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
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
4 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
1 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

3 stars

Act of Valor in my opinion is much underrated. People seem to have missed the mark entirely with this film. Critics have said that the characters lack any development and so on, and that the action war scenes were too intense. Well, guess what. This is what The Navy Seals do. Act of Valor does lack effective character development, but I expected that. What can you expect from this? A real life portrait of real Seals doing what they do best, being the fearless soldiers. Believe me, that's much more interesting than some made up story featuring inaccurate portrayals of Seals. I think this film gives a great portrait of what these men do. I very enjoyed the film and I thought the action scenes were exciting, thrilling and top-notch, and it more than makes up for the so-so performances. The films "actors" aren't actors, they are real life Seals. If you're looking for great performances, this isn't your film. If you enjoy a mindless thrill ride, then give this one a shot. Though the film lacked in an effective story, I enjoyed it very much and I thought it was really intense to watch the Seals on-screen, and that's what made this film good. The cinematography for this film was unique as well; the filmmakers used a first person point of view in many scenes, as if you're playing a game of Call of Duty or Battlefield. I thought it plunged you a bit more into the film, and made the experience that much more thrilling. Is Act of Valor a perfect film? No it's not. Does it offer a thrilling look at how Seals do their jobs, yes it does. As a whole, the story was good, nothing really special, but like I've stated many times here, what makes this film worth seeing is the top-notch action as you real life Seals give us a taste of what they do. A unique War film, not the best, but not the worst either. Expect mindless entertainment, and you'll enjoy it. Turn off your brain, and enjoy. What the Seals do in real life is thrilling and exciting and Act of Valor brings light on the matter pretty well. A must see for war film fans.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Wednesday, June 6, 2012

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

"The only easy day was yesterday." An elite team of Navy SEALs embark on a covert mission to recover a kidnapped CIA agent. REVIEW Reality is the coin of this realm: Act of Valor uses real Navy Seals to propel an action story, cobbled together from real incidents. Although professional actors stand in stark contrast to the Seals, the sequences involving the latter have an authentic feel. Then, I don't know how much I'm influenced by the prologue where the idea of using active seals is explained. A very bad billionaire, Christo, is plotting to bring jihad right to American shores with undetectable suicide vests carrying ultra-lethal ceramic balls. The Seals have a number of violent actions that move toward the final confrontation, including rescuing a female agent from the jungle prison and breaching the factory where the vests are made. Until later episodes, it looked as if the Seals were invulnerable, so I felt better about the "realism" because the deaths were "realistic." Because the solemnity of the send off ceremony and the funeral ritual have been seen before both in fiction and fact, the real strength of the film is in the precise execution of the Seals' activities, making them heroic in a real sense. Act of Valor reinforces the now-understood greatness of the team that took down Osama bin Laden. That's real.

- LorenzoVonMatterhorn, Thursday, June 7, 2012