12 Strong Movie Review

Along with being able to promote the movie, 12 Strong, I was sent a Fandango gift code for two tickets to see the movie along with the book, 12 Strong, based on the bestselling book Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton. I was able to go with my friend, Scot, who also enjoys watching the same genres of movies as I do.



In the wake of Sept. 11, Captain Mitch Nelson leads a U.S. Special Forces team into Afghanistan for an extremely dangerous mission. Once there, the soldiers develop an uneasy partnership with the Northern Alliance to take down the Taliban and its al-Qaida allies. Outgunned and outnumbered, Nelson and his forces face overwhelming odds in a fight against a ruthless enemy that takes no prisoners. 

Ms. Cat’s Review

12 Strong did not let up the entire movie; no dull moments. The events that led up to 9/11 were patch-worked as the prologue and immediately gripped me, leaving me close to anxiety due to how close to home the moments they were showing are.

Image result for 9-11 never forget

The story is of the first U.S. soldiers to land in Afghanistan in the days after 9/11: the members of ODA 595, an elite Special Forces unit that was ordered to link up with a local warlord and fight its way, village by village, to the Taliban stronghold of Mazar-i-Sharif (the country’s fourth largest city). General Abdul Rashid Dostum (Navid Negahban), the Northern Alliance warlord is one of three Generals that the U.S. fights alongside, but he clashes with Captain Nelson when it comes to military strategy. 

This movie is not for the faint of heart especially when the movie focuses on what makes The Taliban such “a ruthless enemy that takes no prisoners” and the fact that they would rather die than surrender.

I had read reviews that felt the acting was sub-par. I think they cast the 12 soldiers who lived through these events well. From the younger looking Captain (played by Chris Hemsworth) with no combat experience, who out-ranks the leather-faced Warrant (Michael Shannon) and all the camaraderie-based jokes that help ease tensions and lighten spirits throughout were excellent. Could tell quite a bit of research was done to give the movie the “right feel”.

The “I wish I could say it gets easier” speech was spot-on from this Veteran’s standpoint. The ridiculous imbalance in manpower, the enemy outnumbered the Americans 5,000 to one, unavoidably raises the specter of the Alamo, which you wouldn’t think is a good thing, given the outcome there. But once they get the support of the wary General Dostum, the Americans seem to be on the right track. Dostum, who has shifted affiliations countless times, is a real survivor; he was Afghanistan’s vice president up until last year, when he had to flee under strange circumstances.

As with all war movies, especially those based off of real-life events, I left the movie theater feeling humbled along with a crashing of various emotions.

Anger, sadness, hope, uncertainty, weariness, joy, vindication

12 Soldier, 21 Days

The first ones in after 9/11 and dealt, what the Taliban have said to be, the single largest defeat against them.

Statue that commemorates and remembers the 12 Horse Soldiers

Left to right: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brad Fowers, Sgt. Keith Gamble, Maj. Mark Nutsch, Air Force Lt. Col. Allison Black and author Doug Stanton pose in front of De Oppresso Liber, or the Horse Soldier, a 16-foot bronze statue honoring the work of Special Forces Soldiers in Afghanistan at the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom in the last months of 2001. Recently rededicated, the statue stands near ground zero in New York. Fowers, Gamble and Nutsch served on some of the Special Forces teams that the statute recognizes. Stanton wrote a best-selling book about some of their experiences, “Horse Soldiers.” (U.S. Army Special Operations Command photo by Cheryle Rivas)

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