Lone Survivor: movie review (R)

Film

Action & adventure

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Time Out says

Tue Dec 17 2013

You’d think you could only go up from Battleship. Writer-director Peter Berg’s new pie-eyed paean to the American military, adapted from Marcus Luttrell’s nonfiction book of the same name, chronicles a real-life mission gone wrong—2005’s Operation Red Wings. A four-man Navy SEAL team (Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch and Taylor Kitsch) is dropped into Afghanistan, tasked with assassinating a high-ranking Taliban leader. Unfortunately, these mighty mercenaries are quickly discovered by civilian goatherds, after which things go south very quickly.

Lone Survivor is war porn of the highest order, relishing every bloody bullet hit and Dolby-accentuated bone crunch while trading in the most facile armed-conflict ironies. Berg treats the SEAL team like cartoon symbols of American sacrifice—in one sequence, several of them even roll down the steep side of a cliff like Wile E. Coyote thwarted by jihadist Road Runners. Those evil Afghans, meanwhile, twirl their mustaches plenty in the first act, which of course portends the appearance of a bunch of saintly ones in the third. Berg may be adhering to the basic facts, but his movie’s childish machismo is a disgrace to all involved.

Follow Keith Uhlich on Twitter: @keithuhlich

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Release details

Rated:

R

US release:

Fri Jan 10, 2014

Cast and crew

Director:

Peter Berg

Screenwriter:

Peter Berg

Cast:

Emile Hirsch, Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster, Taylor Kitsch

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:21
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:13
LiveReviews|43
2 people listening

Everything and I mean everything you are able to do and say is attributed to people like these who gave their life for this country. What would the world be like today if the isolationist anti-war movement of World War 2 would have prevailed? Those people who spit on, cursed and called Vietnam Vet cursed baby killers, their where thousands, where are they today? Why don't we hear from them anymore. They where disgusting, those guys took the good of the country and the bad and went and served. Now we have this idiot reviewer with the same mentality. To criticize the movie is one thing, to insult the people who actually died is another. I can guarantee one thing, he was never in the service, never will but will reap the benefits of those who do his whole life and not even feel grateful.A dirtbag of the first order.

Gary Labiche

You are a poor excuse for a man let alone a movie critic! You are the example of the new men in America! Totally pu**yfied and weak!

Whiteboy

Your review sucks.....keep shuffling further to the left...your politicL views cloud your judgement and apparently reviews

Brian

Your review is a disgrace to all concerned. Contumely is the only reaction to a "review" which rather reviews and rehearses your own hate deriving from hatred of country and men who are far, far better than you. And for the matter of that, honest, filmmaking which demands re-examination of PC ROE as well as reminding us on the other side of honorable Afghanis caught in the middle. I would give this zero stars if I could. Luttrell and his brothers are not this country's problems but it's pride and honor. The problem is haters like Uhlich and his farleft ilk.

Julie

Why isn't 0 stars an option for this review? You, Keith Uhlich, are the disgrace.

Tony Vega

Uhlich has certainly lost any credibility as a movie critic that he might have left with anyone that isn't a hate-America-first progressive hate monger. A single star review for a movie that rightly portrays the Navy Seals as exactly what they are - some of the best among us - only demonstrates what Uhlich sees as having a sense of meaning. Who doesn't doubt that his review would be 5 stars if the movie was a poorly directed, poorly acted piece of propaganda about Taliban 'freedom-fighters' fighting against those evil imperialist Americans?

Jarrod

So what you're saying is, watching the story of real men doing real things made you feel as though your existence is empty and meaningless in comparison. So, in your fit of inferiority, you lashed out the only way you can, from behind your word processor.

Joe Schmidt

Childish machismo? Cheezy? Propaganda? I didn't see the movie, i did read the book. I did see the HBO documentary on its making. I retired from the navy after 28 years. I have had some very close experiences with some members. Everyone I met was good people, tough a nails, and from my personal experience SEALs are as 'machismo' as the book portrayed... Mr. Uhlich, should spend some time with those them before he criticizes, to get the truth; I don't think truth is where his interests are held.

John

I found the movie to have good cinematography and the performances were decent. Alas, the movie is indeed propaganda and carries itself as a cheesy action film, complete with groan-inducing stunts that are over dramatized, such as the 4 soldiers jumping in unison to narrowly avoid an RPG or a Taliban soldier spending time beating on Mark (which just happens to give reinforcements just enough time to reach the village) instead of just shooting him. He HAD a freaking AK but instead he punched and kicked Wahlberg around. If he had no ammo, he could've at least smashed his head in with the butt. Those soldiers didn't seem reluctant to shoot the other 3 soldiers back in the mountains... makes no sense. But I guess logic doesn't make for entertainment, which is what this "documentary" was apparently shot for.

Bob Dole

I saw the movie and i didn't like it and i still think this article sucks. He never mentions what his problem is with the movie in detail. His whole review reads like a tagline summary of a real review. I thought the movie was complete propaganda but it wasn't any worse than any other average war film.

CiceroTheLatest

On behalf of civilized humans everywhere, I would like to thank Keith Uhlich and others of his ilk for self identifying as feral human parasites infesting Western Civilization.

T. Moore

Fantastic film. With any luck keith can one day have his head honored on the village tree stump by his raghead comrades. Nothing in this film will ever make sense to someone like little keith.

LeenO

Operation Recycle is a more accurate description of the fundamental misguided Mr Uhlichs fraudulent attempt at a movie review. Reporter Smurf with his quill and paper could have come up with a less flimsy attempt so poorly worded that it would appear to come from a community college ENG 1101 zit faced student. However, bravo to the writer for slipping under the first amendment wet blanket that has been so bravely upheld by beautiful (foreign and domestic) souls of SEAL SFOD-D OGA JTF2 SAS FSK/HJK SOG KSK UDT/SEAL GROM SPETSNAZ and SASR twitter at 954LeenO

Mark ogle

You sir are retarded and do not deserve the reigns of a critic. It's pathetic that you think this movie lacks so much when it goes above and beyond. Please go kill yourself

Robere

"Childish machismo a disgrace".....obviously coming from someone who doesn't understand true warrior masculinity. ......probably never hung out with real men in his life. Probably never been in a fist fight or played competitive sports. Probably from a liberal sheltered background and when confronted with real men and real masculinity he shouts "childish machismo" Keith - the, said to say, now cliché emasculated American male.

J.R. Cortez

The film gets five stars from me. Your review, labeling the SEALs as mercenaries, is disgraceful.

Kevin

This really is a very unusual review. As a critic you are, of course, allowed to dislike a movie, so if you didn't like this one then you certainly shouldn't be attacked by those that disagree with your critical opinion. But your language goes so far beyond the scope of the film that it is jarring. Mercenaries are killers for hire, swearing fealty to the highest bidder. That is why the English language has a distinct word that clearly separates them from a soldier, and certainly from a Navy seal who signs up to serve his country knowing full well his compensation is in the form of Duty served, not dollars paid. Saying that this movie is a disgrace to all involved because of the way it pays the soldiers machismo similarly ignores the basic fact that the movie was made hand in hand with the one person who was actually involved. I assume you would feel ashamed to have told this man to his face that his service and his attempt to honor his fallen comrades we disgraceful, so why do it in a review? I happen to be one of those"anti-war lefties"everyone is accusing you of being, but there is a difference between attacking a policy and attacking person. To attack the person you'd better have a solid basis for believing they've renounced national loyalty, and you'd definitely need to have a damn good reason for accusing the man who experienced these events of creating a disgraceful portrayal of his fallen brothers. The movie sucking doesn't meet the high bar necessary to legitimize the language you've used.

George

Does Keith actually get paid for his drivel? I have a new scale for movies as do many others here. Anything Keith ranks low will be a "must see".

John

I question the quality of Keith Uhlich's work here. A review of all Keith Uhlich's reviews on Metacritic shows he frequently rates movies 10-20 points below or above the average (on a scale of 100). Movies he likes often are 5 starts / 100 points. Movies he doesn't like are 1 star or 20 points. His reviews are frequently short 2-4 paragraphs, with catchy phrasing. He has history of making extreme statements. Perhaps he has no ability see anything other than flaws or gloss....or maybe he is just watching the trailer and not watching the actual movie....

Bill Greaves

The most harrowing, intense, moving and sincere movies about war, friendship, sacrifice and consequences ever made. A riveting, visceral and humbling experience. Required viewing.

mike

I'm not American. I don't support war. I'm familiar with hero movies. This review was disgusting. I can't testify to how accurate it is to actual events because I would never have the courage to be there. However, I don't see any macho b.s. anywhere. Men that put themselves in that position have to have that macho arrogance or they wouldn't be able to do it. This man should never review a movie again. Not for his opinion but for his UN questionable ignorance.

JoeD

I had to check this critic's review because it scored the movie so uncommonly low compared to the majority of others on IMDb. It took me all of about 15 seconds to recognize his agenda: frame it as a caricatured, B-studio war flick with unrealistic action in the hopes other Americans won't go see it. He certainly doesn't want anyone to come away sympathetic of those who lost their lives or were gravely injured. I'd also challenge the notion that he's ever read Luttrell's book. If he had, there's no way he could admit Berg kept the details true, while in the same breath bemoaning the firefight scenes as macho embellishment.

Chris

Keith Uhlich is small time, small man, and small brain. Doesn't have a following and is probably trying to stir up controversy to get more hits/views on his ridiculous "expert" reviews. His writing gives him away, calling Navy SEALs mercenaries, really?!? I actually laughed when I read that and knew that Mr. Uhlich would not be a legitimate critic. (Is that an oxymoron?) Anyways, enjoy the 17 comments, and what, 30-50 views you stirred up. Great work. Lol.

Dan

Have you ever researched the Navy Seals or the training or selection process that you are required to go through if you intend to become one? I think not, otherwise you wouldn't be so quick to label them mercenaries or ridicule the actions happening in the movie. These men were selected because they have the drive, ambition, willpower or whatever you want to call it to get through and survive despite impossible odds. It is said that the average SEAL can do ten times the amount of work as the average human being, and I believe it so. No, I think you are angry because this looks like another Act of Valor to you. Obviously you, haven't given enough interest to do your own research into these unique individuals and thus you have no idea what it takes to do what these men do, or endure what they can. Go eat a d*** and continue writing whatever goofy nonsense you normally put up.

Monika

I have just seen the movie and have read the book as well and from the review I believe Mr. Uhlich has either not understood the concept of the movie at all or slept through it, otherwise I can´t understand how could he have written such poor quality review. One can disagree with the concept of war as such or war in Afganistan, but to disrespect in such a fashion as Mr. Uhlich did in his review the SEALS sacrificies, that the movie is obviously trying to portray as realistically as possible, is disgusting.

Sparty1

I came on to this sight to read a "honest" review of this true story of war and fraternity. TimeOut should be replaced with ComingOut. Because you are out of the closet as to your political views and inability to recognize the difference between a movie reflecting actual acts of heroism and a cartoon. Shame on you sir, shame on you. Sparty

CTP

dc-you're an idiot. Nobody is saying that this movie is anything close to being Oscar worthy. Peter Berg made this movie with the intent of keeping it as accurate as possible. That's why he had the "Lone Survivor" on set with actors every single day...along with many other NAVY SEALS. He wanted to make a movie that would play tribute to what we go through every day. He didn't have the intention of seeing Oscars with this movie. He wanted the story to be seen by all of us AMERICANS. Simply the story, as accurately as it could be shown. We know the critics job is to focus on the movie. However, it is quite possible they get to involved with critiquing and focus less on the overall point. And don't bring up HALO jumps or anything that a SEAL says unless you've walked a second in those shoes.

T Paramore

You're review is a travesty. This movie is a message about the real life struggles, heroism, and survival of an elite team that puts it's life in the line for your your country. You should be ashamed.

dc

Having read the book, the movie is not that great. You people screaming about liberal lefties need to be quiet. He's reviewing the MOVIE! its not an insult to anyone's memory because he didn't like it. Wahlburg is not a great actor. The story is very hyper-action pro USA and you can't deny it. So if one doesn't like it, it doesn't make them anti-American. Similar to Act of Valor, you could guess at scenes (navy seal HALO jump anyone) or SEALs yelling "Go go go!" I would only peg the movie as a run of the mill action movie if not for the fact it is based on a true story.

joe

Those who read the book should've guessed how lefties would react. This review is a disgrace, go serve like these Heroes did and then you MIGHT have some credibility. For Shame!

Tippi

It may be inconvenient for Mr. Ulrich that this true story included several bone crunching rolls down a mountain side. He may want to stick to reviewing Roadrunner cartoons if he is looking for material that will not offend his personal political sensibilities. As an honoree receiving the Medal of Honor for his actions Michael Murphy should not be compared to wily coyote and has been vetted as a hero deserving our nations highest military honor. Mr. Ulrich would serve us best by finding a college newspaper in which to vent his jejune parsings about film suitable more for coffee shops and hand rolled cigarettes than serious criticism.

Joseph

I hope this guy isn't getting paid for this because he's garbage. He's calls em mercenaries in the first paragraph so you know this ill informed uneducated "review" is massively politically based. You and your opinion are dismissed.

Richard M

Have you read the book? Your review is insulting and disrespectful to the memory of these men! To say the telling of their story is comparable to a road runner cartoon is wrong. You're a POS.

Nick

You obviously did not read the book, and thus, you have absolutely no right to write such an opinionated review. Read the book and credit the facts before judging the integrity of the film. Despite you're "impressive" use of a college generated vocabulary, this review is extremely poor and passes over the true importance of the film. It is a tribute to all those Downrange.

Tyson

You shouldn't be able to write a review of the movie if you didn't read the book and oblivlsy know nothing of Marcus and the SEAL teams so do everybody a favor and keep your liberal mouth shut

Marie

This review doesn't even deserve to be heard. What a piece of work this person is!

Corey

This review of the film is absolutely ridiculous. The critic obviously has no concept of what special forces who defend our country, went through on this mission. You only have to hear the testimonials of the family member of the soldiers who were lost and their praise of the depiction of their sons in the film. This review is moronic.

Jen

Did you read the book? I couldn't disagree more with your review of this movie.