It’s time for my annual trip to the movie theater… to see “13 Hours”

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Here’s the trailer:

I listened to an episode of of the Weekly Standard podcast featuring Stephen Hayes. No one has done more and better reporting on Benghazi than Stephen Hayes, and I’ve featured his work on it on this blog. I wanted to see what he thought of the movie. He loved it, and said it was accurate to the way it was reported by the Weekly Standard and elsewhere.

I looked at 3 reviews, and chose this one from the leftist Seattle Times to quote here.


Friend? Or foe?

Those are the critical questions bedeviling the six main characters in “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.”

Strangers in a strange land, unable to speak or understand Arabic, assigned to provide security at a secret CIA installation in the restive Libyan city of the title — for them, those questions have life and death implications when the nearby ambassadorial compound is overrun by jihadist attackers on the night of Sept. 11, 2012. The assault claims the lives of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

In Michael Bay’s gripping dramatization of that controversial event, the men, highly trained American private security operatives, can’t be sure if the figures they see moving toward them in the dark are jihadists or friendly Libyan militia members who are supposed to be the main protectors of the compound. The loyalty of those supposed allies is also questionable. It’s only when the shooting starts that the questions are answered, and then the six are in for the fight of their lives.

The picture is reminiscent of “Black Hawk Down” and “American Sniper” in the way it marries visceral Hollywood-style filmmaking (a Bay trademark) with sober subject matter in a manner that doesn’t trivialize the seriousness of the story it’s telling.

Based on Mitchell Zuckoff’s 2014 best-seller “13 Hours,” Bay’s movie is a ground-level depiction of heroism in the midst of the fog of war. Hewing closely to Zuckoff’s true-life account, Bay seems to have no political ax to grind, at least with respect to the role in the fiasco of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose name is never mentioned.

I have heard the actual operators interviewed on TV and on several radio shows. They were heavily involved in the book and the movie. So, I’m going to do something that I really hate, and give the movie theater my money to see this thing. I am almost certain I won’t be disappointed. I loved Act of Valor, American Sniper and especially Lone Survivor, and people are comparing this movie to those movies. If you’re looking for something to see this weekend, try this one.

8 thoughts on “It’s time for my annual trip to the movie theater… to see “13 Hours””

  1. My family’s going to see it tonight. I opted not to go because watching it would just tick me off to no end.

    Act of Valor was good and I loved it, but was definitely “Making an Action Movie for Dummies (and a Reference for the Rest of Us!)” Main hero has a beautiful wife and child on the way? He’s dead. Injury early on to show the high stakes? Check. And the acting was so bad it was kind of adorable and I have to wonder how many SEALs they auditioned and how bad the others were that they didn’t get the part. But when your resume says “Jumps out of planes onto aircraft carriers to snipe pirates” not “Golden Globe nominee,” it’s excusable.

    I just can’t help but wonder what would have happened if the Navy hadn’t been on the Bin Laden raid rotation; what if it was Marine Corps Force Recon who executed the raid? Every third word would be “ese” and the rest would be “f*ck.”

    1. I just got back from the movie, and I thought it was extremely good. The acting was first rate, and there were lots of overhead shots for me to get situated. The politics was kept very light, and the emphasis was on the heroism of the independent contract operators. I can’t imagine how anyone in the military or the clandestine services could support these Democrats. The Benghazi terrorist attack was hushed up so that the Obama-Clinton-Rubio Libya intervention could look good just before Obama’s re-election. They lied because they were scared of looking weak on foreign policy.

      Yes, Rubio, too:

        1. The CIA station chief ‘Bob’ is denying stand down to the AP. My question is:

          Whom are you to believe? GRS members or Bob, the team leader? Hilary Clinton or the families of Benghazi victims? Bowe Bergdal or his platoon mates? A no brainer!!!

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