Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says Pause for kids 17 & under
Brutal, powerful, ultimately moving true Navy SEAL story.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lone Survivor tells the true story of a 2005 Navy SEAL mission in Afghanistan gone terribly wrong. It features brutal, bloody violence, with guns, shooting, gory wounds, and many deaths, including major characters. The men use some sexual innuendo, as well as very strong language, including "f--k," "s--t," and "c--k." The movie is very intense, yet also very moving. It shows training footage and photos of real SEALs, including the real participants in this story. It also goes into a little detail about the Afghani tribe that rescued the last survivor, despite the danger they faced in doing so. Some parents won't mind bringing teens to this movie to demonstrate the bravery, heroism, and teamwork of the SEALs, but other parents may be worried that teens will want to head to the recruiting office afterward.
- Families can talk about the movie's intense, brutal, bloody violence. What effect did it have? Did it seem realistic? Was it necessary in telling this story?
- How does this movie make the Navy SEALs look? Do they come across as warriors or regular people? Does it make you want to join them? Do you think that's the intention of the movie?
- Would you say that this movie is an anti-war movie or a pro-war movie, or somewhere in-between? Why?
The good stuff
Positive messages: The movie wrestles with a profound moral quandary and viewers can decide what's right and wrong for themselves. War is depicted as ugly and brutal, but the Navy SEALs also show the considerable courage, strength, and dedication it takes to make the team, which makes them seem highly admirable. While some parents will find the patriotism, sacrifice, and heart the soldiers display incredibly moving, others might be concerned that war and the military appears in too positive a light, and might come off like a recruitment movie.
Positive role models: The characters themselves are strong, brave, and work together, but they're just as flawed as anyone. The movie introduces us to a group of Afghan Pashtun villagers who protect one of the Americans in spite of the danger to themselves. Their laws of hospitality and protection go back generations, and are highly admirable.
What to watch for
Violence: The relentless battle violence is brutally realistic, shocking, and horrific. The battle does not go as it might in a normal war movie. Characters are shot in every conceivable part of their bodies, sprain their ankles, fall from cliffs, lose their fingers, bash their heads, and pass out. The fight is chaotic and desperate, with a great deal of blood and many bloody wounds. A character digs bloody shrapnel out of his wounded leg. Many characters die. A helicopter explodes, killing a number of men inside.
Sexy stuff: We hear plenty of sexual innuendo ("pushing peter," etc.) among the men during the movie's first half, before the fighting starts.
Language: Language is very strong and constant, including "f--k," "s--t," "c--k," "balls," "crap," "bitch," "hell," "shut up," "muff," etc.
Consumerism: Not applicable
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable