This was a great and powerful movie that I highly recommend, even though it was heavy and sad.  It touched on so many emotions so strongly.  I cried, I was angry, I was depressed, but most of all I was inspired.  I was skeptical about how this movie would work because you kind of know the ending already. Not only because its based on a book about real events, but because the title is “Lone Survivor” (and that sounds a little depressing).  I intentionally didn’t research the story beforehand because I wanted to go in knowing as little as possible.  Still, I did know the title of the movie which brought a certain type of expectation. Ultimately that foreknowledge didn’t matter because this wasn’t a movie about the tactics of a successful military operation.  Instead it was a movie about the powerful brotherhood that exists between these soldiers.

Lone Survivor’s biggest success was that it did a masterful job of capturing and showing that bond and the devotion of those soldiers to each other.  There is literally nothing these men would not do for their brother.  It doesn’t feel like much of an exaggeration to say they would go to hell and back to rescue them.  Once one of their own was in trouble the entire group was desperate to get there regardless of whatever danger they would face. And the movie lets you feel that, and that is what was so powerful and inspiring.  There was tragedy in this movie, but that love and devotion helped lift the cloud for me.
I found this movie to be very thought provoking.  I had introspective conversations with myself during the film about a myriad of subjects.  The awfulness of war and the sad fact war is necessary.  The evilness of the Taliban and the inspiring determination of those that fight against them.  The tragedy that good men will never return home, and the appreciation for the sacrifices they made.  The marveling at how strong and determined those men are.  How there are good and bad people everywhere and its never so simple as to be able to lump a country or ethnicity together as good or bad.
This is not a movie for children.  It is emotionally intense and there is a lot of swearing.  Not swearing for crudeness sake (like in a raunchy comedy) but to accurately portray soldiers in a combat situation. And it was graphic.  It showed the gruesomeness of war and didn’t hold back.  I didn’t mind that type of graphic violence in this case because its purpose was not to glorify violence and killing but to show the suffering of the soldiers and the hideousness of war.
As far as a grade Lone Survivor is definitely “Great” and the more I stew on it the closer I get to promoting it up to “Amazing.”  Either way it is a powerful movie that is very well done.  I listened to an interview with the director (Peter Berg) and he expressed how concerned he was to do right by these soldiers and their families.  I feel like they did a great job honoring them.  Peter Berg also mentioned that they screened it to a few football teams (including the national champion Florida St and the AFC champion Broncos) at the start of their season and I can see why.  The bond of brotherhood those soldiers had is exactly what you would want from a team (plus it has Tim Riggins for those Friday Night Lights fans out there).  Not many movies can find a way to make that bond palpable like this one did .  It seems the actors, producers and the director really pulled of something special.
Final Verdict: “Amazing”
DVD Recommendation: So good, but so intense I’ll watch it regularly. Rent it.
CinemaScore: A+
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