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  • The book and story upon which this Hollywood flock is based is awesome, and even important. The movie is a fairly standard Hollywood-version military exercise, and I can't fully fault the production team or actors because they have to tell a big story in 2 hours about a major event that should be well known to Americans and Afghans alike, let alone the rest of the world. Plus, no one behind the special effects or acting or script or direction were there. Much like Lone Survivor it's a pretty decent depiction of a true story for a film production, but also much like Lone Survivor, I wish it had taken the source material a tad more seriously, and attached much more telling and brutal realism (like Saving Private Ryan and The Hurt Locker) in terms of mood and dialog and acting, and even equipment and battle scenes. I don't want a Tears Of The Sun fairy tale with my war movies. I want something that transports us there. More realistic tactics, weapons that fire and report realistically, bombs that aren't full of fireballs all the time, etc... All could have been done here. But many would have lost interest in the drama... It's been dumbed down, and 90% of the audience will have no idea.

    Maybe I demand too much, or am too picky, or just don't accept the "average" like "average" Americans who don't look any deeper at stuff like war other than action films and headlines. I feel like our veterans deserve better.

    Meanwhile, the negative reviews here are by folks who really have no idea what they're talking about, especially when they call it "propaganda". Politics produce propaganda. This is a story based on actual in: it happened. Doesn't matter what your politics are. Read the book Horse Soldiers. Talk to more vets. Talk to some Afghani people who know a bit about their own country and the Taliban.

    This movie could have been WAY better, but it was sinply "good" as what we've come to expect from Hollywood most of the time. I think it was wasted on misguided and detached production values and sensationalism that can only be provided by limited knowledge and devotion. Had Spielberg made this flick? Might have been an all-time great. And I say MIGHT, because it would be almost impossible to bring the reality and education to the screen that the book was able to portray and provide, and the reality on the ground these men experienced. Why we settle for pop culture education on important matters and historical events as our ONLY education is beyond me. But it seems the American audience wouldn't know the difference if REALITY ran over them in the form of a stampede of horses with a team of US special forces and Afghan militia on their backs. So I guess there's no real hard done, right?
  • I don't understand all the negative and one liner reviews- most be trolls. The absurdity of mounted cavalry attack against a T-72 speaks volume of OEF. A few errors such as glowing NVGs and a tad weak Mk82 bombs.
  • But it is true, this really did happen. Obviously the movie makes some artistic, social and political changes but it seems like a mostly faithful retelling of the story.

    Now, true story aside, the movie itself was very enjoyable, the actors made believable SF soldiers, the locations, the equipment, everything looked good.

    I am so glad that they did not make a Lone Survivor clone, this is a movie that can stand up in it´s own.

    Some other reviews here are saying that they are disappointed that it is predictable story. I suppose that they don´t realise that it is a true story, such is the epic and frankly absurd bravery of these men in the field, it´s almost too good to be true.

    It´s a great story and it is well told in this movie.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I know people seem to say bad things about this film but they appear to be left wing anti war people so why they went to see this film is beyond me. Like any Hollywood depictions of based on true stories movies there are always additional materials to keep the story interesting, and I believe they did a good job in showing what these true American hero's do on a daily basis. My advice is to watch if you like good positive ending movies, unlike some reviewers who care to watch chaos endings and continue to live in that type of world.
  • 12 Strong is based on truth and it would seem that in itself goes a long way as it took until a decade later for this story to become known through the book on which it was based. Quite simply it deserves the big screen treatment as it was a first victory in a war which goes on as I write this. The heroism is off the charts as everything changed the minute the 12 dropped in. Importantly the movie gets this point across. If it often seems like a lunatic's gamble as the small group of 12 immediately were split due the lack of trust by the Northern Alliance's war lord. Again the movie pulls no Hollywood bombast in depicting this. It seems like even our supposed allies are so distrustful the operation is doomed. As far as the battle scenes go there's that suspicion it may have received some of the Hollywood action movie push. I say don't over analyze this as it gets the point across of how desperate the situation really was and how focused, disciplined, and well trained our brave 12 were. The bottom line is this is a good homage based on real events and that always hovers large. If it could have been better depicted I'm certainly not sure exactly how as the victory was near impossible and that is captured on film quite realistically. I have nothing but praise for these fearless 12 warriors and I'm proud their story is now displayed for all of us who they put it over the line for. See the film and don't pick it apart, rather, be proud there is another great generation and just be glad we have soldiers like these 12.
  • Civillit29 May 2018
    Perhaps not the best war movie ever made and a bit predictable, but a truly well done and well acted insight into the first response to 9/11. Yes we win. Guess what? We won in real life too. It's about the journey not the well known destination. It's a ride, on horseback. Enjoy it for what it is. The one star reviews are simply ridiculous. Somewhere between a 6-8 is reasonable and rationale.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    As a person who didn't know the background to the events of the 12 soldiers after 9/11 I really enjoyed the film. The story was typically set up with the film showing the soldiers family lives and the difficult situation of leaving to serve their country and it flowed on from there. I felt there wasn't the typical Hollywood style soldier being portrayed here, which was a good thing. The one aspect of the film that stood out for me were the battle scenes which were really well staged. One small criticism was the Taliban and their role in the movie, I wanted to see more of a backstory to show how brutal they actually are. The character development was pretty good and the dialogue wasn't that of a Tarantino or McDonagh film, there wasn't a lot the actors could delve into to show how good they are, especially Michael Shannon who I really enjoy seeing. All in all a pretty good way of spending 2 hours of your time.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Depth": This film was incredibly satisfying to me. It definitely had me on the edge of my seat when I was watching it. I really hate seeing these reviews that are complaining about the movie's depth, and I can see why you would consider that one of the film's flaws...but giving it a 5/10 or less because of that one flaw...really? If you think that there are more flaws than that then I would understand...but there's more to a film than it's "depth", especially a film based on a true story. I honestly thought this movie was very meaningful and thoughtful of the people that actually fought after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It seems that critics aren't thinking about that at all, they just care about this one flaw in the film. You know that people don't look into a film as much as they need to when they give a film a pretty low rating because they noticed one flaw, especially one that a lot of people wouldn't notice, and or care about.

    My Thoughts On The Movie: This movie really showed me what the fights after the 9/11 terrorist attacks were like...and that's pretty much the movie's entire goal, is to educate it's viewers on what happened after 9/11. It was also a very heartwarming movie. Seeing all of the character's saying goodbye to their families was pretty sad to watch, but then you see characters like Mitch Nelson (played by Chris Hemsworth) smiling when they come back home seeing their families joyful reactions, you feel your heart sitting next to a fire (well...unless you care WAY too much about the films depth...). And that is what makes this a good "War" movie, that it's not just violence, it also explores the lives of the characters that are fighting in it. Seeing all of the main protagonists bond and joke with each other could also be really satisfying to people who don't like the "overly-serious" type films (I, however, am not one of those people). I just like how the writers put some humor into their script for this movie, and that's something you have to appreciate for films like this. If you're into these kinds of movies, I definitely suggest you watch it, and if you don't know, give it a watch, and if you're not, then you probably shouldn't watch it. Just focus on the movie's storyline and not on ENTIRELY on the depth, this movie has a lot of meaning to it and it's not aiming to become a perfect movie (not many films do), it just wants to educate it's viewers, which is what a lot of "History" films do, try to educate the viewer. I enjoyed it.

    Also, I was really satisfied about Michael Pena, Michael Shannon and Rob Riggle's roles in this flick.
  • The basis of the movie is great. Assuming there was a "little" artistic freedom exercised to make it better for Hollywood, some of it was a little over the top. Classic "video game" action scenes where the hero is being shot at by hundreds of enemies and he never gets hit, and the infinite ammo syndrome (drives me crazy). I think I only saw him reload once throughout the move.

    I'd watch it again sometime when my wife isn't going to fall asleep.
  • brandonglade21 January 2018
    Warning: Spoilers
    As a former member of the military, I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and the fact that 75% of the audience was applauding at the end, made me fell pretty proud to have served this great Country! I don't know how accurate the actual story was told, but at the end of the day, 12 brave men, put themselves in harms way and accomplished an extremely dangerous mission. I felt the cast was excellent, and battle scenes realistic. Go see this movie, I'm glad that stories like this get told!
  • ayaz-s20 February 2018
    At best it is an ok movie. While the events may have been true we certainly do not know for a fact how it really went down. I know for a lot of people from the other side of the pond, anything that their govt and army says is the gospel. However I am really weary of seeing Captain America type of movies where only the Americans know how to shoot, kill, jump, ride and have emotions. Did I fail to mention are invincible as well. On that accord this movie excelled. The Afghans who incidentally historically have fought and mind you defeated many empires were once again portrayed and fumbling buffoons. If you wish to see how great and good the Americans are you will also not be disappointed.
  • 12 STRONG has some of the most hardcore battle scenes in any war movie. It's soldiers carrying weapons while riding horses, that definitely makes this one unique. And if you're animal lovers, you are right to be concerned about the horses' safety, I'm sure the production went above and beyond to ensure that but to me what's more impressive is the fact that these guys actually storm into battle like that, with bullets flying everywhere, riding a horse isn't exactly taking a cover, it's very very vulnerable, you're out in the open, impressive stuff.

    Starring Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Pena and Trevante Rhodes, directed by Nicolai Fuglsig, based on Doug Stanton's book, 12 STRONG is the true story of a U.S. Special forces team led by their new captain, Mitch Nelson, played by Chris Hemsworth, and after 9/11 they're sent to be the first troops into Afghanistan to retaliate. There they form alliance with a local general, played by Navid Negahban in order to fight their common enemy, the Taliban. The special forces team has to adapt to the terrain and some of the tactics there which means they have to use Afghani horses to go places. They're outnumbered and outgunned by a ruthless enemy who's driven by ideology.

    Without sounding too shallow, to be honest with you, the biggest reason why I enjoy 12 STRONG is that it's essentially about good guys kicking bad guys' ass. The war in Afghanistan is one of the longest wars in our country's history with no end in sight, it's still going, it's still happening, so seeing it from today's perspective is quite depressing. But something like this, where the characters are charged up because of 9/11, they go in, guns blazing, sending hell to enemy's territory, they go in they get the job done, boom, it definitely satisfies those of us moviegoers who like watching bad guys getting what's coming to them.

    And I'm glad that the movie is rated R and doesn't hold back, so what you get is a depiction that's not watered down. It's graphic, it's intense, it's brutal, it's in your face. And like I said earlier, the battle scenes are explosive and hardcore. You're really engaged the entire time. It's well staged, well choreographed and well-shot, with some excellent sound mix and sound editing work. There's a bit of drama they throw in there with the clash between how Chris Hemsworth's character does things versus how the local general Navid Negahban's character does things, so even though the bad guy is quite one dimensional, there's plenty to go around between those two commanding characters. The movie does a good job of emphasizing the reason why a group like the Taliban needs to be eliminated, it does a good job of pumping us up to keep rooting for the good guys to win. What a helluva film to honor those courageous horse soldiers.

    -- Rama's Screen --
  • ferguson-619 January 2018
    Greetings again from the darkness. During the movie, Afghanistan is referred to as "the graveyard of many empires". Traditionally, January is the graveyard of most new movie releases, so it's a pleasant surprise when we see an entertaining, well-made and historically interesting film, and it's still mid-January! Doug Stanton's book "Horse Soldiers" is the source material for director Nicolai Fuglsig's first feature film, and it's anything but a disappointment.

    The film opens on September 11, 2001 and subjects us, yet again, to those horrific images seared into the minds of anyone alive on that day. What most of us didn't know, was that about a month later, a team of U.S. Army Special Forces (the Green Berets) were being dropped into the rough and mostly unfriendly terrain of Afghanistan. This ridiculously courageous team of 12 men had one mission: secure Mazar-i-Sharif to prevent a takeover by the Taliban.

    An early scene tells us this won't be the usual blind patriotism we often see on screen. One of the soldiers, Hal Spencer (Michael Shannon), is told (with a bit of anger) by his wife, "I'll love you when you get back." This contrasts to the usual loyal and stiff-upper-lip military wife we see in most war movies. Another wife scrubs the oven rather than snuggle with her man, while yet another coerces a taboo pledge to come home to her.

    Chris Hemsworth (THOR) plays Captain Mitch Nelson, the intelligent but not-yet-battle-tested leader of a special ops team. The plan is for Nelson and his team to connect with General Dostum, an Afghan War Lord in charge of the Northern Alliance, and fight together to gain control of Mazar. After arriving at a local outpost nicknamed "The Alamo" (34 miles from town), the team gets their first surprise ... they must split up and cover the ground on horseback. Filmed in New Mexico, the journey is miserable and filled with danger - an ambush could occur at any moment, or perhaps they are being set-up by those they have been ordered to trust.

    Horseback riding, caves, the weather, and the elements of the terrain are all challenges, but none of it compares to facing the Taliban forces which number in the thousands, and feature tanks, rocket launchers and an endless supply of weaponry. Director Fuglsig utilizes a "Days in Country" counter so that we can get some semblance of time and ongoing misery being fought through by the Americans. But no day is normal when the soldiers are on horseback while being attacked by tanks. The odds seem insurmountable.

    One of the more fascinating aspects of the story and welcome approaches of the film is back-and-forth between Captain Nelson and General Dostum. Initially, Dostum shows little respect by telling the young officer that he lacks "the eyes of a killer" and isn't yet a warrior, and he spends a great deal of time lecturing and philosophizing on Nelson's behalf. Of course, the lessons may be frustrating in the moment, but aren't lost on Nelson as there is a huge payoff at the peak of the key battle.

    The battle scenes come in all sizes - small skirmishes and massive, large scale assaults. Each is intense and dramatic and well-staged, though there are some moments where we shake our head in disbelief. At least we do until we remember that this is a true story, and despite that, it is truly unbelievable. The supporting cast includes Michael Pena and his snappy punchlines, Trevante Rhodes (MOONLIGHT), William Fichtner with a shaved head, Elsa Pataky - Hemsworth's real life wife as his screen wife, Taylor Sheridan, Geoff Stults and Jack Kesy. Rob Riggle plays Colonel Max Bowers, who was Riggle's commanding officer when he served in the Marines. The previously mentioned Michael Shannon is a bit underutilized, but the film's best moments are those with Hemsworth and Navid Negahban (as General Dostum). You likely recognize Negahban as Abu Nazir from "Homeland". It's their exchanges that show how the line between allies and enemies is not always crystal clear - even if they are fighting for the same thing.

    Writers Peter Craig (THE TOWN) and Ted Tally (Oscar winner for THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS) do a nice job of character development, and the camaraderie of the 12 men of ODA 595 seems authentic - despite some schmaltzy moments over their 23 days of Task Force Dagger. Early on, we are informed that the most important thing to take to war is "a reason why", and then towards the end, Dostum explains that the United States is in a no-win situation: we are cowards if we go, and enemies if we stay. It's chilling commentary on a war that has dragged on much too long ... despite the heroic efforts of the 12 horse soldiers.
  • Good entertainment for a couple of hours, I don't understand the negativity behind it. Very masculine with the charming Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon with other awesome tough cast. In my opinion Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now are the best war movies, 12 Strong is still pretty damn good!
  • I was very disappointed, when I left the cinema. It's all 'good guy, bad guy'; The Americans are the saints, the heros; The Al Qaida the bastards.

    A soldier is asked; 'Will you do this dangerous job?' Fearless he answers: 'We're here anyway. Let's finish the job'. Yawns...

    I'm more into realistic war-movies, with depth-characters. So to me, watching this movie was a waste of my time (and money).
  • Fizzle_Talks28 January 2018
    This is probably the worst war biopic I've ever seen, excluding thoroughly fictionalized ones such as Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor. In fact, I would hesitate to even call Bay's more recent war film, 13 Hours, a bad film as it at least had a compelling story and fully realized characters that I cared about in spite of it's many shortcomings.

    This film is cheesier than the average 80's action flick. Every line of dialogue feels like it came off a script, and not a very clever one at that. It feels like there are dozens of lines in the film from every major character that are delivered with the desperate intention to become quotes.

    The main character especially comes off as unreasonably brash. During the introduction, he immediately gives his superiors attitude following the September 11th attacks, and subsequently throws a tantrum, kicking over his desk to protest against his promotion, and immediately gets what he wants for being an impatient manchild, though the movie intended me to get the impression that this guy's valiant and brave. Despite no combat experience, he's confident that he and his team are coming back alive after kicking some terrorist asses, and they're gonna look dope doin' it.

    At no point did I feel any tension. Unlike just about every other film of the genre, the soldiers aren't shown as having fear despite lazily uttered lines claiming they do. Characters charge into battle constantly, like birds with their chests puffed up, to such a blatant degree that it's surprising that they weren't going to subvert this trope and found it simply acceptable. There's hardly any struggle for victory in this film, as it feels the good guys are chasing the baddies down like dogs and bombarding them from a distance with air strikes over and over. It's like 300, except with modern weaponry, and less tact, and no style. The American soldiers feel invincible, and they pretty much are as they survive several close-proximity explosions while baddies are turned to red mist, hoist by their own petards. There's no attempt made to surprise viewers, and oddly enough it tries its best to be comfortable and digestible. Though it can be argued that too many films nowadays are dark and gritty, there's a place for that tone, and war films are definitely the place to stick to that. The best war films are the ones that tend to delve deep into the horrors of war, but this film would rather be a positive idea rather than a though-provoking experience. It is easy to evoke strong sympathy for characters of a war film, especially when they're based on true events, but this film misses the mark entirely.

    The story isn't all that interesting to begin with. There's good intentions here, which are likely more apparent in the novel they skimmed through in making this adaptation, but ultimately it comes off as the less interesting spin-off in the events surrounding 9/11 and the war in the Middle East. United 93 has an incredible narrative, and it manages to make the most of its incredibly compelling story of real-world heroism while remaining respectful and realistic. 13 Hours, while very flawed, tells the politically controversial story of the Benghazi attacks on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. Zero Dark Thirty tells the story of assassinating Osama Bin Laden and is critically acclaimed. This film feels kind of like Pearl Harbor if that movie skipped the part where Pearl Harbor was attacked and instead focused on Hiroshima.

    The editing is sloppy at best. There are many instances of blood squibs that look very digital which cheapen the movie and make it look like a video game at parts. Numerous smoke, fire, and explosion effects also looked quite fake, and resolutions of objects seemed inconsistent. Sometimes objects and backgrounds looked blown up and low-detail or even skewed vertically in contrast to the foreground characters, leading me to believe they must have been chroma-keyed in, poorly. There are annoyingly useless and repetitive clips, such as the needless cuts to the Jafar-esque villain of the film giving menacing stares at our heroes, which add nothing to the plot or characters and just act as padding in an already paper-thin story for an extremely bloated movie.

    Also, this may be an error on my theater's part, but the audio was out of sync. Characters' lips were moving about a quarter of a second behind the actual audio, though it wouldn't be unlikely that something went wrong beyond the filmmaking itself, so I won't hold this against the film as of yet.

    The humor was cringeworthy at best. There's jokes and gags tossed in here and there which are thankfully not too frequent, but while they're intended for levity they come off as immature and inappropriate, especially given this movie's not depressing and thus doesn't require any levity. One character says he's hungry despite there being no word of this and nothing to hint to anyone in the crew being famished at this point, and he ends up buying a sheep off a local for $300, just to execute a punchline that this guy should be working for military commission, and instead of getting a scene with the crew eating a sheep and allowing for character interaction we skip to more boring military discussion followed by one of the longest action sequences I've ever seen in a movie.

    This movie lacks any passion and is simply a paint-by-numbers war flick with no more intention than cashing in on the lowest common denominators, and it will impress none other than the least demanding moviegoers.
  • Entertaining true-story but should have been a shorter run-time. The directing, acting, cinematography where all on point, but it should have been edited down a little better. Nevertheless, enjoyable and entertaining. 8/10 from me
  • Finally a heroic war movie with lots of action that is an interesting true story and the viewer can root for the hero because they are on the right side of history. There have been a lot of war movies recently that are on the depressing side where everyone but one is killed, or it's an anti war movie where the futility of war and being on the wrong side for the wrong reasons, or they are up against overwhelming odds and put up a valiant fight but fail. 12 Strong isn't one of those being set in 2001 before things got all muddied in Iraq.. The story is simple and clearly explained and the mission is easy to understand. They are the first force to go after Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. As things progress the battles become more and more intense from planes dropping bombs then scary gun battles to tanks vs horses to a grand finale that is a true Western style horses and guns blazing all out battle. The cast is good - Chris Hemsworth doesn't overwhelm the screen so he is convincing enough. Michael Shannon plays a soldier quite well too.

    There are a few slightly cheap things about the beginning and ending, it's not as slickly done as a Peter Berg movie. Nevertheless it's a good solid almost old fashioned in concept war movie that leaves you with a good feeling.
  • It's hard for me to believe that this movie is based upon the real events because US and coalition have been in Afghanistan for 16.5 years and still it's getting worst, if their 12 men can do this then why they have stationed 30000+ troops and got 4000+ killed or maybe movie makers were little extra motivated to make it a more dabang kind of action war movie
  • I have never seen a war movie on the big screen. I never cared to. I enjoy fantasy, sci-fi, and arthouse stuff. I recently saw and enjoyed The Shape Of Water, The Phantom Thread, Jumanji, and Paddington 2. Not into war films. I went to the theater to see The Post and it was sold out. So, I picked 12 Strong at random, seeing Chris Hemsworth on the poster. Hey, it's Thor!. I never saw any trailers for this movie so I went in blind.

    Based on a true story, 12 Strong gripped me from the beginning because it explained everything slow enough for people like me who aren't into warfare. You meet the characters, you know what they are about to get into, and because 9/11 happened in my lifetime, I was suddenly drawn into this movie, which depicts the first group of soldiers who attacked the Taliban.

    You are told how long this team of soldiers have to accomplish their mission. They say they can do it in half the time. Once the mission starts, you get a constant count of the days that they are on the mission throughout the film. It's a nice timer that helps give you a feel of their progress. It's sometimes tense, and when it's not, you get a lot of development between characters that creates sympathy. It's always entertaining.

    When the final scenes play out, it's very, very intense, with lots of terror, lots of anxiety-inducing moments, but all in all, an extremely satisfying conclusion. The bottom line is, this is based on a true story of a team of 12 soldiers whose story was classified until now. So only now are they getting praised for their heroic deeds.

    This movie delivered a great, uplifting story of soldiers who were not given credit when they came home from duty. This is their due. I promise you, if you like action films like Jumanji, which I thought was awesome... this movie will NOT dissapoint, and it's based on a true story. I will DEFINITELY see this again in the theater. It just won't be the same experience at home. See it in the theater if you can!
  • I wish I had more movies like this ..a history that all of us must know.. good job!! (If u know more war movies like this tell me)
  • I have played Call of Duty -Black ops... Now i have seen why and how much it is difficult... Thanks a lot for the Movie crew
  • Ignore the bad reviews! Epic war film & based on a true storey! I Would really like to know what kind of movies these haters find interesting. Not sure if these people are getting paid to give bad reviews, They hate America, They have a thing for Al Qaeda. Maybe its those people from Rotten Tomatoes! I don't know! But trust me! If you like good feel good movies you will love this. By the looks of it a lot of these people have opened accounts just to rate this low as they have only rated one film & by looking trough the others most of there ratings are 1! Wanted 1! (:O) Superb filmography! In my opinion anyway! Go see this! You will love it!
  • mmarkosian22 March 2018
    For the life of me I can't understand how this piece of rubbish got a 7. It was worthless from story to acting to FX.
  • WowTex1 February 2018
    I usually do not go to these types of movies, nor leave reviews for them. But I must say this is an amazing movie for it's genre. It does not go with the usual stereotypes of "bad muslims". It is a movie for all Americans regardless of who they are if they want to know why we are still in the middle east. The actors were great, battle scenes on point. If you are still sketchy about seeing this movie like I was at first, well, don't be. Go see it cause it is worth it.
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