->''"The only easy day was yesterday."''
-->--Tagline & [=SEAL=] motto

''Act of Valor'' is a 2012 war film, revolving around a US Navy SEAL platoon from SEAL Team 7 on a mission to rescue a kidnapped CIA officer and stop terrorists planning an attack against America.

The film has an interesting production history: originally the Navy worked with Bandito Brothers to produce a SEAL recruitment video, akin to the company's [[http://www.banditobrothers.com/portfolio/reel/16 recruitment video]] for Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen; as work progressed the Powers That Be realised that they had enough material for a feature-length movie and began pushing in that direction, a ''Film/{{Top Gun}}'' equivalent for [=SEALs=].

A trailer can be viewed [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dS7XkRcD-c here]].

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!!Provides Examples OF:

* ActionBomb: The suicide vests.
* AdaptationExpansion: The novelization, which expands further on the characterisation of Bandito Platoon, and provides alternative scenarios to certain scenes in the movie.
* AffablyEvil: For a weapons and drugs trafficker who has no issues with letting his men brutally kill and torture CIA agents, Christo is a remarkably reasonable, polite, friendly, educated, and soft-spoken man.
* AllThereInTheManual: Bandito Platoon, the designator for the protagonists, is only used in supplementary materials. [[spoiler: And on the memorial picture frame of Lt. Rorke]]
** The surnames of Bandito Platoon are only noted in the novelisation.
* ArmorIsUseless: Played with; Chief's crew skip armor when rescuing Morales, since it's too heavy to swim with. However, they later wear their armor on the raids into Mexico: LT's vest keeps him from being killed by an RPG-7 (with a dud warhead), and [[spoiler: helps absorb the blast from the grenade he jumps on, mortally wounding him instead of outright death. Chief's body armor is the only thing that keeps him from being killed outright by Shabal]].
* BandOfBrothers: The relationship between Bandito Platoon, and by extension, the rest of the [=SEALs=].
* BadassCrew: Bandito Platoon, of course. The Mexican Special Forces that join them for the last fight are also recognized as equals to the [=SEALs=], considering they're meant to go up against the cartels.
* BadHumorTruck / CarBomb: The suicide car bomb that Abu Shabal used is an ice cream truck, and it exploded when several school children, including an American child and the US ambassador, were congregated nearby
* BangBangBANG: Averted: The gunshots are very much authentic-sounding. That was because they were authentic bullets. The cast was really shooting on set.
* BashBrothers: A team-based one, with the [=SEALs=] and the Mexican Special Forces teaming up to kick cartel and terrorist ass.
* BeardOfEvil: Both Christo and Shabal are bearded. Senior Chief, on the other hand, is bearded but good.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Averted. CIA officer Lisa Morales emerges from captivity and torture bruised, bleeding, and crippled.
* BerserkButton: Don't ever give even the faintest scintilla of a hint that you ''might'' not be 100% behind Shabal's scheme. Just...don't.
* BigBad: Abu Shabal.
* BigDamnHeroes: The troops rescuing Morales. But that's part of their job.
** And the SWCC boats that pick up ''them'' turn up at just the right time to massacre their pursuers with MoreDakka.
* BlastingItOutOfTheirHands: During his solo raid on the cartel, Chief Dave's M4 is shot out of his hands, resulting in his shooting hand being hurt and forcing him to switch to his pistol. Later, [[spoiler: at Lt. Rorke's funeral]], his hand is shown completely wrapped in bandages. The bullet took his thumb off (visible in the First Person Cam when he's reloading his pistol the second time).
* BoomHeadshot: [[FriendlySniper Weimy]] has a particular talent for dishing out these. The rest of the crew also pull this off several times with their rifles.
** This is how CIA officer Walter Ross buys it when the cartel raids Morales' safehouse.
** In fact, there are quite a bit of shots to the head, dished out by the SEALS.
** One of the [=SEALs=] takes a bullet to the face that ruins one of his eyes, but survives it. See MadeOfIron.
* BookEnds: The movie opens with Lt. Rorke teaching Chief Dave how to surf, and closes with [[spoiler: Chief Dave surfing alone.]]
* BottomlessMagazines: Averted, there's quite a bit of reloading. [[spoiler: It even adds a bit of dramatic tension when Chief Dave tries to reload his pistol before Shabal can reload his rifle at the end.]]
* BreakThemByTalking: Senior Chief's specialty. He manages to do in five minutes, using only words and a small video, what Christo's thugs couldn't do in several days of brutal torture.
* CarpetRolledCorpse: Lisa Morales is kidnapped while playing Scrabble with Walter Ross. The gangsters knock her out, cut a square into the carpet she is on and roll her up in it.
* TheCartel: Run by Christo. The majority of the badguys are actually cartel gunmen of one sort or another, working to support Shabal's Jihadists.
* CastTheExpert: Taken UpToEleven. The SEAL platoon is played by real life [=SEALs=].
** Although they were planning to use real [=SEALs=] anyway, they had to because, supposedly, no stunt man was physically capable of pulling off what they needed.
* ChekhovsSkill: "I don't know much about Senior Chief, just that I wouldn't want to be interrogated by him."
* CodeName: Blackbeard Actual for Lt. Rorke, Blackbeard Main for MissionControl, Whiplash for the [[GunshipRescue SWCC boats]], and Bucket for the Army Chinooks.
* ColdBloodedTorture: Lisa Morales is put through this, beginning with a severe beating, and ending with holes drilled through her hands and feet. At first, when Senior Chief goes in to interrogate Christo, the audience is under the impression that bad guys will get what bad guys get,[[spoiler: but then modern and actually effective interrogation techniques are used to maximum effect.]]
* CoolBoat: The SWCC boats. Fast and bristling with guns, can be inserted and extracted by ''helicopter,'' and enough space to evacuate a SEAL team.
** Christo's yacht is pretty nice, too...
** The ''USS Florida'', the Ohio-class submarine that receives Ray and Ajay. Carrying ''[[MacrossMissileMassacre 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles]]'', a SEAL delivery minisub, and is near silent when underway at speed.
* CoolHat: The Multicam boonie hats worn by the [=SEALs=].
* CombatMedic: According to the novelisation, this is Mikey's main role in the team.
** He's also been training the members of Bandito Platoon to be this, in case anything happens to him.[[spoiler: This comes in handy when he takes a bullet to the FACE while rescuing Morales.]]
* ContinuityNod: After Lt.Rorke tanks a dud RPG, Chief hands it to Sonny to dispose of, since he used to be an Explosive Ordnance Disposal tech.
* CutApart: The SEALS searching the village where the terrorists are hiding. One team approaches a door, then we have a shot of the terrorists working on their explosive vests, then the SEALS burst into the room of a woman who starts shouting.
* {{Determinator}}: An important quality for [=SEALs=], best shown by how Chief Dave ''will not stop fighting'', even after getting his shooting hand shot up and ''bleeding to death''. He takes pretty much a full AK-47 magazine to the chest, and he's ''still trying to reload his pistol'' as he blacks out from blood loss.
* DramaticShattering: A cartel member falls through a skylight.
* CurbStompBattle: Literally, when intelligence officer Morales is attacked and kidnapped. More figuratively when the [=SEALs=] take on hordes of mooks.
* DoingItForTheArt: The fire being put down by the SWCC boats? More often than not it's live ammo.
** That truck getting blown up by an RPG? No special effects whatsoever, that was a real truck getting hit with a real RPG.
* TheDoorSlamsYou: A cartel member runs to a door only for an explosive entry charge to blast it into his face.
* DwindlingParty: Bandito Platoon's numbers slowly decrease throughout the movie, as [=SEALs=] are either wounded or forced to split up to handle multiple threats, which makes Chief Dave's [[OneManArmy solo assault]] a necessity, not choice.
* DullSurprise: The majority of the actors are active [=SEALs=] with no real acting experience. Which means that their less-than-excited reactions under fire and killing enemies are pretty much because they've SeenItAll.
* EyeScream: One SEAL takes a bullet to the eye during the rescue of Morales. [[spoiler: [[{{Badass}} He survives.]]]]
* EliteMooks: Shabal's terrorists, when compared with the cartel gunmen. The cartel thugs are mostly just {{Mooks}}, save the one who managed to shoot Mikey (by sheer luck while firing blind through a wall), while every one of Shabal's suicide troops puts up some degree of serious resistance. Most notable is the one who is crazy enough to use a rocket-propelled grenade as a close-combat weapon.
* ElitesAreMoreGlamorous: It's following a Navy SEAL team.
** In a slight subversion, while [=SWCCs=] are considered part of Naval Special Warfare, and work closely with [=SEALs=], they're relatively unknown.
** Also, the movie shows that while the [=SEALs=] are very capable, they rely on a lot of enablers and support to be in the right place and time.
* EliteArmy: The Mexican SOF team that supports the SEAL assault into the Mexican cartel.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: Shabal's willingness to [[WouldHurtAChild let children be collateral damage]] in his assassination of the US ambassador firmly shows that he's a [[AxCrazy nasty piece of work]], while Christo's PsychoticSmirk when he hears Morales get punched by the torturer earns him no sympathy either.
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: Christo has a family and deeply loves both his wife and daughter. The fact that he might never see them again is what Miller uses to break him.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Christo is grows quite disturbed by Shabal's [[AxCrazy megalomania]].
* FacelessMooks: The Mexican SOF team again, with their balaclavas. [[JustifiedTrope They need to hide their identities or risk cartel retribution.]]
* FastRoping: Done twice as a means of transfer from helicopter to boat. In the first instance, the [=SWCCs=] fast rope into their boats ''in mid-flight''.
* FirstNameBasis: All of the [=SEALs=], except for Lt. Rorke, Chief Dave, and Senior Chief Miller, who are referred to by their rank.
* FramingDevice: A letter written by Chief Dave, which forms the basis for his narration.
* FriendlySniper: Weimy. PlayedWith in that Weimy doesn't necessarily talk more on his missions, or directly address his enemies, which actually makes him a ColdSniper, if it wasn't for the fact that he's on the good guys' side.
* FriendOrFoe: Lt. Rorke and Chief Dave nearly shoot each other in the cartel factory, but avert and jokingly lampshade this trope.
--> '''Chief Dave''': Jesus, LT, how are you gonna explain ''that'' one to my family?
* GatlingGood: The [=SWCCs=] (and a couple of Seahawk helicopters) are equipped with these for MoreDakka.
* GunshipRescue: The SWCC boats coming to extract the [=SEALs=].
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Lt. Rorke]]
* HopeSpot: [[spoiler: After Rorke jumps on the grenade, it first seems he's died, until we see him blinking a few times... and then his eyes stop moving as the soundtrack goes silent and his heartbeat slows to a halt.]]
* IHaveYourWife: Miller shows Christo a recording of the latter's daughter during his interrogation, with this implied. Then immediately subverted; he is not threatening Christo's daughter, he's just showing him his daughter to remind him of what he will lose if he doesn't cooperate and gets sent to prison for the rest of his life. When Christo asks if Miller will leave his family alone, he emphatically replies that he would ''never'' harm Christo's family. It's a brilliant piece of subtext without a direct threat, because you ''know'' Christo was wondering how in the hell this guy got recent footage of his daughter ''on his cell phone.''
* ImpairmentShot
* ImpaledPalm: Lisa Morales gets this with a ''[[ColdBloodedTorture drill]].''
* InfantImmortality: Averted: the first onscreen terror attack is a bomb at a primary school in the Phillipines.
* InJoke: During the first raid, [[spoiler: a canteen hitting the ground spoils Bandito's stealth.]] Ask anybody who served in the military what the loudest and most recognizable sound in the woods is. Hint: [[spoiler: a canteen]]
* InTheBlood: Chief Dave's attempt to provide some measure of comfort to [[spoiler: Lt. Rorke's son: His great-grandfather was a hero, his father was a hero, and the same blood flows through his veins.]]
* InterserviceRivalry: Very strongly averted; the [=SEALs=] have no problems coordinating with other Navy assets, and Army Spec Ops Chinooks infil and extract the Whiplash SWCC boats. They also team up with the Mexican Special Forces for the final mission, and are nothing but cordial and respectful.
* {{Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy}}: The majority of the badguys are not well-trained combat troops; in fact, almost all of them are either fanatical civilians or criminal thugs. In addition, most of the most obvious examples of enemy combatants being horrible shots involve ones who are firing blind or shooting from the hip, and ''all'' the bad guys are firing on [[MoreDakka full auto]]. Most of the cartel thugs at the end, for example, are firing wildly without bracing their weapons. By contrast, the SEAL and Mexican SOF teams use their weapons properly, firing single shots or short bursts, and hit constantly.
* IronicNickname: Christo, a drug smuggler who helps Muslim extremist terrorists and has no qualms his men beating a defenseless woman. Of course, the nickname is likely a reference to his long hair and beard.
* ItsRainingMen: First scene of the movie. HALO insertion and parachuting make more appearances as a prime method of inserting [=SEALs=] into combat.
* JackBauerInterrogationTechnique: Senior Chief Miller averts this when interrogating Christo, relying instead on psychological head games and leverage. It does come close to getting to this trope when Christo uses a Newton's cradle to demonstrate the two pronged front on America between him and Shabal, however, due to Miller shattering the Newton's cradle in irritation at Christo's attempt at playing mind games on him.
* JumpingOnAGrenade: [[spoiler: Performed as a HeroicSacrifice by Lt. Rorke in the assault on the Mexican cartel.]]
* KickedUpstairs: Rorke is supposed to be getting a promotion to Lt. Commander and an assignment as aide to the President, including carrying the Football [[note]]the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_football briefcase containing nuclear launch authorization codes and retaliation plans]][[/note]]. It's portrayed as a positive for Rorke, since he'll have [[TemptingFate more time for his family]].
* LockAndLoadMontage: There's one where the [=SWCCs=] prep their boats for combat, readying an impressive number of guns for combat.
* MoralityPet / PapaWolf: Christo does have a very tiny redeemable factor to his character, and its that he does genuinely care for his family, and it was the prospect of his not seeing his daughter or his wife again, and the fear of what might happen in his absence, that resulted in him telling the [=SEALs=] everything he knows about Shabal's plans regarding the ceramic claymore bomb vests during his interrogation.
* MadeOfIron: In universe:
-->[[spoiler:"Mikey, you took one to the ''face,'' man! You're a hard motherfucker!"]]
** Chief Dave. [[spoiler: Being shot up with what amounts to pretty much a full AK-47 magazine, he still manages to take out the escaping jihadis using his M4 carbine, and switches to his service pistol when he can't fire the M4 anymore.]] This was based on a real account, so there's a SEAL out there who really is made of iron (well, several probably).
*** Possibly based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Dietz Danny Dietz]], who according to the account of the only surviving member of his squad simply would not stop fighting, despite being hit multiple times. His body was found still griping his M9 pistol.
*** It's more likely Chief Dave's story is based on that of Chief Matt Dale, a Navy SEAL who was wounded during the Battle of Ramadi. [[spoiler: It's almost word for word the same: Chief Dale's M4 and part of his thumb was shot away, and he took ''twenty seven rounds''. Eleven were stopped by his body armor; sixteen went through him. While all that was going on, Chief Dale drew his sidearm and returned fire. Unlike Chief Dave, Chief Dale killed ''the three insurgents shooting at him, with one magazine'']].
** Lt. Rorke takes an RPG-7 round to the chest, and ''survives''. Granted, it had a dud warhead and he was wearing his body armor. [[spoiler: His luck runs out with the grenade.]]
** Every SEAL on the team. Because every SEAL is made of iron, no exceptions.
* MissionControl: Blackbeard Main.
* MoodWhiplash: Senior Chief Miller's interrogation; he starts politely, then is SuddenlyShouting at Christo's attempt to smarm him.
* MoreDakka: The entire point of the SWCC boats, which are bristling with general purpose & heavy machineguns and [[GatlingGood miniguns]]. Given that their purpose is for [[GunshipRescue extraction of [=SEALs=] under fire]], this is deliberately invoked.
** In a subversion, most of the time the [=SEALs=] are firing on semiauto, instead of burst or full automatic.
* NervesOfSteel: The [=SEALs=] wade into gunfire against massive odds without flinching or slowing down while still maintaining fire discipline and squad tactics.
* NewMeat: Averted: all members of Bandito Platoon are experienced [=SEALs=]; the least experienced SEAL, Sonny, has 3 SEAL tours and seven years as an EOD tech, defusing bombs.
* NonActionGuy: Senior Chief, who serves as the intel specialist and interrogator. Chief's narration suggests that he's more of a semi-RetiredBadass and a major part of MissionControl.
* NonActionBigBad: Christo doesn't even try to fight back when his yacht is boarded.
* ObfuscatingDisability: Possibly. The Senior Chief tells Crisco -- uh, Christo that he's hard of hearing, and uses that information as an interrogation technique.
* OhCrap: Happens a few times. Particularly noteworthy is when LT and Chief breach a room and come face to face with a suicide bomber, and rush to GTFO before she detonates. [[spoiler: They make it out just in time.]]
* OneManArmy: Chief Dave pulls this, fueled by TranquilFury, though not entirely by choice, since the Mexican SOF operator with him got shot.
* ProductPlacement: A troop is seen using a Canon camera.
* ReluctantWarrior: The female jihadist [[spoiler:that ended up blowing herself up during the climax]] is shown to not want to have to essentially go suicide bomber, as she is seen displaying visible reluctance to Shabal of having to commit to it (to which Shabal [[spoiler:reassures her that [[FalseReassurance she'll meet up with her husband in Heaven]]]]), as well as silently crying when [[spoiler:she ultimately goes through with it.]]
* {{Retirony}}: While no one is on the verge of retirement, any GenreSavvy viewer can figure out that the [[spoiler: person that keeps talking about taking time off to be with his wife while their baby is born]] is going to end up doing a HeroicSacrifice before the end of the movie.
* SharpDressedMan: Senior Chief's attire when interrogating Christo, contrasting the fatigues worn earlier.
* ShoutOut: Senior Chief Miller chides Christo on not having seen ''StarTrek''.
* ShownTheirWork: This is the most accurate fictional depiction of warfare to date in movie history, the battle tactics in this film are all done as realistically as possible (right down to using live ammo) and it shows.
** When an enemy is shot with a sniper rifle by a [=SEAL=], another [=SEAL=] catches the body [[{{CrowningMomentofAwesome}} from his position underwater]] so it doesn't splash into the river and give away their position.
** Miller's interrogation of Christo is pretty much spot-on with how ''actual'' interrogations are often carried out. Instead of torture and brutality, it is most often just two men talking across a table, with the interrogator asking questions and making it clear to the prisoner that it's in their best interests to tell them what they want to know.
** There's only a few scenes where the LaserSight is used: the first is during a nighttime op where everyone is wearing night vision goggles, which allows the SEAL team to track where the rest of their teammates are aiming by following their laser beams. The second is in a close-quarters assault on the factory at the climax, where the SEAL team and the Mexican SOF are fighting through smoke-filled rooms where they have to quickly acquire targets without using their holographic sights.
* SpiritualSuccessor: Some have called it ''Film/TheGreenBerets'' for TheWarOnTerror.
* SquadNickname: Bandito Platoon.
* SurpriseVehicle: Even though Christo is on a yacht in the middle of the ocean on a fine day and has armed guards keeping a lookout, no-one notices the US Navy until they're right on top of them.
* TortureAlwaysWorks: Averted. The CIA operative doesn't give up any useful information under torture. In another scene, a more effective interrogation is shown, with no torture. It's much more subtle and psychological.
* TranquilFury: Chief Dave enters this after [[spoiler: Lt. Rorke's HeroicSacrifice]], proceeding to solo the cartel and terrorist remnants.
* TranslationConvention: Played straight in Ukraine during the conversation between Christo and Shabal. Nicely averted during the interrogation on Christo's yacht: Senior Chief Miller queries Christo in a couple of languages before they settle on English as being most comfortable for them both to converse in.
** Alternately, as both Abu Shabal and Cristo are seen to be fluent English speakers, they're speaking in English for additional privacy.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Christo; according to Morales, the townspeople love him because he contributes a lot of his drug money to the community.
* WouldHitAGirl: When one of the female jihadis tries firing on the [=SEALs=], they have no qualms about shooting her back.
* WouldNotShootACivilian: The [=SEALs=] are careful to avoid shooting civilians in Tijuana, Mexico. Justified, not only for obvious reasons, but also for [[UsefulNotes/MexicanAmericanWar understandable reasons]].
* YanksWithTanks: The film actually portrays several branches of the US military in addition to the Navy [=SEALs=]; Army Chinooks in Costa Rica, a US Navy missile submarine in the Indian Ocean, and [[SemperFi Marine Corps]] Harriers & helicopters onboard the ''USS Bonhomme Richard''.
* YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle: When Bandito Platoon raids the suicide bomber staging village, they think everything's settled... until MissionControl tells Rorke there's 8 more terrorists to hunt.