12 Strong

Theatrical Release: January 19, 2018
12 Strong


12 Strong tells the story of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11; under the leadership of a new captain, the team must work with an Afghan warlord to take down the Taliban.

Dove Review

12 Strong is based on an amazing true story. New captain, Captain Mitch Nelson (Chris Hemsworth), is assigned to the first Special Forces team to be sent to Afghanistan following the horror of 9/11. Nelson had previously led several trainees, and now they follow him into the nightmare of war. Nelson must work with an Afghan warlord, General Dostum (Navid Negahban), to try to stop the Taliban from moving forward—which could result in more casualties on American shores.

The strain of leaving their families is believably portrayed by the actors as soldiers who believe in what they’re doing yet realizing the stress and loneliness their families will endure while they are away. The movie does a good job in playing out the nuances of war. For example, General Dostum tests Nelson a bit, Nelson being the “new kid on the block.” He has to speak up on more than one occasion and disagree with some of Dostum’s strategies, and the new captain has no problem doing so. And although the men have to fight with the idea of killing and taking out the enemy, Nelson is determined to protect his men. He says to his commander before leaving for Afghanistan, “We are all coming back.” The brotherhood of the soldiers is clearly seen, as they bond and follow their leader.

The battle scenes are realistic, with a spray of blood as characters are hit with bullets, and with fiery explosions ripping apart tanks and land. Bombs are dropped from the air and the stench of war can almost be smelled as the visuals don’t cover it up or make it look pretty. The amazing outcome is, again, based on true events, and these 12 men accomplish a great feat in three weeks, when it could have taken up to two years. Due to the constant use of strong and foul language, and the realistic violent images that are portrayed, we are prevented from presenting the movie our Dove Family Approved Seal. However, in displaying the heroics of a dozen American men, this movie gets it right. Today a statue of a horseman honors the 12 men at the site of the former World Trade Center.

Content Description

Faith: God is mentioned.
Integrity: A commander wants to do what is necessary to keep as many of his people alive as he can.
Sex: A man hints he wants to be intimate with his wife before he leaves for war.
Language: Strong language throughout the film including multiple uses of "GD"; "J"; "JC";"F"; "MF"; "Da*n"; "A", "S*it"; Slang for male testicles, etc.
Violence: Strong violence, including several scenes of shootings and bullets striking characters in the head and body with several scenes of spraying blood; a dead boy is seen; man spits up blood; explosions with several casualties; a few very bloody wounds are shown; a person is seen on fire; corpses are seen.
Drugs: Smoking in several scenes; alcohol that looks like vodka is seen, and a character drinks from the bottle.
Nudity: A few shirtless men
Other: Strong tension between a few characters and disagreements; the harsh realities of war and separation from families; a woman is shot in front of her daughters and husband because she had books.


Company: Warner Bros. Publications
Director: Nicolai Fuglsig
Genre: Action
Runtime: 130 min.
Reviewer: Ed C