Every movie has something “special” about it that is used to market it. For Act of Valor it is the fact that “real” Navy SEALs are in the movie, instead of actors pretending to be SEALs. The question is whether or not the movie can stand on its own, or if the military men were just a gimmick to sell tickets.
Viewers seem to be relatively divided on whether or not it’s a good movie. The interesting thing, though, is that some of the most vocal critics of the movie are people in the military. Some of the complaints are that there is no way active-duty SEALs would be allowed to show their faces on camera, the movie is too much like a video game, and it gives too sanitized a vision of what combat is really like.
I did not like the fact that there were definite video-game aspects to the movie. I thought those moments were annoying and distracting. I did, however, enjoy a lot of the moments that showed how the military, especially special-ops, works to drop men behind lines and pick them up again. Those are some of the best (and most accurate, from what I gather) moments of the movie.
Act of Valor is certainly an interesting movie, if only for its depiction of men who have volunteered to go into situations most people would run away from. And there is an excellent poem used at the end, written by Chief Tecumseh. That poem might be the best part of the movie.