Today: June 16, 2024

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi depicts the true story of a six-strong elite team of former special-forces-turned-private-security contractors. The group were on assignment to protect a supposedly secret CIA outpost when terrorists attacked a US diplomatic compound in Libya’s Benghazi on September 11, 2012.

The film is based on the non-fictional book ‘13 Hours’ from best-selling author Mitchell Zuckoff and the film’s director (Michael Bay) relied heavily on this book’s account and the insights of the surviving members of the team, all of whom insist the film is a true picture of what happened.

The story focuses on Jack Silva (a beefed-up John Krasinski), an ex-Navy SEAL and the most recent addition to the security team. He joins Rone (James Badge Dale), Oz (Max Martini), Tanto (Pablo Schreiber), Tig (Dominic Fumusa) and Boon  (David Denman). Despite their acceptance of war, there’s a mutual sense of disillusionment and cynicism in the group, particularly when it comes to government intervention (or lack thereof) and understanding who should be considered the ‘bad guy’.

Throughout the attack, the team are faced not just with relentless gunfire but a mass of bureaucracy and lack of support from their own government. US ambassador Chris Stevens (Matt Letscher), who is in Benghazi to strengthen US-Liberia relations, is protected by a small number of US State agents and some untrained local gun-owners. When the rebels enter the ambassador’s compound, his security calls for help from the CIA outpost. Rone and his team are ready but are repeatedly told to stand down by the CIA station head, Bob (David Costabile).

The film takes 45 minutes to get into its flow and the often-bloated dialogue means it’s somewhat of a relief when the real action starts. Overall, the macho cast do a decent, albeit not ground-breaking, job. While Krasinski’s character is at the centre of the plot, the strongest performances come from Badge Dale and Schreiber, the latter of whom brings some much-welcome humour.

13 Hours is arguably Bay’s most human of films; yes, there’s excessive use of firepower and cars but for once he manages to keep the story focused on the people, not the armoury. Whatever your political bias, this is an interesting story that will make you think long after you leave the cinema.

While the film’s dialogue in parts is messy and unrelatable, the biggest flaw is its lengthy running time.

Cut thirty minutes off its 144 minute total and Bay could have had himself a pacey and action-packed war film. Instead, the set-up limps along for too long, leaving the action scenes packed in until their eventual conclusion.

13 Hours is an unsubtle pro-America, anti-government film that appears to have been made as a piece of Republican election propaganda; however, it manages to show that in conflict, no one side is the winner and proves that Bay is capable of delivering a story that is about people, not machines.


Previous Story


Next Story

Drugs On Film

Latest from Blog


Memory (2023)

Memory is an exquisite American drama in the tender embrace of Michel Franco’s cinematic prowess.

WIN! Columbo Series 1-7 on Blu-ray!

To celebrate the release of Columbo Series 1-7 we’ve got TWO Blu-ray copies of to Give Away! For your chance to win, simply email your answer to the question below to – include

WIN! Farscape The Complete Series on Blu-ray!

To celebrate the release of Farscape the complete series we’ve got a Blu-ray copy of to Give Away! For your chance to win, simply email your answer to the question below to – include

Columbo: The Complete 1970s Collection

The concept was groundbreaking: a murder mystery in which the audience is told in the first five minutes who done it, and then they get to watch the detective work it out.

Chinatown Unboxing

One of the greatest films of all time, Roman Polanski’s noir masterpiece Chinatown makes its long-awaited 4K UHD debut with breathtaking results. The film looks and sounds absolutely magnificent, pulling us right
Go toTop

Don't Miss


In a recent interview with The New York Times, Oppenheimer

Radiance Films Blu-ray Unboxings

There’s a new boutique label in town. Radiance Films promise