War, simple truths in ‘Lone Survivor’

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Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor” re-creates two long, brutal days in June 2005, when Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg) and three fellow soldiers (Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, and Ben Foster) fought a small Taliban army in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Peter Berg’s rousing, shallow, well-made film may be hell to sit through, but it’s part of a long Hollywood tradition of commemorative combat films—soldiers’ stories that grieve for fallen brothers and find hard, simple truths in notions of sacrifice and courage. The problem is that the wars we fight now aren’t simple, and the best recent movies about them aren’t simple either. Berg gives us a movingly bullet-chipped plaque of a drama that’s good as far as it goes. But it doesn’t go far enough anymore.

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