Directed by Nicolai Fuglsig
Americans on horseback take on the Taliban.
The new Chris Hemsworth combat thriller is “not a bad movie, as far as it goes,” said Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune. “An unalloyed shot of movie patriotism for the Make America Great Again sector of the American movie audience,” it dramatizes the true story of 12 courageous Green Berets who rode into war in Afghanistan on horseback shortly after the 9/11 attacks. The heroics of these men deserve celebration, and the movie offers no shortage of “rousing” triumphs. “In terms of context, though, it goes nowhere.” Hemsworth, “as always,” is appealing, and Michael Shannon shines as the unit’s radio operator, said Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle. “Best of all,” though, is Navid Negahban, playing the Northern Alliance general the Americans team with to seize control of a Taliban-held city. Unfortunately, too much of the drama is fictionalized, and because the larger war is far from won, “it’s difficult to get into the celebratory spirit.” Still, the movie is useful because it will prompt audiences to remember that we all once believed that Americans could be the good guys in a war against global terrorists and their brutally suppressive allies, said Kyle Smith in NationalReview.com. “Whatever its weaknesses, 12 Strong deserves credit for reminding us of that.” ■