'Act of Valor' Critic Reviews

75%
MovieWeb:   10 reviews
25%
Rotten Tomatoes:   135 reviews
  • Chris Nashawaty Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    59
    When the bullets are flying, Act of Valor is undeniably tense and thrilling.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Jeannette Catsoulis New York Times (Top Critic)
    40
    Unsurprisingly, the finished product plays like a pumped-up recruitment commercial deemed fit for feature length and multiplex viewing.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Peter Bradshaw Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    20
    In the 1980s, Top Gun reportedly sent young men rushing to join the military; this hilariously bad film is going to get them clamouring to join the Jon Stewart Appreciation Society.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Claudia Puig USA Today (Top Critic)
    63
    Employing Navy troops as stars is a clever idea for an action thriller. But the soldiers' awkward line readings are glaring enough to distract from the potency of the story.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Mark Jenkins Washington Post (Top Critic)
    50
    The exercises are genuine, and so is the hardware. But the script undermines the sense of authenticity at every turn.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Wesley Morris Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    75
    "Act of Valor'' is a roller-coaster ride.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Nick Pinkerton Village Voice (Top Critic)
    The villains come across as individuals rather more compellingly than do the film's ostensible heroes, mostly mouthpieces for warrior credo recited in voiceover.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Joe Neumaier New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    20
    A big-screen recruitment film infused with a hero worship SEALs typically shun.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Chris Vognar Dallas Morning News (Top Critic)
    67
    The movie doesn't pretend to be anything but propaganda, a modern-day cousin to the morale-boosting documentaries made by John Huston and Frank Capra during World War II.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • James Rocchi MSN Movies (Top Critic)
    10
    Act of Valor is designed to... fill your heart with patriotic respect ... and completely shut off any part of your brain that may dare to ask bigger questions about what you're watching and why.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    63
    We don't get to know the characters as individuals, they don't have personality traits, they have no back stories, they don't speak in colorful dialogue, and after the movie you'd find yourself describing events but not people.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    50
    "Act of Valor" plays like a highly favorable SEALs tribute placed atop a vaguely bogus storyline.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • David Hiltbrand Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    You know who you're supposed to be rooting for because they're the ones wearing uniforms, but it's easy to lose touch with why.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    38
    I think these real-life action heroes deserve a better movie. So does the audience.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Bill Goodykoontz Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    60
    While the intentions behind "Act of Valor" are sterling, the story could have been told better. One wishes the filmmakers had trusted it to professional actors, who might have more fully realized the material.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Robert Koehler Variety (Top Critic)
    A mechanically efficient yet soulless dramatization of the U.S. Navy SEALs in action.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Kyle Smith New York Post (Top Critic)
    50
    Refreshing as it is to see the military portrayed as something other than a band of neurotics and creeps, there's a reason this brand of rah-rah and bang-bang didn't outlast the age of Whitesnake and Marty McFly.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Linda Barnard Toronto Star (Top Critic)
    38
    While subtleties and pacing are MIA, the filmmakers know how to shoot action and they make the most of it in Act of Valor.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Rick Groen Globe and Mail (Top Critic)
    50
    Although the Seals continue in fine form, the co-directors seem fatigued from the journey, allowing their once-clean style to degenerate into a typical mishmash of clutter and bombast.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • James Berardinelli ReelViews (Top Critic)
    63
    There's something old-fashioned and a little refreshing about a movie that unabashedly represents its protagonists as heroes, but it gets in the way of seeing the SEALs in Act of Valor as real people.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Michael Rechtshaffen Hollywood Reporter (Top Critic)
    The merging of dramatic re-creations and on-camera "performances" proves less seamlessly executed than those masterfully coordinated land, sea and air missions.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Jake Coyle Associated Press (Top Critic)
    38
    Just barely a movie, "Act of Valor" is more like a high-quality recruitment video with interstitial acting.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Richard Corliss TIME Magazine (Top Critic)
    Fighting is a learned skill; so is acting. And the SEAL stars are plausible only when on maneuvers - performing as their own stunt doubles.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Peter Travers Rolling Stone (Top Critic)
    25
    I don't know what to make of Act of Valor. It's like reviewing a recruiting poster.
    Full Review » 2 years ago
  • Richard Roeper Richard Roeper.com (Top Critic)
    40
    The special ops missions are pretty amazing, but the SEALS as dramatic characters are under-developed.
    Full Review » 2 years ago