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Mixed or average reviews - based on 44 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 302 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 44
  2. Negative: 4 out of 44
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jan 9, 2014
    80
    Berg immerses us so completely into the horror of these men’s situation that we are gripped throughout. The fighting is incredibly intense.
  2. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Dec 28, 2013
    75
    Berg is relentlessly unsparing.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Jan 9, 2014
    75
    Lone Survivor is primarily about the unflinching bravery of SEALs executing their mission and looking out for one another, even as they’re coming to grips with the reality of how this thing is going to end.
  4. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Jan 8, 2014
    67
    Lone Survivor is a somber celebration of courage and endurance that manages to steer clear of jingoism and moral judgments.
  5. 63
    The characters are only superficially sketched in, but we still fear for them, understand their code and above all else, appreciate the dirty, bloody, high-risk work these professionals do. That they go through all this and risk everything, by choice, is something Berg, to his credit, never lets us forget.
  6. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Dec 25, 2013
    60
    You may salute Lone Survivor for its desperate intensity; but the film remains pinned down by its military and political dilemma: between gung-ho and F—, no.
  7. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Dec 18, 2013
    20
    Berg may be adhering to the basic facts, but his movie’s childish machismo is a disgrace to all involved.

See all 44 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 69 out of 79
  2. Negative: 4 out of 79
  1. Jan 6, 2014
    10
    This movie was a brutally beautiful tribute to the men killed during Operation Red Wing. Having read the book multiple times I knew I wasn'tThis movie was a brutally beautiful tribute to the men killed during Operation Red Wing. Having read the book multiple times I knew I wasn't going to be surprised by anything in the movie but I was still moved by actually seeing what these men endured. Peter Berg did a great job telling this story. Marcus Luttrell did an awesome job keeping it honest. Thank God for our military and their willingness to serve selflessly. Expand
  2. Aug 17, 2014
    10
    Miraculous, intense, and patriotic. This movie was outstanding and beyond. Full of compassion and showed the true face of what our soldiersMiraculous, intense, and patriotic. This movie was outstanding and beyond. Full of compassion and showed the true face of what our soldiers can go through and what they have. It is a celebration of sacrifice and triumph. Excellent film making made sure that it was as accurate as possible. I highly recommend this movie to those who have a true interest in war movies. Defiantly the best since Saving Private Ryan and the TV series Band of Brothers. Expand
  3. Jan 14, 2014
    9
    First I have to say I rarely write reviews. Just left the theater and I was compelled to give my opinion of this movie. First and foremost theFirst I have to say I rarely write reviews. Just left the theater and I was compelled to give my opinion of this movie. First and foremost the movie kept my interest from the second it started until the ending credits and beyond...Almost didn't want to leave the theater....one of the most moving movies I've seen in some time. I've read some of the reviews and agreed with most, its as good as a war film with true emotion as ur going to get. In my humble opinion it was as good as Saving private Ryan! Not as meticulous as a Spielberg film but just as enjoyable...I'm not a military guy but after seeing this movie I have a renewed respect for these guys. I almost wished I was younger to join such a Nobel cause....These guys albeit mostly in danger are truly living. Sorry getting off course...acting was very believable and loved the back ground music...Peter Berg did a fine job off telling this unbelievable story of our real life super heroes. However I left the theater hating the enemy and loving the fact that I am an American!!! Although there is a bit of a twist towards the end that gives us food for thought. Sometimes not everyone who we think are our enemies are...I highly recommend this movie! Collapse
  4. Feb 11, 2014
    8
    There is not much of a storyline to Lone Survivor directed by Peter Berg. Just based on the title alone, we are already fully aware of theThere is not much of a storyline to Lone Survivor directed by Peter Berg. Just based on the title alone, we are already fully aware of the film’s ending. A Four man team goes into battle. Three of them die. Only One survives.

    The pre-action first act is pretty weak. It’s the same old ultra-patriotic, Navy Seal prestige banter complete with a rookie giving a front-of-the-class speech defining his role as a Seal Diver. In the mission briefing the target Afghans are portrayed as cliché plot devices. Never is there a mention that these Afghan’s are actual humans whose country the Seals are currently occupying, and are currently planning to kill. Scenes like these are not usually later redeemed, but as soon as the four Seals drop into the field, the tone of the film changes.

    What makes the film Lone Survivor a good film is 100% in its execution. The performances of all the actors, the special effects and stunts, the lighting and the sound, the fancy camera work and exotic scenery, the violence, equal the actual enactment: a very powerful, non-partisan, grim portrayal of modern ground combat.

    Once dropped in the field, the Seals encounter innocent civilians. Faced with the ethical decision of whether to execute them or free them, the Seals let them go. This is truly a controversial choice. Acting differently surely would have produced a different, less deadly outcome (for the Seals at least). Any logical viewer will afterwards struggle to justify why the Seals made the choice they did. Why would they sacrifice themselves for the innocents? It is almost nonsense, but in war decisions are made on the fly, and this is what happened.

    Within minutes the freed civilians alert the troops, and an army of hundreds of heavily armed men surround the group of 4. This when the action starts.

    It begins with the exchange of long-range rifle fire but soon the Seals are surrounded and flanked fiercely. As the battle shifts positions we encounter scenes where Seals must make split second decisions between particularly gruesome tasks. Which is less likely to kill me? Pushing forward and engaging in fire where I am extremely outnumbered, or throwing myself down this 50 foot rock face?

    The unfolding of this battle, and that is to say two-thirds of the film, really cannot be described in words. The battle truly is the film. It is an attempt at the depicting the intensity of real combat, and myself having zero experience in real combat, I think Peter Berg is very successful in portraying it.

    Their radio signals having been lost, their back-up firepower having failed them, and every other piece of bad luck imaginable having occurred, the battle ends. The Seals literally having fought to their deaths.
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  5. Jan 12, 2014
    8
    This brutal war epic delivers through its action sequences and heart-pounding story. Its suspense keeps the movie going and even have theThis brutal war epic delivers through its action sequences and heart-pounding story. Its suspense keeps the movie going and even have the audience guessing even if they don't anything about the real-life story. One big issue to me was that there wasn't enough character development (mainly between the supporting roles played by Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster) other than that "Lone Survivor" is a gripping and intense war film surprisingly directed by the guy that brought us "Battleship", but I won't hold that against him. Overall, this is a good movie to check this month. I give it an A-! Expand
  6. Jan 31, 2014
    7
    The title rather obviously gives the game away and there are no prizes for guessing which of the quartet of heroes is left alive at the end.The title rather obviously gives the game away and there are no prizes for guessing which of the quartet of heroes is left alive at the end. The film begins un promisingly with the usual and familiar cliched Tom foolery that I'm sure is part of military life, but is also rather tiresome to watch. Still, once the four begin their mission to kill a notorious Taliban leader the film becomes a bone crunching adrenalin rush. Hiding out on a mountain which soon becomes a battleground the four are soon up to there necks in gunfire, explosions and blood. These battles excitingly staged and full of nail biting tension are enhanced by hand held camera photography which effectively creates a sense of chaos and confusion. Sound effects unflinchingly capture every bullet impact, fall or smashed body part as the four find themselves battling an army of Taliban whilst not having any immediate means of escape. As an observer you are spared none of the excruciating agony inflicted. You feel every wound. Salvation when it comes is from an unlikely source and leads to some unexpected pathos. Likewise, the final still images of the men involved in the real operation is movingly presented. Expand
  7. Jan 8, 2014
    0
    The warfare and battle genre is depicted quite flashy and irrelevant these days, be it as it may in Lone Survivor, there is actual emotion inThe warfare and battle genre is depicted quite flashy and irrelevant these days, be it as it may in Lone Survivor, there is actual emotion in there. Within the realms of hollow characters and dull editing, Mark Wahlberg's big movie to kick off a year where is in something bigger in the oncoming train wreck of Transformers, he has just set the bar. Clearly trying to emote something heartfelt and crushing here, it falls to the depths of boredom without a doubt. Sometimes these movies fly high, but most crash the surface of dry sand with no penetration, I couldn't care less about this dribble. Expand

See all 79 User Reviews

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