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Movie Night – '13 Hours' brings viewer intense, realistic action (Jan. 27, 2016)

In 2012 a temporary American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya was attacked and overrun by armed Islamic militants. Six soldiers from a nearby CIA outpost came to their aid. “13 Hours” is their story.
Shortly after the Libyan people engaged in a violent overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi the entire country erupted into a state of chaos. Most nations closed their embassies and recalled their staff. The United States did not close its diplomatic outposts in Libya.
As the eleventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks drew near the United States Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens (Matt Letscher), made a trip to a temporary diplomatic compound in Benghazi. He brought only two bodyguards for protection. However, they did ask the head of a secret CIA outpost only a mile from the compound for security advice.
The CIA had six military contractors who provided security at their secret location: Jack Silva (John Krasinski), Tyrone Woods (James Badge Dale), Kris Paronto (Pablo Schreiber), Dave Benton (David Denman), John Tiegan (Dominic Fumusa), and Mark Geist (Max Martini). Their report was that the diplomatic compound was a security nightmare. The security of the compound relied too heavily on local Libyan militia with only a handful of American security forces. It was a disaster waiting to happen if anyone realized its vulnerability.
On September 11, 2012 a group of local armed Islamic militants began a siege on the compound. They attacked not only with machine guns, but with rocket launchers, grenades, and other explosives. Only a mile away, the CIA station received the distress calls and could hear and see the fighting. The CIA soldiers geared up, ready to come to the aid of the Ambassador and their fellow Americans. However, the CIA head of station, Bob (David Costabile), ordered them to stand down and let the Libyans handle the rescue.
Eventually the soldiers disobeyed that order and went to the compound on a rescue mission. After saving as many people as they could, the soldiers made their way back to the CIA outpost with the survivors of the attack. But the attackers weren’t finished. They repeatedly attacked the CIA station throughout the night. The soldiers had to defend the station at all costs throughout the night with no aid or assistance from the U.S. government.
At the beginning of the movie it states that the film is “a true story.” Not based on a true story, but an entirely true story. I can’t speak for the accuracy of the movie, but if even half of the movie is true, the United States government should be ashamed. We sent soldiers to Benghazi to protect U.S. assets and fight for our country but failed to give them any support or assistance when they needed it. We supplied no troops, no weapons, and no air support of any kind to aid in the defense of a United States diplomatic compound or the CIA station.
The movie itself is full of intense action and many firefights. The drama is real and the tension crackles off the screen. The acting is excellent and the action scenes are shot in a chaotic way that draws you closer to the action, as if you are part of the story. The run-time of the movie is two hours and twenty-four minutes, but unlike other recent movies that seem to go on forever, “13 Hours” moves at such a swift pace that you don’t notice its length.
If you liked “American Sniper” or action movies in general, you will also enjoy “13 Hours.” It’s a story about true heroism and courage and is a moving and powerful tribute to those who fought in the battle of Benghazi.
Grade: A
Rated R for strong combat violence throughout, bloody images, and language.