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Reviewers Take on ‘Act of Valor’

The movie, starring a mix of actors and real-life Navy SEALs, opens Friday.

Ready for Act of Valor? Wonder what the critics are saying?

Not terribly surprisingly, given there are real-life military men on screen, not actors, the folks who review movies for a living haven't been overly impressed.

That doesn't appear to be stopping moviegoers though. Industry observers predict that the ripped-from-the-headlines drama will rake in up to $23 million this weekend, and perhaps lead the weekend box office race (You can do your part at the ).

Among the reviewers, the Los Angeles Times and TheFilmYap.com, offer some perspective, suggesting that the action is top notch, despite acting and plot shortcomings.

The insider's glimpse into how SEALs might handle a series of crucial missions – not Streepian thespian skills – is likely more of a draw for those interested in Act of Valor, and on that front, those reviewers suggest, the film succeeds.

Though the L.A. Times labeled the film an “intriguing hybrid,” others were not so kind, knocking the filmmakers for not crafting a more reliable story and the whole enterprise for seeming more like a recruitment video than a major production. 

Overall, Rotten Tomatoes lists the film as having a 21-percent “fresh” ranking from critics. (Among current releases that makes it better off than Ghost Rider and slightly worse off than The Vow.)

Another point to ponder: Will Act of Valor do for the Navy what Top Gun did for the military in the '80s (and more recently what the CSI franchise has done for the forensics field)?. The Huffington Post considers the question.

Editor's note: Patch attended a recent screening of Act of Valor. Coronado is plainly visible, and quickly. Two of the SEALs are relied upon for most of the acting, though the man addressed as Senior Chief gets the best lines and manages them nicely. Ever hear of those ex-Mafia guys who find a place playing tough guys in the movies? Should this particular SEAL choose to act more, he might get a shot. 
Also, a warning for parents: The movie can be bloody, there are scenes of torture and the ending may be unsettling.

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