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Act of Valor: Movie Review

Hannah Goodwyn


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Starring active duty Navy SEALs, Act of Valor gives audiences an innovative movie to experience this weekend at theaters across the nation. However, the film's uniqueness is disappointingly eclipsed by its predictability and offensive content.


An elite team of Navy SEALs is called into action when two CIA operatives are compromised during an operation in Central America. While on the mission, the SEAL team uncovers an internationally organized terror plot. Their new task is to track down and eliminate the threat before it is too late.


Rated R for strong violence (including torture) and foul language (more than a few strong words, including variations of the f-word), Act of Valor doesn’t hold back on giving you a genuine look at what life is like for a member of this special operations force. Moviegoers should expect to see consistent violent action as the story unfolds. To say that blood is spilled is an understatement.

Knowing the very nature of this film explains, in some part, its R rating. These active Navy SEALs live and breathe intensity, and that reality isn’t missing from this movie. As former stuntmen, co-directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh have special insight into what makes a good action movie. On that note, they hit all the points. Convinced actors couldn’t pull off what real SEALs could, the directors worked with the "real" guys, all while keeping their identites secret (the SEALs aren't listed in the credits).

From a filmmaking standpoint, Act of Valor excels in some areas, while lacking in others. The cinematography is first-rate. Director of photography Shane Hurlbut, whose film credits include Terminator Salvation, captured the unending action well, making it a thrilling ride through each high-intensity sequence. It's when the striking explosions die down that you notice the movie is lacking.

Though Act of Valor has an intriguing storyline and a few ‘whoa’ moments, it is, in the end, predictable. More backstory on the SEALs and family, homefront tension would give moviegoers more reason to emotionally connect with this action-heavy film.


Act of Valor leaves you appreciating the dedication of these men and women – and their families. It reminds us of our need as citizens to thank them for their sacrifice. Is watching this movie the best way to do that? That’s your call.

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About The Author


Hannah Goodwyn served as a Senior Producer for, managing and writing for the award-winning website. After her undergraduate studies at Christopher Newport University, Hannah went on to study Journalism at the graduate level. In 2005, she graduated summa cum laude with her Master's from Regent University and was honored with an Outstanding Student Award. From there, Hannah began work as a content producer for For ten years, she acted as the managing producer for the website's Family and Entertainment sections. A movie buff, Hannah felt right at home working as's