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The Chris Hemsworth vehicle is is often hammy, but also wryly funny, breath-stoppingly tense, and uncommonly intelligent. Its January dump is a disservice to a promising debut feature.
The Hollywood Reporter
It's virtually all Hemsworth's show and he's entirely up to the task of carrying the film on his broad shoulders: He's charismatic, fearless, confident, jokey and a good old Kentucky boy who just wants to get the job done and return home to his wife and daughter.
New York Daily News
Battle sequences on horseback are executed perfectly for maximum pulse quickening. It helps to have a few good men — with apologies to Army vets disgusted with the Marine reference — cast in the supporting roles.
12 Strong sticks to the basics, without much interest in the differentiating specifics of the men involved, or anything on a geopolitical scale beyond the impulse these Special Forces veterans shared in the wake of 9/11. It seems to me a qualified, limited success.
12 Strong winds up being an almost-good film about some great American soldiers.
12 Strong wants to be triumphant but also mournful, rousing but also thoughtful in its chronicling of America’s place in a changing, complicated world. That tonal nuance is commendable...but the results are more muddled than thematically intricate.
When it works, it's engaging and there’s just enough to keep you entertained but you can’t help feel the heroes deserve something meatier.
On its own terms, the film is watchable enough, but it’s blunt and stolid and under-characterized, and at 130 minutes it plods.
San Francisco Chronicle
It might be enough that 12 Strong makes you feel good that the United States still produces guys like this. Too bad we didn’t get to know about the real guys and their actual story.
The movie has its moments. But Thor wrestling with the Hulk is more realistic and, frankly, more relevant to the current facts on the ground.
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