Lone Survivor 2013

Critics score:
75 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Christy Lemire, ChristyLemire.com: Ultimately, yes, it does seem to be making an anti-war statement: Here are elite fighters who have given their all in the service of absolutely nothing. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: That these events actually happened doesn't necessarily make it plausible or powerful in a movie, or keep it from seeming like convenient propaganda. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: The visuals are gripping, the sound effects magnificent. But to what end? This is a movie about an irrelevant skirmish that ended in near-total catastrophe, during a war we are not winning. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: Peter Berg's screen version of Marcus Luttrell's book is remarkably good at dramatizing the notorious 2005 Navy SEAL operation that went horrifically bad. Read more

Soren Anderson, Seattle Times: Not since 2001's "Black Hawk Down" has the bloody chaos of war been so graphically portrayed in a Hollywood feature. Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: A scorching, often unbearably brutal account of a June 2005 military mission that claimed the lives of 19 U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan's Kunar province. Read more

A.A. Dowd, AV Club: For all his directorial shortcomings, Berg has a knack for capturing men at work; his depiction of special-ops maneuvering -- of silently casing the enemy base, of planning the attack -- is as compelling as the chaotic violence he orchestrates later. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Berg avoids jingoism. These are men doing their job, one that is unfathomable for most of us. Read more

Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press: The action scenes - basically, one protracted, harrowing firefight - feel as realistic as any we've seen on the screen for some time. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Berg gives us a movingly bullet-chipped plaque of a drama that's good as far as it goes. But it doesn't go far enough anymore. Read more

Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader: This has relatively little to say about why the U.S. armed forces invaded Afghanistan in the first place, but it's effective as genre filmmaking and surprisingly respectful in its depiction of non-Taliban Afghans. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Wahlberg remains one of our most reliable and least actorly of movie stars, innately macho but vulnerable enough to seem like a human being caught in an inhuman situation. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Berg's fine achievement is in relaying that sense of abject danger even as he and his actors honor the utter connection of the men who lost their lives that day. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: It's hard to be all that you can be when you're a corpse. In essence, the film admires the team but exposes the game. And the game is ugly indeed. Read more

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: Berg has made a powerful film and an important reminder of what really happens when we send men and women off to war. It's just too bad that subtlety isn't a stronger weapon in his arsenal. Read more

William Goss, Film.com: The film effectively assaults its audience almost as aggressively as its subjects. Read more

Wesley Morris, Grantland: The film's director, Peter Berg, wants to immerse you so deeply that you feel as if your bones are breaking, too. There's a price, of course, for that kind of immersion: It becomes tough to see the movie for the drum-beating. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: An intense look at 19 American deaths and one survival in a vividly re-created chapter of the fighting in Afghanistan. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: What makes "Lone Survivor" work as well as it does are the human exchanges. Whether friend or foe, the moments feel all too real. Read more

Amy Nicholson, L.A. Weekly: A jingoistic snuff film Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: "Lone Survivor" offers glorification with little characterization. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: The director Peter Berg's exciting and harrowing re-creation of an actual operation that took place in Afghanistan, in 2005. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: This is the sort of bare-bones story that well served plenty of World War II movies once, and it would work here, if Berg had the sense to develop these men as characters, first. Read more

Ella Taylor, NPR: Berg is relentlessly unsparing - in Lone Survivor, we discover what it is like to topple downhill from rock to rock, and what it is like to reach for your gun and find that your hand is missing - but never Tarantino-sadistic. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: It is a modest, competent, effective movie, concerned above all with doing the job of explaining how the job was done. Read more

Michael Sragow, Orange County Register: A virtuoso, brutal rendering of a SEAL team's fight for life in a forbidding patch of Afghanistan. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: A step-by-fateful-step study of human endurance, of desperation, of resolve, and resignation. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Most war films try to be epic in scope and intent. Lone Survivor opts for a smaller focus and succeeds on its own terms. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard Roeper.com: Lone Survivor' hits home and hits hard. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Like the best war movies, Lone Survivor laces action with moral questions that haunt and provoke. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: We might look through the movie toward appreciating what the actual men went through, but that alone can't turn "Lone Survivor" into a satisfying movie experience. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: Lone Survivor's lack of suspense never works against it. If anything, the fact that the outcome is, at least roughly, known in advance only adds to the film's sickening tension ... Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Gripping, unrelenting, brutally proficient moviemaking, a just-the-facts war movie about four Navy SEALS on an Afghan mission gone fatally wrong. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Globe and Mail: The sensation of being pinned down and shot apart is so harrowingly conveyed by Peter Berg's fact-based war movie Lone Survivor that one almost forgives the movie's failure to be quite as persuasive in almost every other respect. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: Lone Survivor comes on like a raised fist. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: Berg sets up the cathartic moments we're used to in movies like this, but then he pulls out the rug, reminding us that the cavalry doesn't always miraculously show up in time to save the day. Read more

Ashley Clark, Time Out: Lone Survivor isn't always sophisticated ... But there's moral complexity and a climax in an Afghan village which is tense and surprisingly moving. Read more

Keith Uhlich, Time Out: Berg may be adhering to the basic facts, but his movie's childish machismo is a disgrace to all involved. Read more

Scott Bowles, USA Today: The story is nothing short of miraculous. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: Lone Survivor is a brutally effective movie, made by people who think that they're serving their country. But they're just making us coarser and more self-centered. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: What's missing here is something, or rather, someone, to care about. Read more