The Source for Youth Ministry

Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Lone Survivor (6/3/2014)

Rated R for strong bloody war violence and pervasive language.

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Eric Bana, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster

Directed by Peter Berg (friday night lights, the kingdom)

Todd's Rating: Worth Buying

Dynamic ImageThis is without a doubt my favorite modern-day war movie.

Based on The New York Times bestseller, Lone Survivor is the true story of four Navy SEALs on an ill-fated covert mission to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative who are ambushed by enemy forces in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan.

In order to fully appreciate how much I loved this film, I wanted to share with you my experience in the theater. As I sat down in my seat, four 30-year-old guys walked in and sat directly behind me. All of them were carrying big buckets of popcorn and big drinks. Got that mental picture? If you do, then you won't have a hard time believing me when I say they did not stop talking through the six movie trailers before the movie started.

Now I am a self-proclaimed movie nerd, so I am particular about where I sit and how I act. I don't chomp on popcorn, talk during the movie or use my cell phone, and as you can imagine, I am irritated by those who do.

So as I sat there I gave serious consideration to moving, but I really did have a good seat.

But once the film started, the demeanor of everyone in the theater - including those four men - changed. And when the film ended, we walked out of the theater like people walk out of a funeral. It was somber, quiet and very emotional.

I have only experienced that a handful of times. The Passion of the Christ and Saving Private Ryan were two of them.

Seeing just one story of what these brave men do on a daily basis so that you and I can enjoy our freedom was very sobering.

One of the things that made this film so amazing was the cast. Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster are phenomenal as the Navy SEALs. And Eric Bana is just as good in his supporting role.

Besides a great cast, this movie has one of my favorite directors… Peter Berg. He is a master at drawing an audience completely in and invoking the strongest emotional response from them.

Finally, there is the brutal and realistic depiction of the horrific events that unfolded during this particular mission. From being shot to falling down a mountain, those Navy SEALs endured more pain than I could even imagine. And the actors who portrayed them caused the audience to experience levels of uncomfortableness that will stick with me for sometime.

From start to finish this film was brutal, violent and extreme, but that is the Navy SEAL experience and I for one have a whole new level of respect and gratitude for them. This film is “worth buying.”

As I said earlier, the film is based on the non-fiction book of the same title, which depicts a failed Navy SEALS mission.

The mission in the film is intense throughout and deaths of the SEALS can be upsetting since they are based on their real-life counterparts.

There is a lot of violence and 143 uses of the F-word.


  1. In your opinion, what was it that allowed these four Navy SEALs to persevere through unsurmountable odds?

  2. What kind of training did they go through?

  3. When was the last time you had to persevere through something?

  4. Read Romans 5:3-5

      3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

  5. How can we learn from the SEALs' perseverance?

Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.

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