My wife and I saw the movie "Act of Valor" last weekend. What a fantastic movie!
Most of the characters in the movie are active duty Navy SEALs, so no, you're not going to get Tom Cruise acting like what he thinks a Navy SEAL would do or say. Just real SEALs showing you what they go through before, during, and after an operation.
This movie is all about what the SEALs really do. Just read what they recently did to rescue hostages from Somalia: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424
In reading the reviews on this site, what accounts for the disconnect between the 30% positive rating by <90 elitist "professional" reviewers and 85% positive rating of 14,000+ members of the general public?
Bias. Pure and simple.
The elites hate to see military heroes portrayed on-screen. They love to see PTSD-crazed maniacs, alcoholics, and wife beaters.
For evidence, just compare the distaste they express about this great action film using real heroes and what they gushed about over the 2009 movie, Brothers (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1213999-brothers/).
For instance, Neil Pond wrote this about Brothers, "A gritty sibling saga offers a strong reinforcement of the reality that, for many returned soldiers, some battle scars never heal." Yet about Act of Valor, he sneers, "Viewers with little appetite for thrill-of-the-kill war games may just decide to let this macho military parade march on by."
See what I mean?
Many of these folks hate the military and would rather spit on a returning Navy SEAL than give him credit for his service and sacrifice.
As one of the 14,000+ non-elitist reviewers, 85% of whom recommend this film, I promise you will enjoy this film, be amazed at their skill, and be truly humbled by the sacrifices made by these truly honorable men.
Please see the movie before it's out of the theaters. Invite some friends. You won't regret it.
It's always a risky proposition to take on a not-so-cheery subject, but this film pulls it off without solely relying on emotions that can be so easily evoked by the serious subject matter.
Generally, a very solid performance by Joseph Gordan-Levitt, though he showed little range until the end. (What a trek for the little boy I remember in 3rd Rock!)
Seth Rogan dips his toe into a more dramatic role, but seems to be the same character in every movie - a grown man who only knows how to think and behave like a 15 year old boy. I hope he one day learns that there is much humor beyond his normal, and tiresome, scatological and pornographic repertoire. Does he really have to smoke weed in every movie?
Never have I seen so much potential when only given one-dimensional characters from which to measure.
Bryce Dall Howard is always beautiful to look at, but I just don't think this was her best performance. (Must Indies always include a struggling artiste character? Indiewood needs to figure out that 99% of the population cannot relate to these insecure, self-indulgent, do-nothing whiners - even if these people make up 99% of the friends of the movie makers.)
In contrast, Anna Kendrick gave a great performance. I bought her character from her first appearance all the way to the end. What a class act she is!
Overall, the movie was good, though the pacing was somewhat plodding.