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Act of Valor Review

Movies.com Critics

3.0

Dave White Profile

Mission very nearly almost accomplished. Read full review

3.5

Grae Drake Profile

Fourth of July comes early. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    40

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    Although the film has its undeniably immersive, convincing moments, the merging of dramatic re-creations and on-camera "performances" proves less seamlessly executed than those masterfully coordinated land, sea and air missions.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Act of Valor is gift-wrapped in patriotism. It was once intended as a recruitment film, and that's how it plays.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Employing Navy troops as stars is a clever idea for an action thriller. But the soldiers' awkward line readings are glaring enough to distract from the potency of the story.

    Read Full Review

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    When the bullets are flying, Act of Valor is undeniably tense and thrilling.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Act of Valor reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 17 & under

Real-life SEALs can't save poorly made, violent movie.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Act of Valor is a fact-based action movie about the Navy SEALs -- who are mostly played by real-life active-duty SEALs. Strong violence includes a brutal sequence of a woman being kidnapped, beat up, and tortured, and a scene in which many children are killed by truck bomb. There's also tons of guns and shooting, blood, graphic shootings, injuries, and death. Language isn't constant but includes occasional uses of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as some brief innuendo. The movie's message is mixed: On the one hand, the characters are unquestionably brave and selfless team members who value family, country, and sacrifice; but on the other, their job is violent and requires injuring and killing others. The values that viewers bring to the movie will affect how they ultimately perceive its messages.

  • Families can talk about the Act of Valor's violence. Is it justified? How does it compare to what you've seen in other action movies?

  • Was it the right decision to cast real-life Navy SEALs in the movie? Does it make the movie more realistic? How else does it work? In what ways doesn't it work?

  • How does the movie reflect the military? How does that compare to other military depictions you've seen in movies and on TV?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The movie is violent and heroic at the same time. It emphasizes brotherhood, family, service, valor, and commitment, but its heroes also kill lots of bad guys -- albeit for the country's good.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Several real-life Navy SEALs star in the movie, and while their teamwork, discipline, heroism, and training are on display, so is their dangerous, violent job. The soldiers are all very family oriented and are ready to make big sacrifices when necessary.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Tons of blood and loud, jarring action violence. In a particularly brutal sequence, a woman is kidnapped, beat up, and tortured. Dozens of children are killed by a truck bomb. Viewers see several suicide bombers -- including some who look like teen girls -- ready to die for their cause. Terrorists are shot in the head. Soldiers engage in shoot-outs with high-powered guns; there's also face-to-face combat. Some characters are injured, and many die, including some of the good guys.

  • sex false1

    Sex: One scene features several women in skimpy bikinis. A soldier's wife is pregnant, and they share a loving goodbye. Some brief innuendo.

  • language false4

    Language: Profanity is sporadic, but "f--k" is heard a few times, and "s--t" is heard more than once, in addition to "ass," "damn," "hell," "bulls--t," and some swearing in Spanish and Tagalog.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The soldiers are seen casually enjoying drinks (mostly beer) from time to time, mainly in the beginning of the movie.

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