*** out of four
Lone Survivor is full of war movie cliche, like when we see a character talking to or talking about his wife and kids, you know he isn't going to make it to the end of the film. There is nothing new here, but Lone Survivor is well made and I found it to be an effective and gut-wrenching war drama. This is based on a true story about an ill-fated Afghanistan mission in which a four member American SEAL team (Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster) is ordered to track down and kill a Taliban leader. It doesn't take long for the mission to go horribly wrong with the SEALs finding themselves being the hunted. The key element that makes this movie work is that we find this group of soldiers likable and moral. Director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, The Kingdom) effectively uses New Mexico as a stand-in for Afghanistan, for the rocky terrain plays a key role in the film. Lone Survivor is an intense war drama and not for those looking for a typical mindless action movie.