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      Critics' Corner: Lone Survivor

      I have always been a fan of director Peter Berg. His movies haven??t always been well reviewed or even movies that I liked, but one thing that Berg always puts first, places him as a rare breed in Hollywood these days; he digs deep into the characters personalities and he lets them tell the story instead of the visuals. "Lone Survivor" may just be his shining achievement to date for that very reason.

      The movie is based on a real Seal Team 10 failed mission called Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan, 2005. In order to tell the story accurately, Berg had the lone survivor, SO1 Marcus Luttrell move into his home for a month, as well as visiting the deceased families in order to truly understand them. It is that devotion to accuracy and responsibility that earns, to me, a massive level of respect for Peter Berg as a director and earns what may be his best movie to date.

      "Lone Survivor" is not only a testament to Berg, it is a testament to the Navy Seal heroes that push their bodies to excruciating places in order to rise above their enemies and their conditions. It is the kind of movie that I have only experience once before with "Saving Private Ryan". When it??s over you could hear a pin drop in the mostly packed theater. You stick around during the credits out of respect for the men and boys that lost their lives during the operation.

      The book "Lone Survivor" depicts the enlistment and training of Luttrell. That portion of the book is adequately portrayed with real archive training footage, showing how they are pushed to the inch of death to prepare themselves for the worst. This footage is a perfect precursor to what is to come as the four men endure a grueling 4-hour dogfight with an overwhelming number of Taliban fighters in a rugged and mountainous area. The events are captured with stunning realism. Some of which, I??m not even sure how they pulled off so convincingly.

      "Lone Survivor" is an important movie in all aspects. It isn??t an anti-war movie or a pro-war movie. It is what it is; reality. It is filmed and told with great accuracy and in doing so, it is treated with the ultimate fairness. When it is all said and done, the movie is impossible to take your eyes off. As relentless as the movie is, it is only a movie compared to what the real Seals went through on that mountain.