Arts + Music » Arts + Culture

Act of Valor an ad for the American military

Rah rah action movie stars actual Navy SEALS


To evaluate Act of Valor in the usual cinematic context is to misunderstand certain rules of engagement, for this is less a movie than a brand advertisement for a US military that’s lately suffered a few dents to its reputational armour. Directors Scott Waugh and Mike McCoy use a standard-issue terrorism story, populated by a handful of professional actors, to show off the bravery, humanity and hyper-competence of a group of Navy SEALS played by real active-duty grunts. Given these ingredients, the jingoism is surprisingly muted, Waugh and McCoy more interested in serving up action set pieces that, while spectacular, become repetitive in their military jargon and heavy artillery. With its uncritical celebration of gung-ho warriors, Act of Valor works better as an exercise in image rehabilitation than as a film.

Related Film

Act of Valor

Official Site:

Director: Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh

Writer: Kurt Johnstad

Cast: Roselyn Sanchez, Emilio Rivera, Jason Cottle, Nestor Serrano, Gonzalo Menendez, Ailsa Marshall, Alex Veadov, Drea Castro, Alexander Asefa and Sonny Sison

Add a comment

Remember, it's entirely possible to disagree without spiralling into a thread of negativity and personal attacks. We have the right to remove (and you have the right to report) any comments that go against our policy.

xxx - Deprecated in favor of GTM, above.