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
    see all Act of Valor reviews
  • 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

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