Lone Survivor (2013)

Lone Survivor (2013)
  • Time: 121 min
  • Genre: Action | Biography | Drama
  • Director: Peter Berg
  • Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Eric Bana, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch


A 4-man SEAL team is sent in to capture or kill a Taliban leader in Afghanistan. They are discovered soon after entering the country so they are forced to fight a futile battle against a superior number of riflemen. One of them manage to contact their military base to send helicopter support but one of the helicopters is shot down effectively ending any hope of their immediate rescue. Most of them are killed leaving a lone survivor. The lone survivor is Marcus Luttrell and he is saved by a local Afghan man before the riflemen find him in the mountains. He is brought to the Afghan man’s village. This is based on the real life Operation Red Wings which happened in 2005.


  • Rarely does a movie that I want to see completely blow me away in how much I like it, this is one of those rare occasions. I never thought I would have such strong feelings and emotions brought out while watching this true story recounted on film. If what was shown on screen was even remotely close to what really happened, hats off to the 4 Seals because what they go through seems unbearable. The pain of several gun shots, falling down a mountain with hard rocks waiting for them at the bottom, while constantly under fire is insane. Also, director Peter Berg chose actors that delivered emotion and fit the roles perfectly. There is a great chemistry between the four main actors and even in the most intense scenes, a few lines make you laugh to lighten the mood a little bit. Mark Wahlberg was unbelievable in this film. Easily one of his best acting jobs he has done in any film. “Lone Survivor” hits home and hits hard with the stunning depiction of war and its strong emotional impact, leaving you on the edge of your seat the entire movie.

  • Mr Wahlberg knows how to make action hits. He’s an action star, but more so, can act. He’s one of the most misjudged actors I’ve ever seen. Here, he’s at his most dramatic best, thick beard and all, surrounded by other fine performers, the underrated Emilie Hirsh, Taylor Kitcsh, and Australia’s own Eric (Chopper) Bana. Here, Wahlberg plays real life, lone survivor, Marcus somebody, part of anti terrorist squad, on a failed mission, due to bad radio connections, but more so a fatal one out of three decision, that soon sees the squad, outnumbered by the Taliban. Outnumbered is a tame word here too. Making the one out of three call, is a tough one too, some of it involving procedure, other parts of it, sparing the safety of the squad. The photography and direction are number one. Some parts of this movie, I warn you are incredibly tense and ugly. Working through story, step by step, in the factual events that occurred, through the real life 2005 incident, the movie comes off as top floor story/filmmaking of this genre. Probably in a couple of ways, it’s better than last years, Zero Dark Thirty. I’ll be honest, as a quality war film, it’s better than I’d thought it’d be. When it opens, I advise you to see it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised, but also by it, being directed by Peter Berg who brought that guilty pleasure-blacker than black comedy, Very Bad Things. Great movie!

  • The career of a US Navy SEAL begins with rigorous training, and it is this training that we see in our first glimpses of this movie. Brief clips and snapshots of intense swimming, lifting, near drowning, and yelling are what first introduces us to the specimens in our country’s military elite forces.
    We then meet our four heroes: Michael Murphy, Danny Dietz, Matt Axelson, and our titular man, Marcus Luttrell. Immediately, it is apparent that the entire unit has developed a deep bond of brotherhood. We see the initiation of a lower-ranking soldier, conversations about wedding gifts for one of the men’s wife, and we hear the Navy SEALs’ mantra.
    Our four men are assigned with a kill/capture mission against a known Taliban leader, and they pass all the checkpoints to their planned location. With communications out of range, the men encounter an unexpected predicament; a group of three goat herders walk right into their position. After capturing the unsuspecting herders, the SEALs face a moral deadlock: should they kill the innocent men and get away safely, or should they let them go and take their chances. They eventually decide to let them go, and the consequences of this decision are encountered within hours. Facing an insurmountable force of Taliban fighters, the SEALs must fight going down a rough mountainside, and the heroism and bravery of these real-life men is soon evident.

    This “based on a true story” film has been pinned as the modern say Saving Private Ryan by some, and I must say that they are not too far off. Though not quite as cinematically impressive as Spielberg’s masterpiece, Lone Survivor is the closest parallel to the representation of the fortitude and valor that has existed in the United States military and always will, and neither film hesitates to show the audience the violence that exists on the field of battle. At the 2014 Academy Awards, Survivor was nominated in a pair of categories (Sound Editing and Sound Mixing), but left empty-handed.
    As one may expect, this film has come under criticism for this same bloodshed shown; mainly because it simply takes place during the United States’ disputed involvement in Afghanistan. Personally, I think that this film is a brilliant portrayal of the soldiers that are fighting in the War on Terror as we speak. It is very hard not to be moved by this film, and I strongly recommend this film to those who want to experience this appreciation. With that said, this still a realistic look into a tense firefight, so the language is harsh and frequent. In defense of this fact, I always respond the same way: the actual soldiers most likely didn’t say, “Gosh darn it,” “shoot”, and “fooey.”

    At some points, there was language that did not seem necessary. I fully advocate using this type of language if it contributes to the characters, but saying the f-word after every couple of words in a sentence is not imperative.

  • Lone Survivor 8/10- I did not know what to think coming into this movie. I have seen so many disappointing war movies I have lost count. Lone Survivor though, was a truly great war film that is probably the best war movie of the past ten years.

    Now, I have no clue if these kind of films are realistic or not since I have never been in any situation remotely like the ones in this movie, but people I know who have been say that this movie is one of the only realistic war movies they have ever seen. That itself is something very rare. For those of you that do not know the plot to the movie, Lone Survivor tells the story of four NAVY SEALS who are tasked to go a mission to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative and are forced to fight for their lives when the mission goes wrong.

    It starts out with footage of NAVY SEALS training and it is amazing to believe all of the stuff they have to do to become biggest badasses in the world. I could not imagine how mentally and physically tough a person could be to go through all of that and all of these actors in Lone Survivor were able to portray these roles very well. Mark Wahlberg, who plays Marcus Luttrell, gave his usual amazing tough guy performance and gives this movie exactly the right character portrayal that it needs. Taylor Kitsch, who plays the leader of the mission Mike Murphy, gave probably the best performance of his career and I am very glad that he is finally is in a successful film. Emile Hirsch, who plays Danny Dietz, gives a good enough performance to make his character memorable enough. Without a doubt, the best performance of the movie was surprisingly by Ben Foster, who play Matt Axelson. He gave his character more life than any of the others. The acting though is not the thing that the audience remembers when they leave the theater.

    For full review and more, http://reviewsbywest.com/lone-survivor–american-hustle.html

  • Lone Survivor is based on a true story about Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg) and his team as they set out on a mission to capture or kill Ahmad Shahd. They are left to fight for their lives when signal to their base is lost and are found surrounded by the enemy. I always love a true story and makes a film more powerful knowing that what you are watching is as close to what happened as you’ll ever really get to see.

    My problem with Lone Survivor is there really isn’t much to it. It took a long while for the action to begin and while they may have attempted to build the tension, I found myself losing concentration. There wasn’t a whole lot of action and it was pretty much a gun fight for about an hour. While this is a true story and it’s amazing to see what these brave men have been through, as a film stand point, it’s a very plain story. Stories such as The Wolf of Wall Street have layers to the story and there is a lot going on. Lone Survivor hasn’t got these layers and mainly focuses on the four men nearly throughout and in reality due to the title is very predictable to what happens.

    If this film was fictional then it would be a bitter disappointment, however due to it being a real story, it’s great to ‘meet’ the characters and while we will never really know how true it all was. It was impressive to see what…
    To read the full review click here.

  • “War is Hell” and director Peter Berg wants to hammer that notion home. I’ve never been a huge fan of his previous work (I didn’t go for the sickening vibe in Very Bad Things nor did I dig the silly plot twist in Hancock), but he comes into his own this time with the nominally accurate, horrifically violent Lone Survivor. In order to compromise his vision, Berg shot “Survivor” with searing, grunge guitar riffs as background music. He also supposedly consulted one of the soldiers who actually fought in the battle scenes this movie depicts (Marcus Luttrell who’s book is the basis for the occurring events, makes a small cameo in the second or third scene, and who’s character is portrayed by star Mark Wahlberg).

    As a limited Christmas Day release that follows four brave souls into the hardening backdrop of Afghanistan’s mountainous forests and boulders, “Survivor” projects relenting, brutal battle sequences that aren’t technically brilliant (like something made by say Steven Spielberg or Terrence Malick) but get the job done. Like I mentioned earlier, watching this thing gave me the feeling that this is as accurate a true story as one director could ever piece together (if you’ve seen the behind the scenes trailer, you’ll know what I mean). The soldiers who all get shot four or five times each (I’m not kidding), are a bunch of tough tough hombres. After all, they were United States Navy SEALs and what you see them go through at the beginning of the proceedings, will make you believe that they can take anything.

    Based on true events that translate into this year’s Black Hawk Down (basically what’s on screen is one long, arduous battle sequence) and featuring a solid amount of storytelling sans the final act, “Survivor” focuses on four foot soldiers who during the War in Afghanistan, become part of a failed mission entitled Operation Red Wings. The four actors who all seem well casted, are played by Ben Foster (Matthew “Axe” Axelson), Emile Hirsch (Danny Dietz), Mark Wahlberg (Marcus Luttrell), and Taylor Kitsch (Michael “Murph” Murphy). While on their mission, they run into an old man, a young child, and a teenager (goat herders and possible Taliban sympathisers). Instead of killing them or tying them up, they feed them back into the population where they tell their own people. This ignites a full-on attack (basically it’s four guys against what seems to be like a hundred enemies) and the film then becomes faithful yet squeamishly savage (enough blood and guts for three such war vehicles). Overall, the two hour running time with a quick introduction of all of its characters, tunefully glides by. Berg directs with a slick proficiency and a no-nonsense approach. If anything, this is his most mature work behind the camera. He’s back in my good graces after seeing the stale fruits of his labor with his tainted, previous directorial outings.

    In essence, I’ve always preferred combat films that are set in different time periods like WWII and Vietnam. Lone Survivor however, makes me believe in the enjoyment of taking in and accepting, the modern day war epic. It’s not cerebral or poetic like say, The Thin Red Line. And it’s not quite Academy friendly like Zero Dark Thirty. It is however, a solid stepping stone in the career of one Peter Berg. His “Survivor” is solid despite being too accurate for its own good. The storytelling fumbles a bit when it wants you to focus on two different plot lines. Is this thing about a failed mission where people lose their lives, or is it about non-Taliban supporters taking a soldier into their care by providing that person with food and shelter? After you view Lone Survivor, it is you the viewer, who has to decide. Either way, I give this shattering, bullet-ridden parka a very high recommendation. It’s your “survival” guide to careful, alert, and triumphantly watchful film making.

    Rating: 3.5 out of 4 stars

    Check out other reviews on my blog: http://www.viewsonfilm.com

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