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December 13, 2013

A SEAL Sniper Instructor’s Review of The Movie Lone Survivor

If you don’t want to read on then I’ll just save you the trouble, and get straight to the point. It’s a great movie, go see it.

I was invited to attend a screening of Lone Survivor in New York last week, and invited a few friends of SOFREP to attend (including Ian our radio producer) with me. I was excited about the movie but secretly hoping Peter Berg did right by Marcus, and his book since the movie has produced some drama surrounding Dan Bilzerian’s role in the film. The movie didn’t disappoint.  Few movies in Hollywood do right by the military men (and women) they represent, but this isn’t one of those.

The scene where they make initial Taliban contact on the mountain slope is intense, and my back, and head hurt just watching the falling scenes.

My only criticism? I thought it was a mistake to put Marcus in a supporting role in the film, it felt awkward to me to see him on screen as one of the SEALs knowing he was the hero of the story.  This may be my own personal bias, and because I know, and trained Marcus when he went through the SEAL sniper course.

Ben Foster get’s a 5.0 eval from me on his portrayal of Matt “Axe” Axelson. I know Axe as one of my personal student mentor candidates from sniper school, a great guy, and the consummate operator. Ben nailed it, I felt like I was watching Axe all over again.

One of my favorite parts of the book is the complex cultural dynamic that existed (ultimately saved Luttrell’s life) between the local tribe elders, and the Taliban. If you haven’t done your research on Pashtunwali, the un-written code of ethics that govern the Pashtun, it’s worth looking into.

Berg, and his actors did a great job honoring the men that gave their lives on that lonely Afghan mountainside.

Go see it, and let me know what you think.


About the Author

is a former U.S. Navy SEAL with combat deployments to Afghanistan, and Iraq. During his last tour he served as the west coast sniper Course Manager at the Naval Special Warfare Center. He is CEO of Force12 Media , a SOFREP contributing editor, and a New York Times best selling author (The Red Circle & Benghazi: The Definitive Report). Follow Brandon on Facebook, Twitter or his website.

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  • JRT6

    This movie touched me so hard I cried. Especially watching those guys falling down cliffs. I strongly suspect my emotions were due to the movie coming out at a particularly hard time in my life but I bonded with it none less. I so wanted to be on that mountain to help.

  • RobbyRobinson1

    BrentLochhead RobbyRobinson1  Thank you brother! Your response is appreciated

  • BrentLochhead

    RobbyRobinson1 "I don't feel respectful to call him by his first name only"  I've met Marcus, and he is too humble for people not to call him by his first name.  You will not offend him by that.

  • RobbyRobinson1

    Hey there, I have a question I want to ask here on the boards from fellow soldiers, not folks who just wouldn't understand. Most civilians would see this movie as a Hollywood action flick and make NO mistake a good one at that. Yet what do fellow SEALs think about the liberties taken by Peter Berg (forgive me if I messed up up the spelling of his name) in the movie that clearly did NOT happen I remember clearly choking up reading Lone Survivor even though I knew the end result when word got out that Marcus Luttrell was found alive (I don't feel respectful to call him by his first name only) and the Senior Chief with the family collected the Luttrell family to let them know as much. I found the book full of insight, solid and what actually occurred to be just as breathtaking and suspenseful as any Hollywood war movie could ever hope for. So why then all the "extras" (I...Marcus Luttrell flat lining at the beginning and end of the movie / Why portray the ill fated QRF occurring within sight and sound of Matthew Axelson and Marcus Luttrell / Why the departure from actual events of Lt. Michael Murphy's heroics that included Lt. Murphy actually rejoining the fight after that brave satellite phone call. Why the manufactured almost beheading of Marcus Luttrell? In closing, it would seem to me and fellow soldiers as well as those in the special operations community, why weren't real events enough?

  • genefarnsworth

    What a flick, I read the book after listening to Marcus interviews on Glen Becks show a while back, I made the decision then not to see the movie as most military movies make us all out to be baby fucking eaters or supermen, and most of us are in the middle. Although I loved the scene in hunt for red october when they had the under water dog fight under the ice....I have spent time there so knew it was BS but what fun. I digress, after listening to Marcus interviews and watching him speak a few times I was impressed with his humbleness, love for shipmates and how he ate ass hole reporters alive !!!! So I went and saw the flick with my lovely bride, a true cilvilian as I marred her after I retired.  This is the first movie in years where I did not feel they went over the top. Watching the flick it was hard enough to breath, I can't imagine how bad it was on that hill. This ole sea dog strongly recommenders this movie....and if you only watch one flick this year....this should be it !!!! On a side note, I hear we are going to be putting ships back into PI, oh to be actdu again. Of course, the fun we had back then would get a guy shit canned noes days...pussy ass PC silliness.