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Lone Survivor Reviews

Page 1 of 213
Michael S

Super Reviewer

January 8, 2014
"Lone Survivor," from writer/ director Peter Berg, has a technical ferocity that cannot be denied. The film's second half consists mainly of pronged volleys of war carnage; intensity arguably not seen in a Hollywood war production since Ridley Scott's superior "Black Hawk Down." The action is masterfully edited and staged, with award-level sound design. Berg has us tightly in his grasp in the picture's best moments, usually those in which the score is scrapped and we are immersed in the action with little in the way of the usual action movie tropes. While I admire "Lone Survivor" greatly for it's filmmaking and game cast, it's ultimately disappointing that Berg decided to garnish his gritty realism with occaional war movie cliches and hero worship. The way in which the Seals are garishly martyred akin to J.C. in "The Passion of the Christ" in particular is hard to swallow, especially considering the human stance Berg implements through most the picture, it's final stretch in particular. Such detractions are heightened in a good movie that could have been great. To quote Ben Foster's Matt Axelson while looking through the scope of his rifle, "You can die for your country... I'm gonna live for mine." Sometimes action is louder, and less cringe-inducing, than words.
Al S

Super Reviewer

June 7, 2014
This is Director, Peter Berg's true triumph, his most ambitious, thoughtful and breathtaking achievement. A true love letter to the Navy. It's on a par with war films like Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan It's intensely gripping, action-packed and deeply moving. A heart-pounding and exhilarating thrill-ride that does not let up till the final shot is fired. You feel the tension escalate in the story and between the characters wonderfully and is acted superbly. A true powerhouse of a movie that's a riveting celebration of courage and brotherhood. An unforgettable movie that is a must-see. The all-star cast is tremendous and give strong performances and has outstanding chemistry. Mark Wahlberg is riveting. Taylor Kitsch is terrific. Ben Foster is excellent. Emile Hirsch is great. A truly memorable and extraordinary film with tremendous power.
Apeneck F

Super Reviewer

January 14, 2014
Competent if typical war tangle with heavy-handed if subtly played Yankee prejudices and flag waving. One of those films where the heroes get shot multiple times and yet keep going regardless ... and that's only the beginning. There's better.
The Gandiman
The Gandiman

Super Reviewer

May 23, 2014
The surprisingly effective military thriller "Lone Survivor" may wave the American flag a bit aggressively at times, but it delivers a "Saving Private Ryan" meets "Rambo" action saga.
hunterjt13
hunterjt13

Super Reviewer

March 3, 2014
Four soldiers go on a mission in Afghanistan.
Unfortunately, this film is bookended by pure propaganda. The first and last scenes might as well be a recruiting tool for the U.S. Armed Forces, deploying cliches about "pushing yourself" and "duty for country." The actual film is mostly compelling. The third act switches gears, taking the Afghans more seriously as characters than the first two acts, and the film takes on a moral complexity that is missing from the rest of the film.
All the performances are adequate, and the four principals are believable as soldiers.
Overall, this might be a four-star film without the propaganda
Carlos M

Super Reviewer

February 27, 2014
The title and initial scenes make the film quite predictable, but this is compensated by a surprisingly brutal second act with a first-rate sound job. Problem is, Berg is too concerned about making it a brainless pro-troop action movie, something clearer in the stupid third act.
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

February 14, 2014
This movie is intense. Really intense. This is an inspiring, true story of courage, honor, loyalty, compassion, and amazing bravery. It doesn't glorify war, or push a political agenda whatsoever. The acting is great, the music is emotionally jarring, and the action sequences are gut wrenching. Even Mark Wahlberg did a pretty darn good job, which is not something I have said in a long time.
FiLmCrAzY
FiLmCrAzY

Super Reviewer

February 5, 2014
Re-watch is in order however this intense and brutal movie that impacts the pain this go through onto the audience.
A twist in seeing the Afghans in a nicer light in the end, should be on the watch list, emotionally powerful at the end!
Liam G

Super Reviewer

January 31, 2014
Although most of the dramatic beats don't quite work, "Lone Survivor" is a gripping and intense film with extraordinary battle scenes.
c0up
c0up

Super Reviewer

January 20, 2014
'Lone Survivor'. Personal, intense, unrelenting direction by Peter Berg that blew past my modest expectations.

I thought the one, early false step was cutting to the beheading. There was no need for that scene whatsoever. Luckily, it recovered gracefully.

The foreboding is built into the title, marketing and intro, making the quiet moments between the team all the more emotional. I was pleasantly surprised of the turn it took, and the screen time given to the third side in this war that is rarely mentioned.
Dan S

Super Reviewer

January 20, 2014
One of the better war movies made recently, detailing the true events that took place in late 2005 of a Navy SEAL team (Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Taylor Kitsch, and Emile Hirsch) who are sent on a mission to kill a high-ranking Taliban leader. However, when they are discovered by local civilians and reported to the Taliban, they fight for their lives amidst a rough terrain and limited communication with their headquarters. An outstanding movie in almost every respect, directed with intensity and force by Peter Berg about four brave men whose brotherhood was put to the ultimate test. Wahlberg, in one of his better roles, is excellent as Marcus Luttrell, whose journey is absolutely arresting. The twists and turns the movie takes (if you do not know the story already) are handled extremely well, and the final third of the movie in particular is in equal parts shocking as it is heart-breaking. A great, great movie that deserves to be seen thanks to how vividly it portrays these men and how close and dedicated they are to each other.
Phil H

Super Reviewer

January 15, 2014
This film was made by Peter Berg, the same guy who made 'Battleship'!...well I guess that explains the casting of Taylor Kitsch again. Man talk about not learning lessons, Kitsch was the only guy in this film that genuinely didn't fit the bill, next to Wahlberg and Foster it is clear.

This film is based on a real event back in 2005 when the US managed to get some of their military killed...yet again. Four SEAL's are dropped into enemy territory in Afghanistan for surveillance and reconnaissance but are soon discovered by local goat herders. After releasing them the heat is on as the team must evac asap before the Taliban come after them, sure enough they do.

The beginning of the film is very interesting as it shows real footage of real men going through hell to try and become SEAL's. From there on we do get some time to get to know the team that will be our guide through this ordeal, not a lot of time mind you but its enough. There isn't much hanging around as the film moves quickly into the main crux of the film, before you know it we're sneaking around the rocky bush in a mountainous region of Afghanistan.

I'm not gonna sweet talk it but this film is all about the long fightfire between the SEAL's and the Taliban after their mission was compromised. There isn't much else to the film other than that, but what you see is damn intense. At first the small team have everything under control taking down the enemy calmly and smoothly and it makes you feel at ease, it feels like a cool action flick. But bit by bit the team become more and more overrun and seem to be becoming outnumbered as the fight continues. The men are forced to move from spot to spot desperately trying to find good cover to return solid fire and the intensity of the action becomes greater and greater. You are on the edge of your seat the whole time this fight rages on, you know from fact that only one will survive and you know who, but it doesn't detract from the immensely harrowing fight for survival taking place before your eyes, its relentless.

This firefight must be one of the top 'action' sequences I have seen for some years and the fact its based on reality drills it home hard. Seeing these four guys slowly getting battered, bruised, shot and exhausted by the continuous siege of the enemy is sobering to say the least. What really hits you is the decisions they had to make to carry on, the fact they had to jump down cliff faces as they were pushed back. When watching these sequences I did find myself wondering if the film wasn't embellishing on the truth somewhat (only the remaining survivor can really say), its possible but apparently not. The same could be said about each of the SEAL's getting shot various times, it did seem a bit too Hollywood to me, how could these guys be getting shot over and over and still be carrying on?. I have since read the wounds on the SEAL's shown were gotten from medical records and are precise!.

As the story gets deeper we then see how a US MH-47 chopper is blasted out of the sky by an RPG!. Again this is based on reality and happened but you couldn't have scripted it better if you think about it. A terrible set of events but it makes for a thrilling film no doubt and you gotta give Berg and his cast kudos for bringing it across for all to see. I was impressed by both Wahlberg's and Foster's performances here, not just because they are the big names on campus but the clear determination on their faces to bring the horror and realism of the situation to the surface whilst truly honouring the men they portrayed.

It does of course feel very patriot as you would expect with a US military flick and the focus is more on the action in the main battle rather than the characters. One let down of the film being the entire fictional Hollywood finale which wasn't required at all, but rather shows us that all Hollywood is concerned about is the bloodshed and violence in the event and adding more just in case. The whole thing does feel like 'war porn', just seeing these guys shot to bits slowly in a fracas that got out of hand quickly and the US lost, this kind of thing has probably happened many times and we'll never know. The US seem to be very good at messing up their military ops and then making courageous patriotic films about them, cynically saying that is.

Never the less the film is a hard hitting visual and audio spectacle that does manage to convey to us what happened with the majority of the film being truthful. I know it sounds cliched but this is easily 2013's 'Black Hawk Down'. So Mr Berg there you have it, you have found your niche, less 'Battleship' crapola, less Taylor Kitsch and more films like this.
Jan Marc M

Super Reviewer

January 11, 2014
Lone Survivor (2013, USA) is both a bloody and teary war narrative inspired by the very real Operation Red Wings. A horrifying realistic, Lone Survivor argues with the worst and best of humanity. A courageous 9.
Sam B

Super Reviewer

January 3, 2014
A perfectly decent war film that sometimes feels like an oversimplification, sometimes feels like a commercial for the Marines, and sometimes feels like a gore-filled video game.
KJ P

Super Reviewer

January 5, 2014
Genuine in all it's intensity, "Lone Survivor" is one of the most realistic feeling war films I've seen in a few years now. Last last war film to leave me this moved was probably "The Hurt Locker." It may not be the best film of the year, or deserve many Oscar nods, but on a technical scale, the sound and visuals really make you feel like you are in war with these characters. This script has some great dialogue and will definitely motivate some people in the way they think about things, which I highly commend Peter Berg on, especially after his brutal attempt at "Battleship." This film is worth watching as a tribute to the characters that it so greatly represents, and as a film on it's own as well. It's a great story told in a fantastic way, but the way they begin to tell the story gives everything away, which left me knowing everything that was coming next. Highly recommend a viewing if you can ignore the opening of the film.
MANUGINO
MANUGINO

Super Reviewer

December 3, 2013
Live to Tell the Story.

Good War 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 heart pumping, adrenaline filled tension never let's up and you feel every bullet and grenade like you're really there. Obviously certain parts were dramatized but so what? It's a movie deal with it. 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.

Based on the failed mission "Operation Red Wings" which tasked four members of SEAL Team 10 on June 28, 2005 to kill Taliban leader Ahmad Shah. They were quickly compromised and under attack.
TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

January 1, 2014
Peter Berg is one of those directors who can make a good or decent film, but with Lone Survivors, he delivers his best film to date. Based on the failed Navy Seals Operation Red Wings, this is a tense, thrilling war picture that emphasis on drama as well as action. The actors here are very good, and there are a few surprising performances in Taylor Kitsch and Ben Foster. I've enjoyed Foster's work in the past, and here he yet again delivers something good. Kitsch as well delivers and I think that this is the best film he has done yet. Lone Survivor isn't a perfect film, but it's nonetheless a riveting picture that is sure to delight genre fans looking for a well constructed war film. The film has a psychological aspect about it that plunges you deep into the battle, and ordeal of this failed mission. I think that the film is very good for what it tries to do, and it's far better than what most critics have said about it. I've never read the book, and quite frankly, I heard mixed things about it, but for what it is, this is a well made war film with effective performances that stands out, and makes it a constantly entertaining picture that manages to plunge the viewer into special operations behind enemy lines. Berg has some films in the past, and considering that he made Battleship, which was decent, prior to this, Lone Survivor is a better movie by a long shot, and showcases Peter Berg's talents in crafting something, truly engaging and memorable. To me, it's always interesting to see a film like this appear, because special forces operations are very interesting. To those interested in this operation, or Special Forces in general, this is worth seeing even if it's not exactly fully accurate.
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