Reel Freak

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Reel Review – Lone Survivor (2014)

wahlberg-lone-survivor-optDirector: Peter Berg
Rated: R
Release Date: January 10th, 2014
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emilie Hirsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana

The key word here is: pulse-pounding.  That’s the essence of Peter Berg’s entire film Lone Survivor.  From start to finish, this movie takes you on a ride of courage.  To tell you the truth, I have never been a huge fan of war films, but it doesn’t mean I won’t watch them.  Because of this, Lone Survivor wasn’t necessarily on my list of movies to see in theaters.  One of my friends suggested we go see it, and I agreed why not?  I’d heard nothing but good news about it.  The film found a great cast in Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Eric Bana; all of whom gave top-notch performances.  When all was said and done, it is a film I’m glad I took the opportunity to see.


Lone Survivor is based on the true story of Marcus Luttrell (Wahlberg) and his team of Navy SEALS (Kitsch, Hirsch, Foster), whose mission is to take out Ahmad Shah, an infamous al Qaeda leader.  After things go awry when the team runs into a group of goat herders in the mountains of Afghanistan, they capture the herders but agree to follow their orders and free them.  After alerting the village run by Shah, Marcus and his team must fight for their lives in an epic, gruesome battle while desperately awaiting back-up.  Together as brothers, the SEALs must show courage and strength by defending each other with the odds against them.

Lone Survivor

Director Peter Berg (The Kingdom, Battleship) was able to take this true story, told in Luttrell’s memoir Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwings and the Lost Heroes of Seal Team 10, and capture the importance of its personal encounters.  This film will have you rooting for its lead characters, even though their fates are inevitable (not a spoiler, this time the film’s title literally gives it away).

What stood out in this movie?

  • Berg’s work behind the camera was one of the film’s best qualities.  The shots he used left nothing to question, focusing closely on detail; even when a lot of the time those details contain graphic, grisly war violence.
  • Mark Wahlberg continues to surprise audiences with his starring roles.  Clearly he is becoming a great, diverse actor, and he takes his role of a Navy SEAL here with the best intentions
  • A supporting cast featuring rising stars Kitsch, Hirsch, and Foster, as well as veteran Eric Bana.
  • I kept an ear out for the movie’s recently Oscar-nominated Sound Mixing & Editing, which lived up to the recognition
  • An overall captivating, gut-wrenching 2 hours that will have you in awe and holding your breath.

Reel Rating: 8/10

Written by Josh Sazin on January 24th, 2014


3 comments on “Reel Review – Lone Survivor (2014)

  1. CMrok93
    January 25, 2014

    Nice review Josh. Berg may not always be my favorite director out there, but he shows that he can shoot an action-scene and make it as brutal and raw as they come.

    • jsazin
      January 25, 2014

      Thanks man, I enjoyed seeing the movie. I agree, Berg doesn’t necessarily aim for masterpieces, but breakdown individual scenes and they’ve actually got a really cool quality to them.

  2. Pingback: Weekend Box Office: ‘Frankenstein’ Flops, ‘Ride Along’ Still #1 | Reel News & Reviews

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