Act of Valor

Metascore
40

Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 34
  2. Negative: 9 out of 34

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Feb 24, 2012
    60
    In the movie's best moment, an American sniper takes out a bad guy by a pier while a pair of hands reaches out of the water to grab the body so it doesn't make a splash and alert the other baddies.
  2. 60
    Although the film has its undeniably immersive, convincing moments, the merging of dramatic re-creations and on-camera "performances" proves less seamlessly executed than those masterfully coordinated land, sea and air missions.
  3. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Feb 23, 2012
    60
    It would benefit greatly from having real actors in the major roles. That the bad guys -- who are actors -- are more charismatic is certainly not due to the fact that we are on their side. It's because they know how to make us want to watch.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Feb 24, 2012
    58
    The bad guys, who specialize in funny beards, funny accents, and shaved heads, would feel right at home in an "Austin Powers" movie.
  5. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Feb 22, 2012
    58
    Act of Valor will likely earn high praise from combat veterans and their families, the way movies like "Fireproof" and "Seven Days in Utopia" resonate with Christians. Civilians, movie critics and certainly pacifists won't be nearly as impressed.
  6. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Feb 24, 2012
    50
    The exercises are genuine, and so is the hardware. But the script undermines the sense of authenticity at every turn.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Feb 24, 2012
    50
    Refreshing as it is to see the military portrayed as something other than a band of neurotics and creeps, there's a reason this brand of rah-rah and bang-bang didn't outlast the age of Whitesnake and Marty McFly.
  8. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Feb 23, 2012
    50
    A recruitment poster loosely disguised as a movie.
  9. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Feb 23, 2012
    50
    For what it is, it's well done, well filmed, well outfitted with ordnance and, well, exciting. However, in script, characters and plot, Act of Valor offers only the barest minimum.
  10. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Feb 23, 2012
    50
    This intriguing hybrid is dramatically involving only when the shooting - with real bullets, naturally - gets underway.
  11. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Feb 23, 2012
    50
    The action beats come straight out of the video game "Call of Duty." And when you have real SEALs placed in a picture that lives and dies on the same old first-person-shooter aesthetic, you have a film divided against itself.
  12. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Feb 21, 2012
    50
    The villains come across as individuals rather more compellingly than do the film's ostensible heroes, mostly mouthpieces for warrior credo recited in voiceover.
  13. Reviewed by: Matt Glasby
    Mar 16, 2012
    40
    This voiceover is one of many perplexing elements in this ridiculously pumped-up military recruitment video, which intersperses brilliant and immersive combat scenes with excruciating comradely banter.
  14. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Feb 29, 2012
    40
    Despite the weak performances and the scattershot screenplay, the film is visually terrific.
  15. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Feb 24, 2012
    40
    Like all advertisements, this scripted movie is a perfect fantasy: expertly coordinated, simplistic (the bad guys like yachts and bikini girls while our heroes have loving families) and more than a little scary.
  16. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Feb 24, 2012
    40
    Shows remarkable access to military materials and personnel but, as a film, is unremarkable every other way.
  17. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    Feb 23, 2012
    40
    A mechanically efficient yet soulless dramatization of the U.S. Navy SEALs in action, Act of Valor ultimately misses its target: The hearts and minds of American audiences.
  18. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Feb 23, 2012
    40
    This archipelago of maneuvers, however jaw-dropping, never coheres into a real movie.
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 149 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 65
  2. Negative: 10 out of 65
  1. Feb 27, 2012
    10
    I am profoundly offended... Not by this movie but by the negative reviews of it! As a Navy combat veteran of the first Gulf War I admit I mayI am profoundly offended... Not by this movie but by the negative reviews of it! As a Navy combat veteran of the first Gulf War I admit I may be as biased as can be, but This was a masterpiece of a movie. You don't have to be a veteran to appreciate it but unless your an America hating Hollywood liberal you will be filled with pride and humbled by the magnitude of skill, heart and sacrifice our most elite defenders of your life liberty and pursuit of happiness. I've heard some complain that the SEAL's in this movie can't act... Well thank God they aren't actors. These Men are the real thing and they "act" like the real thing not some "dumbed down" Hollywood wannabes. If you don't get that then "You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns." Full Review »
  2. Feb 25, 2012
    9
    As other reviewers already pointed out, the acting is a little wooden and the villians are (almost) as one dimensional as your average JamesAs other reviewers already pointed out, the acting is a little wooden and the villians are (almost) as one dimensional as your average James Bond villian, but the overall package is so novel that it really shouldn't be an issue. As far as the acting goes, it got the job done and I wouldn't say it's any worse than the acting of some 80's action heroes from Belgium or Austria. The villians don't get much screentime outside of the scenes where they're mostly twirling their moustaches and being all-around horrible people, but the few lines of dialogue they have at least hint at something deeper, it's really not explored to any degree, but it at least partially adds a fraction of a third dimension. Finally, the novelty of the movie is that this really isn't some kind of Expandables or Magnificent 7, no egos, nobody makes stupid decisions to move the story forward, nobody running off on their own to be a hero. This movie is really a celebration of proper teamwork and good preparation, I don't think I've enjoyed the firefights in any movie more than I enjoyed the ones in Act of Valor. Full Review »
  3. Feb 25, 2012
    10
    This was a good movie because it shows what navy seals have to go through everyday and critics dont need to give this movie such low ratingThis was a good movie because it shows what navy seals have to go through everyday and critics dont need to give this movie such low rating because of the acting there navy seals what do you expect this isnt like a hollywood unrealistic action movie this is what really happens Full Review »