Despite terrible reviews from reviewers, 12 Strong has risen to the top of Netflix’s streaming service.
Just because something is available to stream on Netflix does not automatically imply that it is of high quality or worth watching. However, this isn’t always the case. Chris Hemsworth stars in 12 Strong, a movie with a 50% Rotten Tomatoes score, and that seems to be the case.
Sing 2, The Sea Beast, Mean Girls, and The Dark Knight Rises, the third and final film in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, have all surpassed it on Netflix’s list of the best 10 movies of all time.
What is 12 Strong about?
Doug Stanton’s 2009 non-fiction book Horse Soldiers is the inspiration for 12 Strong. Capt. Mitch Nelson of the United States Army is the focus of this story, which takes place in the weeks after the September 11th attacks (Chris Hemsworth).
Instead of taking a staff position, Nelson decides to lead ODA 595 into Afghanistan, where he joins forces with Uzbek warlord General Dostum (Navid Negahban) to take on both the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
Nelson is accompanied throughout the film by the likes of Chief Warrant Officer Hal Spencer (Michael Shannon), Intelligence Sergeant Sam Diller (Michael Pea), and Sergeant Ben Mil (Trevante Rhodes).
In reality, the Afghan terrain is incredibly cruel, and the troop will need to finish their mission on horseback. They also only have three weeks to complete the project because of the impending winter cold.
What do the critics think of 12 Strong?
12 Strong has received a 50 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 173 reviews, making it one of the worst-reviewed films of the year. With almost 5,000 ratings, the audience was more forgiving, giving the film a 62% approval rating. With over 79,000 reviews, IMDB(opens in new tab) presently shows a 6.5 out of 10.
Across the board, Rotten Tomatoes reviewers agree that “12 Strong has a good cast, decent intentions, and an exciting, fact-based tale – all of which are sometimes enough to counter a disappointing lack of depth or complexity” As far as acting and action scenes go, they’re solid, but the movie doesn’t go far enough in acknowledging Afghanistan’s role in the global war on terror.
12-Strong is a “feelgood battle narrative from a distant past,” according to Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian, who gave it 2 out of 5 stars. “The narrative is unorthodox, yet the film-produced by uber-slickster Jerry Bruckheimer-has been crafted along traditional war-movie lines,” according to David Edelstein of Vulture(opens in new tab).
With a 2/4 score, Mike LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle(opens in new tab) was a touch harsher. If ’12 Strong’ makes you feel good about the fact that the United States is still producing men like him, then that’s enough.” What a shame we didn’t learn about the genuine characters or their true tale.
Despite the film’s shortcomings, several reviewers had favorable things to say about it. One critic from Empire(opens in new tab) awarded 3 stars out of 5 to 12 Strong, stating that the film is a “effective, albeit excessively basic, neo-western that’s finally pushed over the line by a sparky ensemble cast. “(opens in new tab). Likewise Christy Lemire from RogerEbert.com(opens in new tab) noted the movie is “solid from a technical perspective. The film’s narrative drive ” — with a score of 2.5 out of four — could have utilized more strength.”
Outlook: Should you watch 12 Strong?
12 Strong is a must-see if you like noisy, action-packed war films in which the United States is shown as the heroic good guys. For those who have no interest in such things, this is a definite no-go. Be especially cautious if you have strong sentiments about what has transpired in Afghanistan after the last American soldiers withdrew.
It’s entirely up to you and your particular preferences in terms of movies. The only way to find out whether Netflix is right for you is by watching it. There’s always the option to turn off 12 Strong and watch one of the greatest Netflix series or top Netflix movies if you don’t like what you’re seeing.