Peter Berg's "Lone Survivor" starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Eric Bana was a bit of a question mark earlier in the year, but it's already already garnering positive survival narrative comparisons to solid pictures that have already screened this year like "Gravity," "Captain Phillips," "All Is Lost" and "12 Years A Slave" (that's pretty terrific company to be in). What's more, while reviews aren't out yet, the movie has screened for press, and critics seem to be impressed. Jeffrey Wells has called it a surreal, exhilarating nightmare, and while Oscar blogger Scott Feinberg hasn't seen it yet, the good notices from critics who have seen it have popped it up on his Oscar radar (we'll see if it charts on our own analysis next week).
For research, director Peter Berg deployed in early 2010 with a SEAL platoon in Iraq near Syria's border. "It really helped me get ready to write the screenplay," the filmmaker told the L.A. Times
. "These are really funny guys who love to joke. They are in love with their jobs and with each other and very clear-eyed about their jobs and their mission. I've never met guys more focused on doing their jobs as best as they could."
Why all the survival movies this fall? It was a conspiracy, naturally. "Paul Greengrass, Alfonso Cuarón J. C. Chandor
and I... we all got together in a secret ceremony on a road outside of Vegas at 4 a.m., and we made a vow that we would all do survival films,” Berg quipped to the NY Times
. A new trailer and photos below. "Lone Survivor" hits select theaters December 27th and then goes wide January 10, 2014.