THE BLOG
12/23/2013 07:40 am ET Updated Feb 22, 2014

Movie review: Lone Survivor

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Peter Berg's Lone Survivor opens at the end of the film on a harrowing moment about the title character, then jumps back in time to the beginning of this nerve-wracking story.

But before Berg introduces us to the four central figures in this narrative, he drops in a segment under the credits, documentary footage showing actual Navy SEAL training. It looks brutal because it is: physically and mentally demanding, to the point of what feels like torture. As you watch young men and women wash out of the program - while others hang on for dear life - you wonder what the point is, beyond a little rah-rah for the home team.

But by the end, you understand: If you weren't tough enough to withstand that training, you'll never survive the actual work - such as the mission Berg depicts in the film.

Based on a true story, Lone Survivor chronicles a 2005 mission in Afghanistan that went horribly wrong. Four SEALs - played by Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster and Emile Hirsch - are dropped into the mountains, with a plan to take out a Taliban leader.

But things quickly go south

This review continues on my website.