'Lone Survivor' Reviews Give Us Hope That This Movie Will Finally Redeem Taylor Kitsch

BySamantha Rullo

Mark Wahlberg is getting serious again with his latest movie Lone Survivor, the true story of Marcus Luttrell, the only one of four Navy SEALs to survive a 2005 mission in Afghanistan. The film comes out on Jan. 10 and so far, the Lone Survivor reviews are mostly favorable, with a few exceptions. And though as the main star Wahlberg is getting the most attention, we hope that Lone Survivor will bring positive attention to his fellow SEALs, especially Friday Night Lights' Taylor Kitsch.

After some epic flops, like John Carter and Battleship, Kitsch really needs a win and if the praise for Lone Survivor continues, this could save his floundering movie career. Here's what the critics are saying about the performances, action and more of Lone Survivor.

The Premise

Don't let knowing the outcome of the SEALs' Operation Red Wings stop you from seeing the movie, it still manages to keep you hooked.

"...the title, "Lone Survivor," and the fact that Luttrell is played by the movie's star (Mark Wahlberg, in a strong and moving performance) tells you much of what's going to happen from the get-go. But that doesn't hurt the film's immediacy and power. In fact, you may have a hard time sitting still." Jocelyn Noveck, Huffington Post

"But Lone Survivor’s lack of suspense never works against it. If anything, the fact that the outcome is, at least roughly, known in advance only adds to the film’s sickening tension, the atmosphere of preordained doom through which its characters seem to move." Dana Stevens, Slate

The Acting

The four key actors, Wahlberg, Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster, have been praised for portraying different sides of their characters, from focused, driven soldiers to close friends and regular guys.

"Here, Wahlberg steps in as full audience gateway, his guiding eyes and amiable craft capturing the impossible conflict that he and his team must overcome. His is not the best performance in the film; that honor goes to Foster, who humanizes Axelson with a full-spirited passion and sensitive humor. But together, all four cast members help draw a line across the narrative..." Charlie Schmidlin, Indiewire

"The 49-year-old director and his main cast underwent rudimentary SEAL training, pushing themselves “further than you thought possible … into those cold, dark corners where the bad things live.” They carry some of that dedication into the film, particularly in the harrowing middle-act siege." Richard Corliss, Time

The Action

A war film at its core, critics credit director Peter Berg for Lone Survivor's excellent action sequences.

"All four performances are first-rate, and the action is staged with shattering intensity. Literally and graphically shattering. The film is a celebration of courage, and the brotherhood of warriors facing unfathomable danger in the service of their country." The Wall Street Journal

"War is messy, and politics are messy. But Berg has wisely chosen to focus pretty squarely on the action, and to present it as straightforwardly as possible. And he's executed that approach with admirable skill, down to using autopsy reports to get the number of wounds a soldier suffered exactly right." Jocelyn Noveck, Huffington Post

Lone Survivor hits theaters nationwide Jan. 10.

Image: Universal