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Review: Superb action scenes anchor ‘Survivor’

January 2, 2014 • Entertainment


This photo released by Universal Pictures shows, from left, Taylor Kitsch, as Michael Murphy, Mark Wahlberg as Marcus Luttrell, Ben Foster as Matt “Axe” Axelson, and Emile Hirsch as Danny Dietz in a scene from the film, “Lone Survivor.” (AP Photo/Universal Pictures)

With all the talk about fact-based films and how accurate they should or shouldn’t be, it’s worth noting that some stories are best brought to screen as simply and purely as possible.

This is especially true with a film like “Lone Survivor,” Peter Berg’s expertly rendered account of a disastrous 2005 military operation in Afghanistan. War is messy, and politics are messy. But Berg has wisely chosen to focus pretty squarely on the action, and to present it as straightforwardly as possible.

And he’s executed that approach with admirable skill, down to using autopsy reports to get the number of wounds a soldier suffered exactly right. “Lone Survivor” doesn’t have nearly the sweep of a major war film like Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan.” But the action scenes — basically, one protracted, harrowing Login to read more

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