450 of 499 people found the following review helpful
Brutal and intense, writer-director Peter Berg's superb combat film, based on the vivid New York Times bestselling tale of heroism, takes a look at the 19 American deaths - and lone survivor - of an ill-fated incident in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan.
Bloody and poetic, the incredible true story follows four Navy SEALS on a secret mission to kill a Taliban leader when they stumble across a trio of goat herders. The SEALS choose the difficult decision to release and not kill them. That act of mercy is rewarded by a relentless firestorm from at least forty Taliban fighters who quickly surround the four.
Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch) and Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch) are the brave SEALS. Ben Foster and Eric Bana also star. And they do justice to the real men they play - and honor. Berg's smooth direction captures every horrific moment whether it's a bullet's impact or a treacherous fall. We always have a sense of where we are and the camera movement is not frantic but wide-eyed - it's shot in the same way we remember frightening real-life moments. The editing is tight and the performances never seem anything but real. But in the end, it's the big questions that linger. This ambiguity gives heft to this fine film and raises it to a level of meaningful contemporary art, especially with the ironic and satisfying ending that bookends the act of mercy the men showed to the goat herders.
LONE SURVIVOR ranks with and is superior to "Platoon," "Battle of Algiers," "Paths of Glory" and "Saving Private Ryan" in its visceral and moral intensity. But finally, this brilliant film is about our common humanity and not the the hell of war. Over the end credits, there are photos of the real soldiers who sacrificed their lives for what they believed to be a worthy cause. I wept.
207 of 231 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2014
I really can't add anything to the other reviews already on here, but will say that I spent nearly 60 months in Iraq and Afghanistan, both in the Army and as a civilian and am amazed that Hollywood finally nailed it. The realism of the terrain to the early Bagram scene to the SF camp to the villages and villagers was ridiculously authentic; sure Lattrell had alot to do with that. During my time as a civilian over, I worked for and lived with SEALS, Army SF, and MARSOC and those guys are a different breed, Berg and co portrayed this special group of men with precision. The casting was phenomenal, I cannot wait to pick this up when it's released.
241 of 284 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2013
I was one of the lucky ones that got to see an early preview of this movie. Thank you Seal of Honor FB page for the link for the tickets.
Let me start off by saying I was very familiar with this story before I saw the movie having read Lone Survivor book as well as the book by Sofrep on the rescue of Marcus Luttrell. I have read all of the books on Murph. I am so glad this movie was made, so more people can know the sacrifice made by our military and their families.
Let me give you a little background on the premiere I was at - it was packed, people were trying to sneak sit in aisles because every seat in the theater was taken. I was lucky enough to have a group of 7 jack wagons behind me that were very vocal - always a bonus right? They had a comment about most of the people in the theater and especially the girls. Trust me by the time the movie started I knew which cup size they preferred as well as brunettes vs blonde. I was really worried that I was going to end up getting into with them if they were disrespectful in the movie. Guess what, never an issue. This movie was so emotionally wrenching that all I heard from them or really anyone in the audience was an occational, oh F*, or sniffling, yes sniffling. I don't think there was a dry eye in the place. Didn't matter if they were guy's or girls.
You read the book, you visualize it, but you don't visualize how steep that freaking hill was, or how bad it was falling down it. You picture the fire fight, but just can't quite get the overwhelming number they were against. This movie does a great job bringing it to life. You can't really picture how bad the wounds were. I knew it in my head, but seeing it and the fact they keep going is just heart stopping and painful.
Accuracy based on book - Mostly. Rescue of Marcus - a little more Hollywood. So not perfect, but I think what the movie was going for was getting the emotions right. The way I feel if is the families left behind are okay with this movie, I am not going to pick at it. Those are really the only people that have a right to say anything about details.
I loved seeing how the guys interacted before they left, they did a good job of showing how tight knit the team was. It also brought out Matt Axelson and Danny Dietz and showcased them and their bravery. I think more people know about Murph or Marcus, and now they will know about Axe and Danny too. Also everyone on the chopper. The Seals and Night Stalkers.
The worst part of this movie is knowing you are not getting the ending you want. You start hoping for it, you watch the fire fight, you know what is going to happen, and you are still devastated when it does.
When we finally left the movie, there were still people just sitting with tears streaming down their face. So bring Kleenex. Don't let that deter you from seeing it. I think this is the best war film ever made, I especially loved the tribute to all that gave their life at the end. Operation Red Wings is so heartbreaking, I have always said my hero's wear dog tags not jerseys, and I hope more people feel that way after seeing this.
Sorry if this is disjointed, it has been a couple weeks and I am still emotional about it. Maybe dumb, but I get super emotional over our military. I will be going to see this again when it is released and taking my Godsons to it. They need to know what sacrifices are made for our freedoms.
***Strong Language***Blood Spurts (not worse than a video game)***
150 of 178 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2014
Everyone left the theatre in complete awe and silence. I guess that is because we all had our minds blown. This story is one of courage, honor, determination, love, and sacrifice. The characters were all portrayed brilliantly. As someone who is not really into these kind of movies, this one struck a chord with me. Knowing what these men faced gives me a sense of pride for them, their families, and our country. The effects in the movie are quite gruesome to watch. I found that it was mostly realistic. I loved the end especially. It gave the message that there are good people and bad people from every region.
149 of 182 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2014
No movie has gripped me and made me realize there are warriors and heroes among us who have given their lives for God, Country and their fellow man, than these men. I am proud to be an American and will never be able to thank those who have given some and those who have given all for our country! God bless the heroes, whose lives we have come to know because of the Lone Survivor, Marcus Luttrell! God bless you sir and God bless all of those who made that sacrifice in Operation Red Wings. Rest in peace!
34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Lone Survivor brings to life the events of Operation Redwing as first brought to us by Marcus Luttrell in his bestselling book of the same name. The story is well known and has been discussed far and wide for years. The overall theme of the movie is true to the book but there are differences as would be expected from Hollywood. In some respect the movie tones down some of the more difficult and gut wrenching parts of the book like when the name “Marcus” repeatedly gets yelled by his dying friend and fellow warrior. This does not detract from the overall content of the movie and for some viewers it may actually make the movie more palatable and less painful.
I like that the movie begins with real footage of SEAL training and uses pictures of the real SEALs of Operation Redwing throughout the movie in a variety of scenes. Director Peter Berg adds many subtle touches that may go unknown to the casual viewer yet pays tribute to the SEAL community. The actors do a very good job throughout the film and show the camaraderie of SEAL Team 10 and the SEAL community as a whole. While many of these subtleties may go unnoticed they add a personal touch. There is a feeling and a sense that this is not just a movie but that real people are impacted by the events that occur as the result of this operation. The loss of the warriors lost in Operation Redwing touch not only the friends and family of those operations but the nation. It shows that morals and ethics matter and doing what is right is not always easy. Choices have consequences. If these warriors had made a different choice this would be a completely different movie.
If you are looking for the movie to completely follow the book you won’t find it. If you are looking for the movie to leave out the Hollywood factor you won’t find it. What the movie does is a phenomenal job in its ability to show ordinary men who do extraordinary acts. Each of the men in Operation Redwing suffered severe injuries but stayed in the fight and not one time do you see an example of weakness or the feeling that this is too much for them. They are warriors with the best training in the world. Their mindset and actions do not know the words quit or defeat. This movie provides the opportunity to honor the lives of Mike Murphy, Danny Dietz, Matt Axelson, Marcus Luttrell, and all those lost on the Chinook. These men are the essence of character, courage, and commitment.
97 of 121 people found the following review helpful
This grueling R-rated thriller is based on a failed 2005 mission when four SEAL team members were sent to kill or capture a Taliban leader. Director Peter Berg ("Battleship") takes us into the heart of a pretend Afghanistan (actually a stunningly rugged New Mexico) for a white-knuckle experience with all the adrenalin and gunfire that you could possibly expect in a situation like this. We were physically and mentally exhausted before the final credits began to scroll.
If I were to look for a villain, I would point to the communications failures that leaves our quartet stranded in harm's way with no hope of rescue. This movie makes sure we understand what skilled and determined fighters the Taliban has become with their ever more sophisticated weaponry. Our team is painfully aware of the Rules of Engagement, even to their own detriment. This film does NOT trash our military; on the contrary, it shows the superb dedication of our warriors.
* Mark Wahlberg ("2 Guns") is our lone survivor; brace yourself for some bloody self-surgery before any medic is on the scene. (And remember, this is based on a true story!)
* Taylor Kitsch ("Friday Night Lights") makes the tough call that colors the rest of their raid.
* Emile Hirsch ("Prince Avalanche") has a girlfriend who wants an "Arabic" horse. He is told the breed is "Arabian," but he's not sure.
* Ben Foster ("Ain't Them Bodies Saints") votes to "eliminate" those accidental hostages because the team's goal is to prevent more US fatalities.
* Eric Bana ("Closed Circuit") is the capable and dedicated officer in charge of the attempt. It's clear how wisely he plans the strike and how loyal he is to his troops.
* Yousuf Azami ("The Unit") is Ahmad Shahd, the notorious Taliban leader: Brace yourself for at least one beheading.
* I wish I had the name of that big-eyed little boy in the village: He brings the whole sortie down to a personal level.
Expect a lot of profanity (this is a military assault with young men fighting for their lives), confusing action (just like it would be in real life), more blood than I care for (remember the real fellows actually bled real blood!), and the shock when our hero sees Afghani villagers in the fight.
Mark Wahlberg went up a couple of notches in my estimation when he did a well-publicized rant about actors who complain of the hardships they suffer when filming a movie like this. He said (and I'm paraphrasing), "They should try it in REAL life with REAL bullets and NO catered lunch!"
Stay through those final credits as they pay homage to the actual members of SEAL Team 10, complete with names, ranks, family photos, etc. By then, we know which ones are dead. Our pumped screening audience could NOT stop applauding!
32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2014
This amazing film manages to be exciting, horrifying, emotional, and inspiring. It realistically portrays the bravery of our troops as they fight the evil-yes, I said evil-Taliban which enabled Al-Qaeda to plan its murderous attacks on 9-11-01. Amazingly, it also shows the goodness and decency of the regular Afghan people who are also victims of that terrible regime. See it-you won't regret it.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2014
The movie was recommended to me by a number of people from different backgrounds.
Having read many books as well as having seen lots of video material about special forces from all over the world I was familiar with the US navy SEALS and some of their operations in the different conflicts.
Hearing my mentor recommending the movie as it shows what a human body is capable of when you control the mind, I didn’t want to wait any longer and decided to purchase and watch it.
I bought the blu-ray from amazon and when it arrived I took the time to watch it.
The first thing that drew my attention was the soundtrack composed by ‘explosions in the sky’. This already set the state of never give up, keep going and one of the messages of the movie ‘never out of the fight’.
The movie tells the story about the four man SEAL team of operation Red Wings. After their mission gets compromised and the terrain making communication for calling for exfiltration impossible they have to fight for their own lives as well as each other’s life. All for one and one for all.
It’s a story about brotherhood, selfless sacrifice, courage, will to live, never giving up and humanity…
The film was gripping from the very beginning and evoked different strong emotions at different times in the movie.
After watching it I went through the extra’s which tell more about the different team members portrayed in the movie and shows interviews with their family members. It also explains the Marcus Lutrell and the makers intent with making the movie.
The making of with how the actors were trained and how Marcus was involved was also very interesting.
It’s a great movie, which helps to put things into perspective, motivational in a sense. The selfless sacrifice and the bond between the team members…
Highly recommended to anyone who needs motivation, are interested into the sense of brotherhood and the bond amongst the people serving in the SEAL teams as well as the Night stalkers, and last but not least to those who want to contribute and support the families of the fallen SEAL TEAM members and crew of the Chinook.
36 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2014
I really wanted to like this movie. It is based on a compelling true story and is well-staged, with New Mexico standing in for Afghanistan, but I was ultimately disappointed. A recon team of four Navy SEALs, part of what one of them calls "a cursed op[eration]" to assassinate a key Taliban leader, is dropped into the mountains near a remote village. They set up their OP and verify the presence of the target, but then they are discovered by three goat herders. What happens next is a cascading series of questionable decisions on the part of the military that lead to first a tragic running gun battle between the four SEALS and a band of Taliban, and then to the deaths of the team sent to rescue them. It is after this gun battle that the movie really lost me. Instead of following the true and inspiring story of how the lone survivor, Marcus Luttrell, was rescued and protected by some Pashtun villagers, a quiet, life-affirming, true to life ending, the movie embellishes this part of the story with a rah-rah action movie Hollywood climax, where the outnumbered villagers battle the attacking Taliban, while the grievously injured Luttrell somehow manages to engage in an extended fist fight with a would be assassin. Will the cavalry (Apache helicopters) get there in time?