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Act of Valor
Act of Valor (2012)
(13 Ratings)
4 Reviews | 3 Short Comments | 191 Collectors | 33 Times Watched

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Movie Info
Movie Year:
Mike McCoyScott Waugh
Movie Year:
Alex VeadovNestor SerranoRoselyn Sanchez
Kurt Johnstad
Thriller, Action/Adventure,
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(ex. 2002/10/21)
An elite team of Navy SEALs embark on a covert mission to recover a kidnapped CIA agent.
Aug 31, 2012
An elite team of Navy SEALs are assigned to rescue a kidnapped CIA agent from a lethal terrorist organization. The realism of the film is enhanced by  ...
An elite team of Navy SEALs are assigned to rescue a kidnapped CIA agent from a lethal terrorist organization. The realism of the film is enhanced by the fact that the “actors” are actual active Navy SEALs. The rescue turns deadly when it becomes a full fledged terrorist attack on the US, and these valiant men are the only things that can keep us safe. We get a peek into the insides of an elite fighting force and get to witness with our own eyes, the heroism and danger these men face.

This was an interesting film that really was a hit with some people who are really into battles and military missions. For the peace lovers, not so much. For someone like me, I found myself right in the middle. Not really fascinated with the technology of killing, but still able to get into the tension and action, I found it moderately interesting. I was not blown away by it, but wasn’t terrible either. So I would recommend that if you are into military films, you probably will like this, and if you are not, go ahead an pass it by.

It was an interesting approach to use real active service men in the film. On the other hand, it could be argued that we are putting them in danger, and perhaps giving away too much information to our enemies about the technologies we use, and the techniques we undertake to protect ourselves. It’s a lot like giving the playbook to the other team before the game so they’ll know what to defend against. I’m not sure that’s a good idea.

All in all, the suspense was there, and that action, certainly, but the whole concept did not really catch me, and I found it forgettable. Shortly after watching it, I couldn’t tell you much about the story, as it didn’t make that big of an impression on me. This is my own bias though, and these kinds of stories don’t get me really excited. Like I said before, if you’re a military buff, then go for it, as you’ll probably find this one of the more accurate modern military films.

==Written by Ed Goettman ==

==From: Ed's Review Dot Com (

Jul 18, 2012
I’m quick to admit that I love playing first-person shooter video games, as well as watching shoot ‘em up action flicks. I grew up with Rambo and Meda ...
I’m quick to admit that I love playing first-person shooter video games, as well as watching shoot ‘em up action flicks. I grew up with Rambo and Medal of Honor. Do I support war or condone acts of violence? No (well, often on the fence about the former). I don’t know what it is about hardcore action sprinkled with bloody violence that gives some of us an adrenaline rush, but one thing’s for sure is that it doesn’t always translate to our real world desires. Where am I going with this and what’s the point? The film Act of Valor is an up close and personal dramatized encounter with real-life Navy SEALs, a high body count, and some of the most realistic combat effects I’ve seen. I enjoyed this film due in great part to the action, as will many viewers of this film, and I don’t see why that has to be a bad thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I, like many people, look for more than cheap thrills with movies. But I see nothing wrong with a nice adrenaline filled action movie from time to time. Act of Valor is a great example of such a film. It’s got a fairly standard terrorist-driven storyline, lots of gunplay and tactical action complete with first-person perspectives that put the viewer right in the middle of the action. It’s clear that the SEALs weren’t trained in classical acting when forced to perform dramatic dialog, which I forgave knowing this fact from the beginning, but in the tactical scenarios it’s clear they are the real deal. The SEALs don’t give off the presence of hulking action stars, but rather impose a more controlled, modest demeanor.

Now I may be making this sound like a no-holds-barred shoot-everything blow-stuff-up flick, but that would do this film injustice. After all, this film is centered around a group of individuals whom represent some of our nations greatest heroes. It is said that the film originally was meant to be a recruitment film for the Navy. Had I seen such a recruitment film when I was in high school, I may be in a different career. Not only does the film depict guys that can kick some serious butt and pull off life-saving missions against incredible odds, but it also shows respectable characters that truly believe in what they are doing and care for their team as they would family while at the same time risking their lives for people they’ve never met.

The film does what many of its kind have a hard time doing, and that is putting meaning behind the action. While the story isn’t anything spectacular, the feelings of patriotism, heroism, and camaraderie feel authentic and successfully translate to the real world. In other words, the film doesn’t make the gamer inside you want to shoot at the bad guys, but it makes you want to shoot at the bad guys while saving someone’s life and perhaps even an entire population. The film also gives the viewer the realization, mainly by casting real life SEALs such as leads Dave and Rorke, that these people are among us everywhere we go. That itself is a pretty big eye-opener.

A lot of people are going to hate on this film for being too violent, pro-American, etc. and for it’s other faults such as a fairly standard storyline and weak dramatic acting. Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, and in some cases I would agree with some of those opinions. However, I believe that sometimes people are too serious when it comes to movies. Why does one have to agree with everything a movie says or does to enjoy it? While Act of Valor may have set out to enlighten, inspire, and promote, that doesn’t mean it has to have those effects on you to appreciate it. I personally welcomed such an authentic feeling action flick packed with purpose that still satisfied the FPS fan inside me.

The factors keeping me from calling this a perfect action film would be that I would have loved to have gotten to know the characters outside of combat (perhaps the filmmakers wanted to limit the amount of dramatic acting that would have been required to achieve this?). The film certainly could have used improvement in some of these areas. The choice to cast the real-life SEALs did indeed add that level of authenticity where it counted, but detracted from the overall cinematic quality. Nonetheless, I enjoyed enjoyed Act of Valor and felt like I got a good insight into a very exclusive team that serves our country while simultaneously being entertained.
Apr 03, 2012
There’s something discomforting about the new action film, Act of Valor. At its core, it’s an action thriller starring (interestingly enough) actual a ...
There’s something discomforting about the new action film, Act of Valor. At its core, it’s an action thriller starring (interestingly enough) actual active duty U.S. Navy SEALs that aims to be an authentic experience, but hidden under all the explosions and gunfire is a recruitment video. There’s no denying it, so I might as well say it: Act of Valor is a propaganda film. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, mind you. Propaganda films have existed for quite a long time. As cherished as it is today, Casablanca was initially thought of as a propaganda film. The great Charlie Chaplin dabbled in propaganda with his Nazi satire, The Great Dictator. The 1942 best picture winner, Mrs. Miniver, similarly hoped to rally the support of a nation at a time of war. But Act of Valor is different.

Mrs. Miniver, for example, was an even affair. For all its patriotism, the real mark of its power came in the sadness it exemplified. It never shied away from the atrocities of war. The main character’s step daughter is shot and killed in the movie. Her house is destroyed. She maintains a constant level of fear as her husband and older son go off to fight, unaware if she will ever see them again. When bombs drop all around them one night as they lay in their bunker, the younger children wake up screaming and crying and all she can do is hold them and pray they make it through the night. It showed what war could do to a person, a family, a neighborhood and, thus, a country. Act of Valor is the exact opposite. If anything, it portrays violence as exciting and the soldiers in a godly light, as if no harm could ever come of them, a dangerous idea to be sending out to young minds who may end up watching this.

Take, for instance, early in the movie when a soldier is shot in the head, but doesn’t die. Later, one is shot with a rocket that hits him in his stomach and hurls him back towards a wall, but it turns out to be a dud and he brushes it off. Only one soldier death occurs in the entire film and it’s a heroic death at that, sacrificing himself to save others. I dare not question the abilities of our armed forces; such a question is beside the point. The fact remains that the atrocities of war—the pain, the hardship, the struggle—is left largely unexplored. Despite that one death and the constant hail of bullets, Act of Valor never accurately portrays the dangers and risks involved with military work. There’s a lot of nobility to joining the armed forces and my hat is off to those who do, but there’s also a lot of ugliness accompanying it that is absent in the film.

Sitting beside me during the screening was a young, enthusiastic critic and if his reaction is any indication, Act of Valor will be seen as fun and indeed, the action scenes are pretty spectacular, but that’s precisely the point. This shouldn’t be a fun movie. It should be gritty, harsh and sometimes difficult to watch. Instead, its violence is stylish and meant to be cool, a far cry from the harsh reality of such situations. Through all its macho posturing and overt patriotism, Act of Valor is nothing more than a glossed up action movie with a recruitment angle.

But to pretend I wasn’t entertained would be disingenuous. The action scenes are incredible and, if nothing else, the film accurately (at least to my knowledge) portrays the operations that these soldiers carry out (without the repercussions, of course). It’s a contradictory compliment given my previous criticisms, I know, but the film is shot well and it will undoubtedly get the adrenaline pumping in your body, though it’s not without its technical faults.

Because the filmmakers used actual active duty U.S. Navy SEALs, the acting is expectedly weak. Some of the dialogue exchanges are painful to sit through and a personal bond meant to be built between two of the soldiers probably worked well on paper, but is worthless when executed by two people without the acting skills necessary to pull it off. There’s also a problem with perspective throughout the movie’s action scenes when it jumps from the standard filmmaking perspective to a first person one. Most of the soldiers hold their guns up on their right, but they are always shown on the left side of the screen when watching the action through their eyes. It’s a laughable and horribly amateurish mistake.

Joining the armed forces and fighting for our freedom is undoubtedly a heroic deed, but the consequences can be deadly. You wouldn’t know that from watching Act of Valor, though. This thing is so insincere, younger, fragile minds may get the wrong impression of what it means to fight for our country. It’s one of the most altruistic things you can do, yes, but it’s not without its downsides. Although I am still recommending Act of Valor because of its well staged action scenes, I do it with the caveat that viewers are aware of its dishonest propagandist intent.

Act of Valor receives 3/5

==Written by Josh Hylton ==

==From: Josh Hylton Movies (
Act of Valor aims to capture the experience of Navy SEALs as they combat the schemes of a Chechnyan jihadist who wants to send suicide bombers into American stadiums and shopping malls. Their efforts take them all over the world, from Costa Rica to Somalia to the South Pacific. For added authenticity, eight real Navy SEALs have been cast in the lead roles. In terms of tactics and equipment, Act of Valor is rigorously authentic. What marks this as fantasy is the perfection of the missions (there are no civilian casualties; every sniper takes out his target in a single head shot--there are a lot of exploding heads in this movie) and absolute moral clarity (the wild-eyed jihadist and drug cartel foot soldiers are unquestionably evil; one of the main characters carries his grandfather's folded flag from World War II). The performances of the SEALs, though well intentioned, make you appreciate the complexities of Arnold Schwarzenegger. What's smart about Act of Valor is that it doesn't waste much time with setups or dialogue, but heads straight into the missions. However, much of these missions are filmed like a first-person-shooter video game, which lends a sense of immediacy but undercuts the sense of reality. Still, all in all, Act of Valor is a sincere attempt to express admiration for the men and women risking their lives in the military. --Bret Fetzer
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