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12 Strong tells the story of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11; under the leadership of a new captain, the team must work with an Afghan warlord to take down the Taliban.

Director:

Nicolai Fuglsig
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IMDb Spotlight: '12 Strong'

Learn more about our set visit on a hillside in Albuquerque, N.M., where Chris Hemsworth and his co-stars gave us the dirt on their war drama, 12 Strong, as explosives were detonated and horses galloped by. Plus, take a look back at Chris Hemsworth's career on and off the screen.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Hemsworth ... Captain Mitch Nelson
Michael Shannon ... Hal Spencer
Michael Peña ... Sam Diller
Navid Negahban ... Gen. Dostum
Trevante Rhodes ... Ben Milo
Geoff Stults ... Sean Coffers
Thad Luckinbill ... Vern Michaels
Austin Hébert Austin Hébert ... Pat Essex
Austin Stowell ... Fred Falls
Ben O'Toole ... Scott Black
Kenneth Miller ... Kevin Jackson
Kenny Sheard ... Bill Bennett
Jack Kesy ... Charles Jones
Rob Riggle ... Lt. Col. Bowers
William Fichtner ... Colonel Mulholland
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Storyline

The True Story of the Army's Special Forces "Green Berets", who within weeks responded to the 9-11 attack. Green Berets, with the help of the 160th SOAR(A), took over the country and allowed other Special Forces and the rest of the conventional military to begin the more publicly visible war. Written by Oso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

rated R for war violence and language throughout | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Dari | Russian | Spanish | Uzbek

Release Date:

19 January 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Horse Soldiers See more »

Filming Locations:

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,815,025, 21 January 2018, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$45,495,662, 28 March 2018

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$67,033,417, 29 July 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Surround 7.1

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Second collaboration on real-life events among Thad Luckinbill, Kenneth Miller and Geoff Stults, the first being Only the Brave (2017), about the Granite Mountain Hotshots who died in a forest fire. See more »

Goofs

When the SF members are dropping in at night, they all put on PVS14 night vision devices, and you can see a green glow from the front all the way to the eyepiece. This is incorrect because the PVS14 does glow green from the front lens. The idea of NVGs are they take light from the front lens, amplify it and it gives a green image through the eyepiece. You might be able to see the green glow on the operator's eye, depending on the angle you look at him, but you will never be able to see a green glow if you look at NODs from the front. See more »

Quotes

Captain Mitch Nelson: Eddy ya OK? Eddy?
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the closing credits, a photograph of the real team is shown. See more »

Connections

Featured in Conan: Eric McCormack/Rob Riggle/Tom Thakkar (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

The Girls of Rock n Roll
Written by Jay Levy and Terry Shaddick
Performed by Alvin and The Chipmunks
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User Reviews

 
giddyup
19 January 2018 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. During the movie, Afghanistan is referred to as "the graveyard of many empires". Traditionally, January is the graveyard of most new movie releases, so it's a pleasant surprise when we see an entertaining, well-made and historically interesting film, and it's still mid-January! Doug Stanton's book "Horse Soldiers" is the source material for director Nicolai Fuglsig's first feature film, and it's anything but a disappointment.

The film opens on September 11, 2001 and subjects us, yet again, to those horrific images seared into the minds of anyone alive on that day. What most of us didn't know, was that about a month later, a team of U.S. Army Special Forces (the Green Berets) were being dropped into the rough and mostly unfriendly terrain of Afghanistan. This ridiculously courageous team of 12 men had one mission: secure Mazar-i-Sharif to prevent a takeover by the Taliban.

An early scene tells us this won't be the usual blind patriotism we often see on screen. One of the soldiers, Hal Spencer (Michael Shannon), is told (with a bit of anger) by his wife, "I'll love you when you get back." This contrasts to the usual loyal and stiff-upper-lip military wife we see in most war movies. Another wife scrubs the oven rather than snuggle with her man, while yet another coerces a taboo pledge to come home to her.

Chris Hemsworth (THOR) plays Captain Mitch Nelson, the intelligent but not-yet-battle-tested leader of a special ops team. The plan is for Nelson and his team to connect with General Dostum, an Afghan War Lord in charge of the Northern Alliance, and fight together to gain control of Mazar. After arriving at a local outpost nicknamed "The Alamo" (34 miles from town), the team gets their first surprise ... they must split up and cover the ground on horseback. Filmed in New Mexico, the journey is miserable and filled with danger - an ambush could occur at any moment, or perhaps they are being set-up by those they have been ordered to trust.

Horseback riding, caves, the weather, and the elements of the terrain are all challenges, but none of it compares to facing the Taliban forces which number in the thousands, and feature tanks, rocket launchers and an endless supply of weaponry. Director Fuglsig utilizes a "Days in Country" counter so that we can get some semblance of time and ongoing misery being fought through by the Americans. But no day is normal when the soldiers are on horseback while being attacked by tanks. The odds seem insurmountable.

One of the more fascinating aspects of the story and welcome approaches of the film is back-and-forth between Captain Nelson and General Dostum. Initially, Dostum shows little respect by telling the young officer that he lacks "the eyes of a killer" and isn't yet a warrior, and he spends a great deal of time lecturing and philosophizing on Nelson's behalf. Of course, the lessons may be frustrating in the moment, but aren't lost on Nelson as there is a huge payoff at the peak of the key battle.

The battle scenes come in all sizes - small skirmishes and massive, large scale assaults. Each is intense and dramatic and well-staged, though there are some moments where we shake our head in disbelief. At least we do until we remember that this is a true story, and despite that, it is truly unbelievable. The supporting cast includes Michael Pena and his snappy punchlines, Trevante Rhodes (MOONLIGHT), William Fichtner with a shaved head, Elsa Pataky - Hemsworth's real life wife as his screen wife, Taylor Sheridan, Geoff Stults and Jack Kesy. Rob Riggle plays Colonel Max Bowers, who was Riggle's commanding officer when he served in the Marines. The previously mentioned Michael Shannon is a bit underutilized, but the film's best moments are those with Hemsworth and Navid Negahban (as General Dostum). You likely recognize Negahban as Abu Nazir from "Homeland". It's their exchanges that show how the line between allies and enemies is not always crystal clear - even if they are fighting for the same thing.

Writers Peter Craig (THE TOWN) and Ted Tally (Oscar winner for THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS) do a nice job of character development, and the camaraderie of the 12 men of ODA 595 seems authentic - despite some schmaltzy moments over their 23 days of Task Force Dagger. Early on, we are informed that the most important thing to take to war is "a reason why", and then towards the end, Dostum explains that the United States is in a no-win situation: we are cowards if we go, and enemies if we stay. It's chilling commentary on a war that has dragged on much too long ... despite the heroic efforts of the 12 horse soldiers.


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