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Lone Survivor (2013) - Plot Summary Poster

(2013)

Plot

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Summaries

  • Marcus Luttrell and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shah, in late June 2005. Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare.

  • Marcus Luttrell, a Navy Seal, and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shah, in late June 2005. After running into mountain herders and capturing them, they were left with no choice but to follow their rules of engagement or be imprisoned. Now Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare.

  • In 2005 Afghanistan, Navy SEALs Marcus Luttrell, Michael Murphy, Danny Dietz and Matthew "Axe" Axelson deploy on a mission of surveillance and to take out Taliban leader Ahmad Shah. Though spotted by goatherds, Luttrell and his team decide not to kill them. But one of the Afghans alerts a group of Taliban fighters to the invaders, and a terrible battle ensues, in which the SEALs find themselves hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned.

  • The year is 2005. In the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, the War in Afghanistan is well under way when military intelligence learns that a senior Taliban member is hiding out in a remote village deep in the Hindu Kush mountains of the Kunar Province. Convinced that his capture or killing could turn the tide of the difficult war in favor of the United States, the Navy SEALs hatch Operation Red Wings. The goal is simple -- send a select team of soldiers to stake out the village from the surrounding mountains, and move on their target when the time is right. Under the leadership of Lieutenant Michael Murphy (Kitsch), Marcus Luttrell (Wahlberg), Matt Axelson (Foster), and Danny Dietz (Hirsch) reach their checkpoint, and quickly realize that another nearby hill will provide a better vantage spot. Shortly after arriving at that new location and getting a positive ID on their target, however, the soldiers are caught off guard by three wandering shepherds, including a young boy. Ultimately, a heated vote over what to do with the captured shepherds leads Lt. Murphy to decide that the best course of action is to abide by the rules of engagement, meaning that the soldiers will abort the mission, release the captives, and retreat to their extraction point. Shortly after the shepherds are set free, however, the four SEALs find themselves surrounded by dozens of Taliban soldiers, and engaged in a fierce gunfight that -- with the aid of some truly brave villagers -- only one of them will make it out of..


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • In Afghanistan, Taliban leader Ahmad Shah is responsible for killing over twenty United States Marines, as well as villagers and refugees who were aiding American forces. In response to these killings, the United States Navy SEALs are assigned to perform a counter-insurgent mission to capture Shah. As part of the mission, a four-man SEAL reconnaissance and surveillance team is tasked to track Shah's whereabouts. The four SEAL teammates are team leader Michael P. "Murph" Murphy; hospital corpsman and sniper Marcus Luttrell; sonar technician Matthew "Axe" Axelson; and communications specialist Danny Dietz.

    The team is inserted into the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan, where they make their trek through the mountains. Upon arriving at their designated location, the SEAL teammates are discovered by an elderly shepherd and two teenage goat herders. After much debate, Luttrell convinces the others that they will receive backlash if they kill the three herders. The team releases the herders, and as they attempt to abort the mission, they are ambushed by Taliban forces. They kill several approaching Taliban members, but find themselves too heavily outnumbered. All four men take a number of serious injuries during the firefight, and in an attempt to flee from the insurgents, they jump off the edge of a cliff.

    Despite their injuries, the SEAL team runs through the woods. Dietz begins to lose consciousness and shout questions to Luttrell, unknowingly relaying the SEAL team's position to the Taliban. Murphy and Axelson jump off another cliff to flee from the Taliban fighters. Luttrell tries to carry Dietz down the mountain, but Dietz is shot in the shoulder; the impact forces Luttrell to lose his grip and fall forward off the cliff. A dying Dietz remains at the top of the cliff, in the custody of Shah and the Taliban insurgents who surround him. Murphy plots to climb back up the mountain in order to receive a phone signal to make an emergency call, via a satellite phone. Axelson and Luttrell shoot at the Taliban fighters, while covering Murphy. When he finally reaches higher ground, Murphy is able to alert the Navy SEAL base of his team's location, but is shot dead by several Taliban fighters.

    In response to Murphy's distress call, a quick reaction force team attempts to extract the remaining members of the reconnaissance and surveillance team. During an attempt to insert SEAL teammates who were riding in one of two CH-47 Chinook helicopters, the Taliban insurgents shoot down one of the helicopters, killing eight Navy SEALs and eight Special Operations aviators who were on board; the second helicopter is able to escape. After witnessing the attack, Luttrell and a badly injured Axelson are left behind. Axelson attempts to find cover, but is killed when he leaves his hiding spot to kill several approaching insurgents. When Luttrell is discovered by the Taliban, one of the insurgents fires a rocket-propelled grenade, and its impact causes him to land at the bottom of a rock crevice where he is able to hide from the Taliban fighters.

    Luttrell awakens the next day and runs to a nearby village, where he is discovered by local Pashtun villagers. One of the villagers, Mohammad Gulab, takes Luttrell into his home and sends a mountain man to the nearest American air base to alert military forces of Luttrell's location. The Taliban fighters arrive at the village to capture and kill Luttrell, but Gulab and the villagers intervene, threatening to kill the fighters if they harm Luttrell. The fighters leave, but later return to punish the villagers for protecting Luttrell. Luttrell and Gulab are able to fend off several fighters during the ensuing attack. The remaining Taliban fighters are chased away by American forces, who arrive via helicopters and bring Luttrell to safety.

    Photos of the real-life Marcus Luttrell, Mohammad Gulab and the fallen soldiers who died during the mission are shown during a four-minute montage, and an epilogue reveals that the Pashtun villagers agreed to help Luttrell as part of a traditional code of honor known as the Pashtunwali.

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