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Lone Survivor: Movie Review

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The harrowing, real-life account of what happened to Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell and his team on the mountains of Afghanistan in 2005 during Operation Red Wings gets its time on the big screen starting this weekend in the new movie, Lone Survivor.

Rated R, partly for many uses of the F word, Lone Survivor is not for the faint of heart. If you can stomach pervasive language and R-level war violence, then it's a good movie to see.


Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg) and three of his brothers from SEAL Team 10 drop on an Afghanistan hillside with the orders to locate notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shah. The mission is compromised when their presence becomes known to the enemy. Surrounded by 150 mountain fighters, the four SEALs do whatever they can to keep their brothers alive.


Not since Black Hawk Down has there been a movie that captures the real-life courage and sacrifice our special forces displayed under fire. Facing seemingly insurmountable odds, these four soldiers (Luttrell, Murphy, Dietz and Axelson) fought to the bitter end.

Alongside Wahlberg are actors Taylor Kitsch (Murphy), Emile Hirsch (Dietz) and Ben Foster (Axelson), who are quite moving in each of their supporting roles. They show the valor these men had in the face of certain death and the ultimate sacrifice one makes for another, laying his life down. Lone Survivor also honors the bravery of Afghani villagers as they stand against the Taliban. One disappointment is that the film does not have more about Luttrell's Christian faith. Wahlberg as Luttrell mentions what he sees as God intervening and aiding them, but that is disregarding by another and not referenced again.

The well casted, well paced film is something to witness. Reading Luttrell's account must be an experience, but to see almost first-hand their fight is something else. The stunt team earns recognition for this work in capturing the incredible ordeal these SEALs went through.

Rated R for strong bloody war violence and pervasive language, Lone Survivor does show quite a lot of blood as befitting a war movie of this sort. However, the violence does not reach Black Hawk Down levels (Spoilers... There is a beheading, but it's done off screen. Also, bullets fly and blood and wounds are frequent, including a hand with fingers shot off). Expect to be thrust into the life of soldiers who endure pain we can't even imagine. You will hear a great deal of foul language (50+ f-bombs were counted). Caution is strongly advised.


Lone Survivor is hard to watch, but worth seeing, if you can handle Rated-R war movies.

Note: The real Marcus Luttrell has a speaking role in the movie. Look out for him.

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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