Stunning box office success for the new action thriller ACT OF VALOR demonstrates the public hunger for realistic entertainment that honors our troops. In dramatizing counter-terror efforts of crack Navy SEAL units, the movie uses real-life SEALs and their families to give the audience an intimate, authentic sense of participation in combat.
THE HURT LOCKER, Best Picture Oscar winner two years ago, delivered the same sense of immediacy, but earned less money in three years than ACT OF VALOR earned in its first three days. HURT LOCKER showed dispirited troops trapped in a muddled war, rather than purposefully fighting dire threats to the nation.
Critics may—predictably—dismiss ACT OF VALOR as simplistic and lacking nuance, but most Americans embrace the idea that the War on Terror offers stark, real life contrasts between good and evil.