REVIEW: 12 Strong a war film with more heart than brawn

Fatigue for real-life war films is beginning to set in for me. I can only watch so many “based on a true story” fare before I long for some well-written fiction.

But don’t discount 12 Strong as just another genre piece: It’s truly a feat of heroism and heart that shouldn’t be missed.

It tells the story of the first Special Forces team to go to Afghanistan after 9/11, and their efforts to overthrow the Taliban.

It’s a nuanced, beautiful drama that is so much more than the previews would lead you to believe.

Chris Hemsworth once again proves he’s under-estimated by audiences and critics alike, bringing more depth to the role than you’d ever expect from Marvel’s Thor.

If he continues to anchor strong non-franchise efforts like Rush, In The Heart of the Sea and this film, watch for him to have a renaissance post-Avengers.

The supporting players are critical here, and include veterans Michael Shannon and Michael Pena, as well as Trevante Rhodes in a wonderful post-Moonlight performance.

It’s a somber film, and yet manages to be deftly funny and well-paced.

It’s a pretty solid effort and a heck of a journey at the movies.

4/5 Stars

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