War is hell and no other recent film underscores this old adage so viscerally as Lone Survivor.  Based on a true story memoir by Ex Navy SEAL, Marcus Luttrell, Lone Survivor is a harrowing, brutal adventure about an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate a Taliban leader in Afghanistan in 2005. A four man team, Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg), Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch), and Matt Axe Alexson (Ben Foster) are sent into the Afghanistan wilderness near an isolated village where they are ordered to kill a notorious Taliban terrorist. When they are accidentally discovered hiding by three goat herders, a decision they make changes their lives forever.

The action in this film is realistic and intimate, making the experience of war combat so vivid, that you are liable to feel virtual PTSD, and you will understand completely why so many soldiers suffer from it.  The violence is often operatic, especially the cliff falls the SEALS take as they try to negotiate the dangerous mountainous terrain while engaging the Afghan soldiers in an exciting gun fight.  The idea of heroism is often operatic too.  Clearly outnumbered, the NAVY SEALS foursome manages to put up a valiantly heroic fight.  These guys define the concept of warrior.

Regardless of how you feel about the military, the Afghan war or the mission at hand in Lone Survivor, it remains a great a action film, with the second hour as riveting as it is grueling. Of course the fact that it is true gives it a resonance it wouldn’t have if it were fictional.  Next time you think you are having a bad day at work, be thankful that your only problem is a report due in two days and you’re not in your cubicle pulling shrapnel out of your leg with a kitchen knife.