Lone Survivor (2013) directed by Peter Berg, starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Eric Bana. This is based on the book and real life story of Marcus Luttrell and his team, and the book was written by Marcus and co-written by Patrick Robinson.
Synopsis: Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg) and his team of Navy SEALs are on a mission (Operation Red Wings) to track Taliban leader Ahmad Shah in Afghanistan 2005. The four man team consists of: Marcus, Michael Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), Danny Dietz (Emile Hirsch) and Matt Axelson (Ben Foster).
After the team arrive at their designated location, they successfully spot Shah. However, a group of goat herders stumble across them. Having no choice but to tie them up, the team eventually let them go and make their way further up the mountains to try and seek help. Before long, the team are engaged in gun fire with the Taliban, and it is a race against time for survival.
This is one of the best war films I have seen in a while. The viewer is instantly taken in by the camaraderie of the soldiers, as they talk about their loved ones back home and interact with each other. We see Michael worry about the price of buying a horse for his fiancé as a wedding present, and Danny is worrying about what colour to paint his house. This is clearly a tight knit group of men, who are ultimately working to pay the bills and make a better life for their families.
There is a cast of big names in this film, and everyone puts in good performances. Wahlberg, Kitsch, Hirsch and Foster all stand out as the men with their lives at risk. Supporting actors like Bana do not disappoint either as Lieutenant Commander Erik Kristensen.
Thematically, this story tells us to avoid generalising. There is an instance where Marcus is helped by a group of Afghans. He is baffled as to why they are helping him, and cannot understand why he would be shown hospitality. Ultimately this is saying that despite war happening in certain countries, there are still people out there who seek peace.
Despite the political aspects of the current war, there is no need to be politically minded to watch this. Regardless of whether this was fictional or not, it has great acting, writing, and action. I recommend this.
By Robert Spence