Lone Survivor

"Very Good"

Lone Survivor Review


The title kind of gives away the ending of this harrowing true story, which is worth a look despite its tendency to exaggerate the heroics. But it's also an unusually well-made military thriller that throws us right into the middle of the chaos with visceral filmmaking. And it's impossible to miss the point that these men rely on each other every moment of every day: they certainly can't survive alone.

The events take place in 2005 Afghanistan, where a Navy Seal team is sent into the mountains to find a feared Taliban leader (Azami). These men are like brothers, with Marcus (Wahlberg) leading Mike, Matt and Danny (Kitsch, Foster and Hirsch), under the command of Erik (Bana) back at the base. As they head out on their mission, everything goes to plan until they run into a group of innocent goatherds. Letting them go will compromise their mission, but it's clearly the right thing to do. And this decision sparks an escalating situation that seems increasingly hopeless.

From the very start, we know these Seals aren't normal soldiers: they undergo especially gruelling training and then bond tightly as colleagues, relying on their ruggedness, tenacity and camaraderie. Which of course allows writer-director Berg to portray them as superheroes. This is a problem, because it reduces the Afghans to faceless, murderous villains, at least until the much more complex final act in which an entire village risks its life to save an injured American soldier. And this strikingly moving sequence is the one we remember much more than the chest-pounding patriotism.

Thankfully, the film's performances are grounded all the way through, with Wahlberg and Kitsch providing the tough-guy heroics opposite more engagingly layered work from Foster and Hirsch. There's also a nice turn from Ludwig as a rookie back at the base. And as the events progress, the cast and crew make the most of each heart-stopping sequence with energetic filmmaking and astonishingly bone-crunching stunt work. While these guys might be a bit too macho to identify with, we can't help but be inspired by their dedication and resilience.

Watch 'Lone Survivor' Trailer



Lone Survivor

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 121 mins

In Theaters: Friday 10th January 2014

Box Office USA: $125.1M

Box Office Worldwide: $149.3M

Budget: $50M

Distributed by: Universal Studios

Production compaines: Universal Pictures, Closest to the Hole Productions, Emmett/Furla Films, Envision Entertainment Corporation, Film 44, Foresight Unlimited, Herrick Entertainment, Hollywood Studios International, Leverage Management, Spikings Entertainment, Weed Road Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Fresh: 151 Rotten: 50

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , , , Norton Herrick, Stephen Levinson,

Starring: as Marcus Luttrell, as Mike Murphy, as Danny Dietz, as Matt Axelson, as Shah, Ali Suliman as Gulab, as Lt. Cmdr. Erik S. Kristensen, as Shane Patton, Rich Ting as James Suh, Dan Bilzerian as Healy, as Hasslert, Rick Vargas as Crew Chief, as Peter Musselman, Gregory Rockwood as Chinook Pilot No. 1, Ryan Kay as Chinook Pilot No. 2, Patrick Griffin as Chinook Co-Pilot, as Communication SEAL, as SEAL Lieutenant, David Shepard as CJSOTF Commander, Justin Tade as CJSOTF Marine, Sterling Jones as Bagram Comms Guy, Jason Riggins as 50 Cal Gunner, Matthew Page as Army Intel Guy, Johnny Bautista as Lt. Edwards, Sammy Sheik as Taraq, Nicholas Patel as Goat Boy, Daniel Arroyo as Teenage Goat Boy, Zarin Rahimi as Goat Man, as Gulab's Young Son, Anthony McKenzie as TOC Sr. Air Officer, Brian Call as TOC SEAL, Ishmael Antonio as Doctor, Samuel Cloud as JAG, Perparim 'Peter' Bici as Communication SEAL Perry, Henry Penzi as Villager, Robert Loerke as Captain Jacoby, Kurt Carlson as Captain Lovas, Daniel Fulcoly as Lt. Andrews, Michael P. Herrmann as Wallace, Paul Craig as 'EOD' Paul, Zabiullah Mirzai as Zabi, John Hocker as Hocker, Robert H. Doudell as Village Elder, Hillel Michael Shamam as Angry Villager, Edmund Blanchet as PJ No. 1, Jim Cusic as PJ No. 2, Corey Large as SEAL Captain Kenney (uncredited)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.