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Lone Survivor

By MICHAEL NORDINE
Reading about the true events that inspired Lone Survivor brought a tear to my eye. Watching Peter Berg’s movie made me queasy. The film centers on 2005’s failed Operation Red Wings—a mission to remove a high-profile Taliban target in the mountains of Afghanistan that instead resulted in the death of 19 American soldiers—and it lionizes its heroes while utterly demonizing their enemies. Berg clearly has nothing but reverence for the armed forces, but that admiration renders him incapable of portraying anything dispassionately: Lone Survivor has little more nuance than the average recruitment poster. The film aims to show the soldiers’ personalities via their response to the dire situation—they’re vastly outnumbered, with malfunctioning communications equipment and nowhere to go. It’s a battle-heavy approach that only occasionally works. We know these guys, played by Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster and Emile Hirsch. They are tough and fiercely loyal to one another, but the characterization largely stops there. It’s a Passion of the Christ-like flogging in which Berg shows every graphic detail of the soldiers’ ordeal, but examines nothing of what made them so impressive in the first place.
 
  • Genres: Drama, War
  • Running Time: 121 minutes
  • Release Date: Wednesday, December 25, 2013
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • MPAA Rating: R [ Pervasive Language, Strong Bloody War Violence ]
  • Critic's Score: C
  • Starring: Mark Wahlberg [Marcus Luttrell], Taylor Kitsch [Mike Murphy], Eric Bana [Lt. Cmdr. Erik S. Kristensen], Emile Hirsch [Danny Dietz], Ben Foster [Ben Axelson], Sammy Sheik [Taraq], Yousuf Azami [Ahmad Shah]
  • Directed by: Peter Berg [Director], Peter Berg [Screenwriter], Peter Berg [Producer], Sarah Aubrey [Producer], Randall Emmett [Producer], Norton Herrick [Producer], Barry Spikings [Producer], Akiva Goldsman [Producer], Mark Wahlberg [Producer], Stephen Levinson [Producer], Vitaly Grigoriants [Producer], George Furla [Executive Producer], Simon Fawcett [Executive Producer], Braden Aftergood [Executive Producer], Louis G. Friedman [Executive Producer], Remington Chase [Executive Producer], Stepan Martirosyan [Executive Producer], Adi Shankar [Executive Producer], Spencer Silna [Executive Producer], Mark Damon [Executive Producer], Brandt Andersen [Executive Producer], Jeff Rice [Executive Producer], Lauren Selig [Executive Producer], Jason Shuman [Executive Producer], Tobias Schliessler [Cinematographer], Colby Parker Jr. [Film Editor], Explosions in the Sky [Original Music], Steve Jablonsky [Original Music], Tom Duffield [Production Design], Stephen Cooper [Art Director], Ron Reiss [Set Decoration], Amy Stofsky [Costume Designer], Linda Lowy [Casting], Jo Boldin [Casting]
  • Visit the Movie Website | Watch the trailer
 

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