heroes, and they were suffering real good but still were able to do some heroic stuff, the tension was kinda lost.

Overall, 8/10 for me because of good production values and for that it is based on real events.
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8/10
Brutal and realistic, it opens eyes
siderite1 January 2014
If there is one thing that this film will accomplish is to make you feel something. I assure you you will not get bored watching it. Now, what you will feel will no doubt be up to you.

For myself, I felt mostly rage against a botched mission in an ineffective war. Raytheon should be annoyed that a movie about a mission failed primarily because of communication issues showed their red flashy brand on the comms equipment.

I wanted the characters to succeed, to survive, but I could not ignore the fact that they were soldiers being there only to kill an enemy commander. Having all Americans die in slow motion while scores of Taliban died instantly and kind of stupidly didn't help with the empathy. Also showing pictures of dead soldiers with their families with a pathetic American remake of Bowie's Heroes singing in the background at the end of the movie just fueled more rage. People in the field try to carry out their mission and survive, while their deaths become political and mediatic material. I didn't enjoy that.

On the other hand, the fights were realistic, the subject based on real events and, outside the pathetism described above, I did not detect a bias towards one side or the other. You will witness two hours of low tech war in all of its horror and stupidity. The actors also play well, although I like Mark Wahlberg in almost everything he does.

The story, while showing the preparation, courage and resilience of four soldiers in enemy territory, also showed other things, like the logistical blunders that lead to stupid deaths, over-reliance on technology that doesn't really work as you expect and how choices have consequences on the ground that are beyond the ability of normal courts to understand, whether looking from the legal or moral angle.

I liked a lot about the movie how it made you think long after it was over. What would have happened if they just killed the herders? What would have happened if they tied them up, went a bit down, risked a sniper shot at the enemy commander, then just ran? What would have happened if the Pashtuni would have ignored the wounded American or would have killed the Taliban scout force when they came to them? How would the mission have gone if the four guys would have known from the get go that they would be completely alone, with no support or hope for extraction?

Overall, a very emotional movie, two hours long, that shows more a general type of heroism than one with a specific purpose. Nicely directed and acted. A bit over dramatic, but then that's to be expected. Worth watching.
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8/10
Brutal and Realistic
Floated27 January 2015
As many war films have surfaced along the years, Lone Survivor is one of the better depictions of true events. Lone Survivor stands as an outstanding account of bravery and comradeship under fire, with acts of selflessness abounding. And director Berg (Friday Night Lights) could not have presented it more humanistically, or with more compassion for those who gave their lives on a mission that was doomed from the start. As it observes one of the four SEALS originally dropped onto Sawtalo Sar, the rugged mountain near Asadabad where insurgent leader Ahmad Shah was believed to be commanding a large band of Taliban fighters. "No curse," Luttrell replies, "just Afghanistan." But cursed they were, as Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg) and fellow SEALs Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch), Matthew Axelson (Ben Foster) and their leader, Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), encounter nothing but horrible luck after confirming Shah's presence.
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4/10
Heavy Action Like a Sgt. Rock Comic Book - wait for cable
HardToFindMovies12 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I have already seen Lone Survivor and it was not to my liking unfortunately. I feel the film is completely absurd with 4 Americans shooting and killing about 100 Taliban who continue to attack in waves and are slaughtered while the Americans spend about half the film rolling down a mountain and slamming into rocks and trees...the film is based on a false premise of killing 3 goat herders or releasing them...the actual answer is you hold on to them until the exact moment you get safely into the rescue copter and then you let them go. If you have to march miles and miles you take the goat herders with you. If you can't march them any further you tie them to a tree. In addition, the 4 Americans hunker down on a mountain top and don't appear to have any clay-more mines with tripwires. These are normally set up around the perimeter of an area where Americans are hunkered down. The Americans also went into a combat mission with crappy phones...since their cellphones suck it makes the rest of their fancy equipment and diagram drawing of targets seem silly and pointless. The dialog in this film is poorly written but the acting in and of itself is decent with the best work done by Ben Foster. Mark Wahlberg plays it straight and does not try and over-act and gives a good performance overall. In this movie, the Taliban are brainless and have no problem with losing dozens of seasoned fighters in order to try and kill 3-4 Americans. This is a film where every single time the Americans fire a bullet there is a Taliban going down in a large blood splatter and it seems like it takes about 300 Taliban bullets to kill a single American. Yeah right. This film is a propaganda recruitment film for the US military which in and of itself is not such a bad thing. To be clear the US military is filled with heroes fighting for America's freedom everyday....but this film is more like a Sgt. Rock comic book....you have been warned...now go see the film and write your own review!
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10/10
Accurate, schmaccurate
amatrimonials29 March 2014
Some have cast doubts on the verisimilitude of parts of this picture. Of course, those who impugn whether some events really happened or whether they happened the way they are depicted in the movie neither underwent the kind of training Navy S.E.A.Ls do nor did they ever find themselves in circumstances remotely approaching those of the four comrades. We do not know what punishment the human body is truly capable of withstanding until we are put to an extreme test, gods forbid.

All I can say is that, regardless of whether this movie is accurate 100%, 0% or anything in between, it brought me to tears. I can honestly not remember the last time a Hollywood movie did that.

Very moving, very poignant, very touching. For that alone, as well as for keeping me riveted for the whole of two hours (which is quite a feat given my cynical and jaded nature), it deserves unalloyed plaudits.
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1/10
Conduct unbecoming
alcibiades-ej8 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Lone Survivor, the movie, is based on a (supposedly) true story. The source of that story is the book with the same title by Marcus Luttrell, who was indeed the sole survivor of a four-man SEAL team in the mountains of Afghanistan. Endorsing this movie requires ignoring basic military protocols, suspending the laws of physics, and disregarding the capabilities of the human body. The Devil, as always, is in the details.

Love of country and reverence for its armed forces runs deep in the United States. This is as it should be, and is unsurprising. We want to believe in the honor, strength and heroism of our men in battle. It is, therefore, relatively easy for a film maker to successfully appeal to our emotions. For example, in the case of this movie, the Director Peter Berg makes it very painful for the viewer to watch as our men are cut down and fighting till the end; the viewer is also inspired. The emotions squeezed from the audience makes almost irrelevant the actor's craft. Instead, we are preoccupied with the images of our bloodied countrymen fighting for their lives.

This movie further muddies the water about the catastrophe that the SEALs brought down on themselves. Now we have to contend with the movie, the book, and military reality. Most of us will have a grossly distorted view of that reality by way of Schwartzenegger-like movies, or this one, Lone Survivor.

In some ways, this movie improves on realism when compared to Mr. Luttrell's book of fantasies. The Director seems to have found Mr. Luttrell's imaginings too hard to accept. For example:

1. MOVIE: When the Afghan goatherds are taken prisoner, the commanding officer (Lt. Murphy) decisively orders that the prisoners not be killed in cold blood, and sets them free.

Mr. Luttrell says in his book that there was a vote taken on whether to kill the prisoners, and the author plays a starring role--as he does throughout his book--in the final vote to release them.

2. MOVIE: The Lt. Murphy character recognizes that their mission has been compromised and so orders his team to move to higher ground and seek extraction ASAP.

Mr. Luttrell says in his book that his team merely moved a few hundred meters, and continued the mission.

3. MOVIE: Jumping over cliffs was kept to a minimum--two, I think.

Mr. Luttrell describes, in his book, jumping over cliffs and down slopes 6, 7, 8, 9 times or more, with nary a broken bone, and an unsecured weapon close at hand.

Unfortunately, the Director chose to accept Mr. Luttrell's wild (and unsupported) claim of 200 enemy soldiers poised to engage the SEALs. In the movie, the SEAL team actually see 200 armed enemy in the village. Mr. Luttrell, in his book, sees 80-100 enemy directly above his position--and notes each enemy soldier's armament; he later just assumes the estimate of 200 in all. Mr. Luttrell has remarkable observational abilities.

The number of enemy is vastly reduced in the SEALs' own commendations. Furthermore, other very respected sources give the number of enemy as 8- 10. The SEALs placed themselves in a textbook, tactically worst-case position. A single enemy rifleman could have been fatal to one or more members of that SEAL team.

The Afghans in this movie are shown as ambulatory targets, without a hint of soldierly virtue. They know nothing of cover, or how to aim a weapon. Yet, they discovered the precise location of the SEALs, maneuvered on them, and caught them flat-footed.

In both the sanitized version (the movie), and in Mr. Luttrell's book, the SEALs' incompetence and disregard for basic military principles is manifest. War is unforgiving, and the SEALs paid the logical price. We should not forget, too, that their failures cost the lives of 16 other American servicemen. Had Lt. Murphy survived, rather than Mr. Luttrell, he should have been court-martialed.
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10/10
An emotional powerhouse film
trublu2159 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Lone Survivor depicts the failed Operation Red Wings mission in 2005 in which 18 members of the US Armed Forces were killed in action. The film delivers a heavy handed patriotic look inside what happened during those fateful hours. Right off the bat, the film starts with honoring the men and women who serve the United States in the military via a very powerful, if not, melodramatic montage. We then are introduced to Navy SEALs, Marcus, Mike, Axe, and Danny, all played brilliantly by Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, and Ben Foster. The actors in this film exude the necessary chemistry for the audience to really feel these characters as not just characters in the film, but in real life as well. From Wahlberg to Foster, all four leads play their roles very carefully and it pays off especially when we see each of them in peril. With such a connection made in the first slow building hour, we are then dropped into a forty five minute, pulse pounding shootout between a huge Taliban force and four trained Navy SEALs. As the title suggest, the shootout does not end pretty and never even comes close to sugar coating the brutal nature of war. The entire shootout sequence is filled with hard edged moments of brutality, gore and truly gut wrenching scenes. It is by far one of the most heart racing moments in recent cinema and considering the end results, it is very heart wrenching that by the end of it, you feel as if the wind has been knocked out of you. By the end of the film, Lone Survivor makes you really appreciate the freedom you have, a feat that has not yet been achieved in film up until now. This film is as good as Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan, it is absolutely worth seeing on the big screen and I highly recommend it.
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1/10
Lousy on many levels
vinceb-317 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
After viewing Lone Survivor, I was disappointed on many levels. I can handle a bad movie, we pay $10.75 and hope for the best. Lone Survivor, however, is propaganda, and I was insulted by the movie's lack of integrity and general stupidity:

1) Bad guys brandishing weapons traditionally struggle with accuracy in movies. Fine. But these four guys face an onslaught of hundreds of soldiers (many with automatic weapons), fall off multiple steep cliffs, survive direct hits with boulders and trees, yet spring to their feet for another round with the bad guys. Even when struck by bullets, they tough it out and continue to fight on. Look, I have nothing against our Navy Seals and root for them while in battle, but even they must abide by the laws of physics.

2) The underlying message was that our guys are smart and brave, their guys are wicked and stupid. If this were true, the war would have been over ages ago. Incidentally, the makers of the movie were granted full access by the U.S. military.

3) Speaking of which. . .according to the LA Weekly, the producers of Lone Survivor are convicted cocaine dealers and have ties to Russian oil and an alleged contract murder. And while that isn't necessarily an indictment of the movie (for example, I enjoy Polanski movies but realize he's a convicted sex offender) it does give me pause for the movie's motives.

4) The symbolism of the cute little village boy was kind of like, "Oh look, they're not ALL bad. A cute little kid, just like one of ours!"

5) I'm dismayed and frightened to learn how well this movie is faring at the box office. Putting aside its political overtones, this movie is plain lousy: dreadful character development, false New Mexico landscape, overlong and poorly executed battle scenes, and midway through the movie, poof, it gives up on the narrative back at the base.

6) I suspect this movie is for people with yellow "I Support the Troops" bumper stickers. Let's watch our brave boys fight and kick ass, from a safe distance of course. Or hackneyed sports announcers who love to talk about "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here." Calling yourself a patriot, while voting for politicians who would deny health care to a soldier suffering PTSD, a lost limb or worse. If you think that's exaggeration, look it up.

7) One star, but only because zero is not allowed. I am heartened so many others also rated the movie poorly. After all, Lone Survivor isn't a Disney fantasy, and we simply would like better screenplays and realism in our movies. I recently viewed Twelve O'Clock High and was extremely impressed by its portrayal of the brave American men who flew daylight bombing missions against Nazi Germany in World War 2. Here we are 65 years later. . .
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1/10
Godawful agitation for an average American target audience
slg62814 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Four soldiers are taking 30 (thirty) 7.42 caliber AK47 bullets to different body parts, a bullet that tears a limb in half. They keep moving and keep killing dozens of Muslims which blood is sprayed in huge amounts of grape juice. Four Brave soldiers are taking 2 huge falls hitting rocks and trees with heads and spines at high velocities. They keep moving and keep killing dozens of Muslims. Four American Soldiers getting hit by RPG HE rounds. They keep moving and keep killing dozens of Muslims. Four Brave American Soldiers keep killing dozens of Muslims with their godly M16A4s while they literally couldn't be killed by shitty terrible Soviet/Russian weaponry (most reliable and deadly weapons in the world actually).

Yes, this movie is actually that bad. It brings disrespect to the actual soldiers. When a professional in this kind of stuff watches this movie, all he/she can do is laugh at the level of fiction and facepalm at the stupidity of actions.

Lone Survivor is rated 7.8 on IMDb and 90% on RottenTomatoes. This shows the level of intellect and how brainwashed typical American viewer is. The target audience the movie was aimed at.

Mark Wahlberg should take some notes from Matt Damon, when the first is taking part in retarded propaganda for dumb target audience, the latter is bringing water and toilets to Africa, traveling there himself.
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1/10
Propaganda for patriotic violence porn fetishists and imbeciles.
nqsferatuslair31 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I was traumatized by this film. Never in all my years of sitting through war films have I been so offended. I've played Call of Duty games with more authenticity and conscience than this travesty. I expect this level of soulless drivel from Bana and Wallyberg but Foster is going to be yogic flying for the rest of this life and a few reincarnations to make up for this one. Kitsch, well, Battleship looks pretty good in retrospect.

S P O I L E R S (as if there was anything here to spoil)

The story goes something like this. 4 no neck meat-heads try to out macho each other in a vain attempt to keep their homosexuality buried deep in each others closets for half an hr before they are dropped into Afghanistan where they kill a hundred or so Taliban whilst running away, falling down cliffs (on purpose), being shot and blown up until 1 of the 4 is left barely alive and is extracted after being helped by some locals who receive no thanks and will be targeted for doing so (except for Wallyberg, he squeals a few thanks in his prepubescent shallow breath tone before being carted off). These guys make The Terminator look frail.

Actually, that synopsis makes it sound way better than it is. I'm sure there are a bunch of intellectually impaired patriots out there (some on here already) for whom this film will bring a tear to the eye, prompt a swift foot stomp and heel click before an obligatory salute to the stars and stripes. If you breathe through your mouth a lot and think you might be one of them, feel free to imagine an extra 9 stars on my review. For everyone else, this is only worth watching if you're feeling masochistic and want to see how bad it is.
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3/10
As believable as WrestleMania 29
eddie-792-375401 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Let's for a moment abstract away all the blue team good, red team bad stuff and focus on the facts of this movie as we are told them.

In the left corner we have the blue team consisting of 4 guys armed with three M4A1 Carbines and one Mk. 12 Mod 1 Special Purpose Rifle. They each carry a couple of hundred rounds of ammo and some M9 pistols.

In the right corner we have the red team consisting of a couple of hundred guys armed with AKMS, PKMS and type 69 RPGS.

Already things are looking bad for the blue team but things are about to get even worse when we learn that the blue team members consists of guys who will be airdropped into a foreign civil war where team red is currently fighting. They will know nothing about the local customs and language and will have to make their way on foot using only maps and a radio. Their task will be to kill the commander of the red team and get back safely.

Having only this basic information any reasonable man will conclude that team red will wipe out team blue and he will be correct 99 times out of a 100.

What is perhaps more surprising is the amount of damage that this 4 man team is able to cause and absorb. And this is where we leave the realm of the possible and enter the real of WrestleMania.

I would have much preferred the depiction of what probably actually happened. They where spotted, engaged and finally subdued. At least this way we would all have learned a valuable lesson. That being; if the mission sound crazy, it's because it probably is.
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8/10
Lone Survivor- A Brutally Authentic and Nonpartisan Portrayal of the War Time Experience Told Through Peter Berg's Respectful Direction and Honest Screenplay
generationfilm15 November 2013
An undeniable aspect of war, whether or not you make rationalizations on its regrettable purpose or demonize its existence entirely, is that it's an utter hell that tries the mentality and physicality of the courageous men and women who fight in the conflict. Most war films have captured the hellish and nonsensical brutality of war through challenging cinematic portraits, either through the allegorical heart of darkness showcased in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now, the apathetic political influences in Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory, and even in cinema's first triumphant reflections with the adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front. But while all wars impact people there aren't enough films that showcase true examples of wartime heroism which neglects a chance to embrace the humanity in the soldiers who are put into these tumultuous and life threatening circumstances. This is where Peter Berg's ominously titled latest film Lone Survivor differs from the a vast majority of the war film experience because rather than postulating on the reasons or criticisms for war it only seeks to depict the strong links of brotherhood involved in our armed forces ranks through an effective nonpartisan slant. Returning to his attention to detail roots showcased in The Kingdom and leaving behind an unfortunate deviation into the ridiculous with Battleship, Berg has concocted a relatively solid film in Lone Survivor that follows the real life events that happened in 2005 to Navy SEAL Mark Luttrell and his team in the Afghanistan Mountains when a secret operation is compromised. Though the film could have had deeper character development and interaction in the first quarter of the film, an aspect that slightly detriments the overall impact of the picture, its solid and intimate middle core of brutally authentic wartime conflict captured in real time is a technically astounding, emotionally engaging, and definite pulse pounding experience. To the film's creative credit in staying true to the events that transpired it demonstrates that the relentless pummeling of war doesn't always come with the Hollywood convention that is graceful relief giving the film a true experience of modern warfare. Lone Survivor might have its storytelling flaws, mainly due to a conventional structure and some fairly assumed character involvement, but when it erupts into the focused intimacy of soldier bonding amidst the chaotic brutality of battle in the middle of the film it becomes a relatively involving homage to the relentless dedication of spirit within our soldiers.

More on this review: http://wp.me/py8op-Cx; Other reviews: generationfilm.net
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1/10
Extremely bad.
roberthr8 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Completely unrealistic movie. Propaganda film, as the Soviet of fifty years ago. Do not watch! They tried to fix bad image of American soldiers and the things they made ​​in the recent wars and have made some bad mix of Superman and Rambo. People are dropping tens of meters down a rocky mountain, strike with a head in stone but firing unerringly, killing hundreds of opponents, who are naturally evil, dirty and sad examples of human beings. Do you remember the worst war movie you watched? This one is several times worse. I can not believe that anyone could give this movie a positive evaluation. In war, people can overcome their opportunities, especially superbly trained soldiers but there are limits to what the human body can not handle. Header into the rock after tumble at high speed down the mountain is one of them.
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1/10
Frogmen aren't superman but there can be only one
bobbybits10 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Awful. However I enjoy war films that make an impact, showing war for what it is. This film was miles off that mark. Making comedy to please the arena. Rather then actually paying the proper tribute to the fallen with their acts of courage, bravery and valour. There were absolutely no combat tactic's of any real battle significance shown as established.

This film was a machine-gun'slasher, in it Rambo meets Sparta. The frogmen aka sniper-ninja's. Try to fly off of mountainsides a few separate times. Headbutting granite, smacking their necks, backs, limbs into tree's and rocks. When being riddled with .45 calibre rounds from enemy Ak47's. The enemy who engage with superior numbers, die overwhelmingly to single shot kill guns. Even when having many RPG's but not grenades. After the insurgents claim the elevated positions, they can not really create any shrapnel explosions of any kind, even when the frogmen are but a few yards below. The Talibunnies die in numbers to the holy hand grenade, in this propagated comically attempt at heroism. The scenery shown was within a lush forest. I am wondering what part of Afghanistan that region is? Perhaps bordered with Pakistan wouldn't response EVAC been more timely, if being backed by air support or drones? Would the insurgents not have planted IED's and mines where the radius for optics on their stronghold was in location. Despite of arming their goats with cell phones? Alas the frogman's tale is spun on the title, once being peppered with so many bullet holes they eventually. Well....

Action film's could be made with realism when showing specific war events in honour of those that have fallen. Or they are turned into fiction. This is Sparta, NO, not at all..
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4/10
mmmmmmmmm.......
kevin-h-720-453174 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Let me begin by saying IMDb scores should have a equal global point system for each movie and not flooded by American bias voting, OK the movie is OK to a point but be prepared to suspend your disbelief longer than necessary while watching a film that begins with "this is based on a true story".

I would say that this movie has copied at best the Bravo Two Zero Mission story carried out by the SAS in Iraq, dropped behind enemy lines, compromised by goats and herders, duff radio comms,fire fight and escape and evasion format blah blah,,,,It tells of the incredible bravery and resilience of the US Navy SEALS (undoubtedly courageous) who are able to absorb bullets from an AK47 like a roll of Andrex tissue soaking up water droplets with little or no damage, Sorry but any hit from an AK and your DEAD they can throw themselves off near sheer face cliffs at least 50ft, bouncing off every rock without so much as an airline fracture in any bone, all the while resisting shrapnel from RPG's that land constantly two feet away. I would go on but Iam fed up on commenting on propaganda films...
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1/10
Just as well those Taliban can't shoot straight huh?
r-bodley-127 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Or this movie/true story would have ended after 45 minutes, but thankfully for the 'true story' the Tallis could only shoot toes and buttox and elbows and fingers with their Ak-47's and rocket launchers and such and any actual body shots were thankfully not immediately fatal, compared to the headshots popping from the marines left right and centre it just became comical (almost bullet for bullet at one point).

At that rate of accuracy i am amazed there are any Taliban fighters left on that planet with the headshot ratio in regards to bullets fired and headshots acquired, don't think i was ever even that good on Counterstrike back in the day.

I am sure as mentioned by the other reviewers that kit details, camp set out and beards and sunglasses details were very accurate and I am thankful for that aspect of the storytelling, which is what this is storytelling, only truth being is that a bunch of Marines went in and only one came out and as we know from the title at the end of this misery there was a lone survivor so is there any need to even watch it, obviously the lone survivor he can the tale however he likes with as many Marines getting headshots as he needs and he clearly did, unless the producers felt the story needed embellished to keep us watching and are responsible for the headshot count.

I mean no offence to any soldiers out there fighting these corporate wars, out there doing their duty but i see no justification in ever taking a human life, i don't care what religion, colour or creed they hold true, or what they done or didn't do, life is either sacred for all or not at all, it is black and white not shade of grey.

History will look back on this era with shame and we all share it equally, we have global awareness for the first time in human history and we turn a blind eye to the disgraceful behaviour of our political elite and the wars they have us fight in their cause, through inaction we are as much to blame as those who make it happen.

All in this is the worst war film i have ever watched, true story or not.

RIP everyone on both sides who died in the making of this true story(all the human beings, yes that includes The Marines and The Taliban soldiers), my condolences to all your loved ones left behind in pain, don't worry no goats were harmed (just people) in the making of this true story although they are everywhere when the shizer hits the air circulation apparatus the marines were focusing on Taliban headshots and the Taliban fighters (although clearly inhuman as depicted) did not feel the need to slaughter the goats to get to the Marines.
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7/10
Strong aspects make up for the weak ones in this action/war film
Samiam328 May 2017
A unit of four navy seals are staked out on a hill overlooking an Afgan village that they are supposed to lock down. They are spotted by a wandering sheep herder, and are forced to take him hostage. This leads to a well written and acted sequence wherein the four of them fight over whether of not to let him go for fear that he may turn pigeon. They make the best decision they can, but in the end they do get ambushed by the Taliban and have to fight for their lives while fleeing down the mountain until they can get their comms back up

I liked Lone Survivor as action-driven (rather than an insight driven) war film. Like Randall Wallace's We Were Soldiers, war in this film is most a context for a bloody struggle for survival.

Peter Berg does a good job of staging some intense firefights. Hiding behind the cover of trees, as the golden sun creeps through, Berg toys with our sense of distance as the enemy closes in.

Once the bullets start flying, The film really showcases the characters' stamina as they take on more bruises and bullet wounds with each passing minute. And then there is an especially memorable moment where they take a long tumble down a rocky slope accompanied by a crunching sound mix that highlights the force of impact so well that you will probably flinch. As compelling as the fight scene are, they go on a bit too long.

Mark Walberg commands the screen well, but I was more excited about seeing the usually wooden Taylor Kitch finally give a good film performance.

The last act of the movie involves Walberg hiding in the home of an Afghan rebel and his son . These scenes are not as good as the rest because they bring some Afghan politics into the picture but fail to explain them well. Then there is a forced and silly moment where the son gives Walhberg a hug before he hops on a chopper to begin the long trip home.

Peter Berg has a ways to go as a dramatic storyteller, but I think it's safe to say that this may be his best film yet
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1/10
Just Awful
doit61331 December 2013
Warning: Spoilers
So many holes in this plot,incoherent and warbled message, sub par acting makes this just an awful watch, couldn't believe it was ranked 7.5 on IMDb this site is usually more less accurate... the holes I couldn't get over... A. The radio goes out because " the mountain is in the way" so they climb up and it still doesn't work .... no reason given, just hey we cant reach anyone....OK

B. They don't want to kill the shepherds so they come up with 3 options only - the dumbest of which they choose... letting them go and call their friends who then murder all of them....lets seeeeeee, you could have knocked them out and left them there and given yourself more time, tied their feet so it would take them longer to get back and call the "haji's, tie them together...you get the point, so many ways to slow them down instead of letting them go....just dumb.

C. They are on the run and have no where to go...so you think they might do some cool rambo sh*t, go booby trap some c4 and gangster....but instead they jump off a cliff and all live... um lmfao who is writing this crap? oh yea, and then they do the same exact thing again from a higher cliff 5 minutes later...HAHAHA.. I'm surprised they didn't jump off more cliffs and walk it off, this bad movie could have gone on forever....

D. Just some little things like they had no GPS, just running around like idiots not knowing where they going, not being tracked by their officers, they have no translator - and undercover navy seals team in Afghanistan and not one of them speaks one word of the language....The baddies shoot like 20 RPG's in the movie, never hitting anything, then when the copter comes for a pickup...BULLSEYE right through the door...lol nice.

E. So Marky Mark gets saved by some good Afgani's, yay, stupid scene of him trying to talk to them, and a dumb message about karma and how you cant judge people because of where they come from...much better ways to convey this message without a horribly scripted war movie, no thank you.
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