Lone Survivor [2013] ★★★

lone_survivor“Lone Survivor”, about a Navy Seal team who went behind enemy lines to kill a Taliban leader in Afghanistan in 2005 opened in limited release in December (the official wide opening date was January 10th) to qualify for year-end awards. The fact that the movie collected two Oscar nominations should suggest how good it is. Director Peter Berg (“Friday Night Lights”, “The Kingdom”) takes a powerful approach to the factual material in NAVY SEAL Marcus Luttrell’s book of the same name. The mission was supposed to go smoothly. But it doesn’t take long before the SEALS are ambushed by Taliban forces. Then what? They find themselves in the middle of a deadly battle, vastly outnumbered. Playing real life heroes, the actors —from Mark Wahlberg and Emile Hirsch to Ben Foster and Taylor Kitsch— acquit themselves admirably. This $40 million crowd pleaser is a personal best from director Peter Berg, who stages every ambush and gun battle as if his life depends on it. Forget the few cornball speeches, “Lone Survivor” ignores politics to throw audiences into the pitiless heat of battle. You will be shaken.

Rating: 3/4

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