Iffy for 17+
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
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.
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: 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: One scene features several women in skimpy bikinis. A soldier's wife is pregnant, and they share a loving goodbye. Some brief innuendo.
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: Not an issue
Drinking, drugs and smoking: The soldiers are seen casually enjoying drinks (mostly beer) from time to time, mainly in the beginning of the movie.
Fan Reviews provided by
Let's get real by Psyniche
Unless you're on the far left (and I mean far, far left) this movie will move you. Allow yourself to accept that these events, or events very similar, actually happen to the men who volunteer for and devote their lives to a higher cause than their own lives. As a former Navy Submariner, I've had the honor of working with some of these men. Warriors of the first degree. The critics out there cite their "wooden" acting. These men live in a world where uncontrolled emotion gets you killed instantly. Of course they look wooden. They're supposed to. They're SEALS. There is a select few, however, who have actually seen their human side: their families. And when these men are ready to lay it all on the line, those are the ones they're thinking about. We owe them a debt of gratitude that we will never be able to repay.
The critics want stylized formulas, they don't appreciate authentic characters... by evanmig
By far, the best modern war action film to date. Left all of the over-dramatization, unrealistic writing and bull at the door, the story was real and felt like you were there with the team, just among more extraordinary, purposeful, yet humble humans that you LOL. You are awe-inspired and proud throughout. Such an amazingly real, detailed, and honest experience with awesome pace, beautifully shot. Take notice Hollywood, someone just raised the bar and got rid of all the unnecessary formulaic crap you force on us in the process. I guess being a method soldier pretending to be an actor is more effective than being a method actor pretending to be a soldier LOL. Well done.
The thing that is really bugging me are the critics. They all have the same theme: They give it props for realism, good action, etc but trash the actors for being "wooden". Guess what critics, audiences have been craving actors who talk like REAL people, not overly dramatic, stylized, formulaic, fake crap.
cant stop beleiving by fabrizio
i saw this movie today Friday 24 2012; and i dont think i will ever be the same. to know that this film is not some Hollywood glam experience really framed my movie experience. to say that i was to humbled to clap at the end is only to admit that i was crying. Please go see this movie if only to understand how serious the forces are to destroy us are. They are and they will succeed in spite of our best efforts, they will destroy our finest and we will be lefft with the spineless cowards who will trash this movie, yet they will be the first to call for the police for help......At the end of the day we have to support those who protect us unless we are prepared to protect ourselves and support each other HOORAH... go see this movie it will not be what you expect it will be better it will not cause you to cheer or clap, it will cause you to realize that American soldiers are our children,sons,fathers,mothers,daughters, and a book burning is not EQUAL TO ONE OF THEIR LIVES
Act of Valor... Intense! by AliciaMNC
No, seriously - it's *intense*. I'm not a weepy chick under any stretch, but there are two things that get me every time - when children are hurt in acts of violence, and when people sacrafice themselves for the sake of others. Needless to say, I cried more than once in this movie, and I'm sure that colored my perspective of it. For me, this movie wasn't action ("Navy Seals", "Rescue Dawn"), so much as intensity ("Black Hawk Down", "Hurt Locker"). Knowing that it's based on real events and acted by actual active duty Navy Seals made it hit me that much more deeply. You can't walk out of this movie without adding to your respect of the men and women in our military. Throughout the movie I was shocked, and uncomfortable, surprised, relieved, anxious, fiercely proud, and most of all, deeply touched.
It was very well done, nearly unrelenting action once it started, excellent effects, massively realistic, wholly believable. And just a little scary.
You want excitement? Explosions? Drama and Bravery? You want realism? This is it! by MooveeFantoo
I was holding my breath in some parts, cheering them on in others and crying a couple of times. This is a movie every American should see and will be thoroughly entertained by this movie. Men leave their families to risk their lives to rescue others, to prevent terrorist acts in this country. They are so connected as teams that it is planned in advance and they execute their missions with hand gestures and touch. I was so very touched and have never understood so fully what our troops risk out there protecting us. Go see this movie!
Oh, and it is not for kids, some serious kill shots happen, lots of danger and stealth.
MUST GO SEE IT!!! by volleyballgirl16
It was amazing!!!!! I know what the navy and the army and everyone does in the war and mission, but actually seeing it and just it being so real was amazing!! I cried my eyes out at the end, it was extremely sad but it hits to close to home. The poem that was being read, was amazing. It is extremely true to to this day. I will definately be seeing this movie again before it comes out on dvd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Act of Valor by 37375tn
Being a 30 year Navy veteran I'm a stickler for authenticity relating to military procedure, uniforms, realism, the dialogue and even the way the actors salute. Act of Valor passed with flying colors ("roger, over" no "copy that" BS like in "24"). The Navy SEAL actors weren't "Dustin Hoffmans" and won't win any Academy Awards but they did a credible job and added another splash (excuse the pun) of realism to the movie. The story line was believable, the makeup was excellent and the battle scenes used live tracer fire... all very kewl! I've seen several SEAL movies and this was by far the best... RECOMMENDED. May God rest the soul of Lieutenant Melvin Spence Dry, USN... he was an operator's operator (13 March 1946 - 5 June 1972... Operation Thunderhead)... Spence was a dear friend and the last Navy SEAL killed in Vietnam.
How could you not like this movie? by kmoney51
I know it's February and Hollywood saves their best pictures for the end of the year but this should be in the running for Best Picture of 2012. If a war movie with actors portraying real heros is nominated then surely a movie with the actual heros themselves should be up there, right? The acting was good considering these guys are not actors, they are just being themselves. The action is non-stop as a simple rescue mission turns into a fight to stop a terrorist. If you don't care about what the Armed Forces are about or the price which these men and women pay on a daily basis for freedom then this isn't the movie for you. Yes the violence is over the top but whatever it is that these men have seen I believe you get a chance to see yourself thanks to this movie. A non-stop thrill ride for 2 hours that has plenty of action, a few tears, and surprisingly a few laughs. Thanks to those who serve and have served, as a veteran this movie makes me appreciate them all the more.
Act of Valor review by MystressJade
Great film...it gives you a small glimpse inside covert clandestine operations from planning to execution. Obviously combat mission secrets are still kept while telling this story. I recognized several different real life stories inside this movie. Will it win any Best Actor awards? No, but these guys aren't actors. I thought they did a great job doing something (acting) so totally against their nature. The film not only depicts SEALs, it also shows the Navy's best kept secret, SWCC...Special Warfare Combatant Craft Crewmen, the SEALs insertion and extraction support in riverine environments. Amazing. They all ARE today's Heroes. HooYah! .
Pretty Good by patriotguy24
If you can get past the fact that none of these guys have had any acting experience you'll love the movie. Lots of run and gun action and a good movie overall. True heroism!