Box art for Act of Valor

Act of Valor

action & adventure, thrillers

When a mission to rescue a kidnapped CIA operative unexpectedly uncovers a chilling plot with potentially unimaginable consequences, a team of the most elite, highly-trained warriors in the modern world is dispatched on a top-secret operation.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 17
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
1 out of 5
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
4 out of 5
5 out of 5

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.

what families can talk about

  • 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?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 0
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  • Audience


Audience Reviews

1 star

Before this review starts, I have to get one thing clear: by no means do I have anything against the military. In fact, some of my closest friends are, in one way or another, associated with the military via being part of ROTC or having parents stationed. So, for me giving this film a negative review is not based on any hatred. It is due to my own thoughts of this as a war film. I think it is. With Act Of Valor, I am kind of tied in what this is meant to be. Part of me feels like this film is a propaganda film marketed at teenagers to get them to join the military. Another part feels like that this is meant to be somewhat of a documentary on what a typical day in the life of a navy SEAL is meant to be. Then you have the part that is suppose to be a tribute. From my perspective, only the first idea of what this film is appears to be accurate. Looking over what the makers of this film said, this movie featuring active SEALs is meant to be a tribute to all of those that are associated with the Navy. Watching this film, I don(TM)t see how this is a tribute. The main reason why is simple: this is not a tribute or war film. This is an action film like you would find in the 1980s. In fact, this film feels more like it is aimed at tribute those films then tribute the military. Here is my thing: if this is a military film, where are the parts that show the consequence of war? That is one factor that is constantly missing. With this being a look at the life of the military, you would expect them to add in the human factors of the film and give the complete picture. But just like any government, they only show what the public will want. So, on to the film itself, I will praise the production quality and look of this film. Honestly, I do like the idea having non-actors in the roles and using real ammo in the guns, making things as real as possible. While watching that, I will admit that I did feel pumped up and excited for what was going on. But then, there is no pay off. Yeah, people get hurt. But in terms of this film, do we really care? We are never given a chance to know any of the people, we don(TM)t really feel for any of them. They are just here to be pawns for the plot and that is that. This is a short review because you can(TM)t really review a film that focuses on action and not on the human element. Honestly, I had some high hopes for this film and the producers were given a giant opportunity here: present an accurate portrayal of war and what it is like to be in the military. You wonder why films like Apocalypse Now, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Paths of Glory, and The Hurt Locker are remembered, and that is due to them showing exactly what happens in war. This film is presented as such, but what we are left with is a film aimed at getting teenagers excited about the military, something of a weak tribute to army personal, and something of a let down for me. In all honesty, I actually expected something more. If you are a fan of action films and elements of Grind House war films, then you might like this. If you are interested in the military/ part of ROTC if you are in High School, then this film you need to add to your collection. But just remember: you are only getting what they want you to see. Not all there is.

- fb100000257973100, Sunday, June 24, 2012

3 stars

Act of Valor subverts expectations entirely. Unless for whatever reason you find, say, Braveheart lacking in dramatic depth, there is almost no resemblance to a video game born. Most of this is thanks to the opening twenty minutes, the crux of what sets the entire film apart from a fun-yet-shallow Jason Statham flick. There is a sweet, loving vibe in the film as we see the soldiers' care for their families at home, as well. This utter poignancy reappears during the film's finale, one of the most satisfyingly emotional conclusions in a war document since Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima. The hour and a half in between is action, but we've been given enough drama to care about the characters, hence the thrilling success. The sound mixing, film editing, and (surprisingly stable) cinematography all increase the tenseness heavily.

- spielberg00, Thursday, November 1, 2012