Review: ‘Lone Survivor’ blows audiences away

Julianna Heron, Author

Wahlberg brings the brutal aspects of war to theaters. "Lone Survivor" is based on the true story of a failed mission to capture a notorious Al- Qaeda leader.
Wahlberg brings the brutal aspects of war to theaters. “Lone Survivor” is based on the true story of a failed mission to capture a notorious Al- Qaeda leader.

There have been countless movies about war: “Saving Private Ryan,” “Platoon” and many more. When watching movies about wars of the past, it can be hard to relate to them because of the different time periods. However, “Lone Survivor,” directed by Peter Berg, stands out because it is about wars in the Middle East that have been going on for the past decade. This brutal story gives audiences a peek into what thousands of soldiers have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.

In theaters now, “Lone Survivor” is based on a true story about a four-member SEAL team in Afghanistan who was ordered to kill an infamous Taliban leader, but fail in their efforts. Mark Wahlberg (“The Fighter”) portrays Marcus Luttrell’s story of his and his team’s struggle in a life-or-death situation when fighting against the enemy.

When Luttrell, Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch) and Matt Axelson (Ben Foster) start their mission in the mountains of Afghanistan, they come across a family of goat herders while they are hiding. The SEAL team is forced to take this family captive and must undergo a difficult decision of what to do with these people. They have two options: release the family and risk them telling Taliban fighters or kill them so the mission is not compromised.

Luttrell and his team later become trapped in the unknown mountains of Afghanistan with their enemy. The team of four fight for their lives against an enemy that clearly outnumbers them.

Wahlberg, Kitsch, Hirsch and Foster do an eye-opening job portraying soldiers who risk their lives along with the lives of others for their country. Berg’s battle scene with the SEAL members against Al-Qaeda goes on for an uncomfortably long time especially considering the brutal scenes. This filming tactic is powerful because it brings viewers into the moment with the soldiers as they hear and experience every sound, every gun shot and every death around them.

Many people have become immune to the idea of war, but when watching these people who have hobbies and family, the loss for their loved ones becomes more real. While “Lone Survivor” cannot compare to many of the great war movies, it sets itself apart due to the connection it has with its viewers who have in some way been connected with the Middle East conflicts.

Lone Survivor

2 hours 1 minute

Rated R for strong bloody war violence and pervasive language

Directed by Peter Berg

With Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster