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Special Forces (2011)

Forces spéciales (original title)
1:52 | Trailer

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A French journalist in Afghanistan is kidnapped by the Taliban.


Stéphane Rybojad


Stéphane Rybojad (adaptation), Michael Cooper (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Diane Kruger ... Elsa
Djimon Hounsou ... Kovax
Benoît Magimel ... Tic-Tac
Denis Ménochet ... Lucas
Raphaël Personnaz ... Elias
Alain Figlarz Alain Figlarz ... Victor
Alain Alivon Alain Alivon ... Marius
Mehdi Nebbou ... Amen
Raz Degan ... Ahmed Zaief
Tchéky Karyo ... Amiral Guezennec
Morjana Alaoui ... Maina
Didier Flamand Didier Flamand ... Jacques Beauregard
Jacques Gallo Jacques Gallo ... Le Pacha
Bernard Allouf Bernard Allouf ... Le President de La Republique
Marine Faure Marine Faure ... La Premier Ministre


In Afghanistan, French journalist Elsa and her colleague Amen are covering the story of Maina, a woman sold to a man when she was a child. Taliban leader Ahmed Zaief abducts Elsa and Amen and tries to force them to read a message to Western governments. The French president sends six Special Force to rescue Elsa who's hidden in a fortress in Pakistan. The team composed of Commander Kovax, Tic-Tac, Lucas, the sniper Elias, Victor and Marius release Elsa and Amen from their imprisonment but lose their radios. Now the group needs to cross the inhospitable land to save their lives with the Taliban chasing them. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Survival. Honor. Sacrifice.


Action | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook




French | English

Release Date:

2 November 2011 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Special Forces See more »

Filming Locations:

Caylus, Tarn-et-Garonne, France See more »


Box Office


€10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,759, 14 October 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$10,759, 14 October 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Marius's character is played by a real Commando Marine of the french navy. He was commando than drill instructor for commando during 22 years. He do not play, his role in this movie is what he did for a long time as R Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket. See more »


While the opening scene is set in Kosovo, the cars have French license plates. See more »


Tic-Tac: One hour of glory beats an eternity of anonymity.
See more »


Written by Dan Donovan, Don Letts and Mick Jones
Performed by Big Audio Dynamite
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Nothing brilliant, but a decent action film
30 June 2012 | by ArgemalucoSee all my reviews

At first sight, it would seem that Special Forces is one of many cheap straight-to-DVD action films. The art of its Blu-Ray box couldn't have been more generic; its title doesn't say too much; and its cast has some famous actors, but none of them is a big star. However, the reality is very different...Special Forces is a polished French production made with enough money to compete with Hollywood films from this type, something which gave it the opportunity of being filmed in spectacular natural settings, employing genuine military hardware, and orchestrate action scenes with high technical and visual values. However, the screenplay from Special Forces has various clichés, and it looks like the one of any typical B-movie we could find on some TV channel at night.

The screenplay from Special Forces is developed through a familiar road, even though with enough deviations in order to keep a moderate suspense and the obligatory melodrama which works in order to humanize the characters with picturesque glimpses to the their nature and occasional details about their personal lives. Sometimes, this "humanization" works, and sometimes, it doesn't, depending on how well it's integrated to the story. For example, we know that one of the soldiers wants to go back home in order to witness his son's birth, and even though that's not a very original reason,it's enough for justifying his impatient attitude and desperate actions; but other characters lack of definition, and as a consequence, they fall into the involuntary anonymity; so, when one of them dies in combat and the film portrays the pain from his colleagues, it's difficult for us to share those emotions, and instead of sadness, we feel a slight boredom.

However, Special Forces kept me generally entertained despite not being a highly memorable film. One of the aspects I most liked from this movie is the way it examines the reasons why the French government would invest so many resources and risk themselves to provoke an international incident in order to rescue a journalist they didn't care about when she was doing her job; and I also liked to see a similar questioning between the soldiers themselves, specially when things start going wrong and it seems that they won't survive the mission...Is it worthy to sacrifice a dozen of loyal soldiers in order to save only one life? Where does the humanitarian mission end and where does the political manipulation begin?

The actors from Special Forces make an adequate work, highlighting Diane Kruger and Djimon Hounsou. The cinematography is excellent, and the action scenes are well filmed. On the negative side, some action sequences look incompatible with the characters' profession. I mean, I'm not an expert in military strategy, but there are some moments which draw the attention for the foolishness these "elite soldiers", who are supposedly trained for any situation, commit. Nevertheless, I had a good time while watching Special Forces, and even though it's not something brilliant, I can give it a moderate recommendation.

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