Film Preview: 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016)

Page Revisions:

(January 10, 2016) Original

Release Date:

January 15, 2016


From IMDb: “An American Ambassador is killed during an attack at a U.S. compound in Libya as a security team struggles to make sense out of the chaos.”

Poster Rating: C+ / B- / C / C+

Review: (#1) John Krasinski is the most recognizable face on the team, so it’s no surprise he’s so prominently displayed, but it also highlights an issue with all the poster designs for this film: it’s a film about a team, but never focuses on more than a single person. That’s a thematic problem. (#2) A bit more exciting than the first design, but it’s relatively nondescript and really just highlights how much Michael Bay has become too affixed to explosions.

(#3) Unnecessary use of patriotic symbolism might work for a small segment of the population, but many others aren’t going to be as thoroughly impressed. (#4) This has a visual style that works better than others, but it’s not as potent an image as one would expect from this kind of film.

Trailer Rating: C / D / C+ / D

Review: (#1 & #2) The red band trailer (#2) is barely different from the green band trailer (#1), which begs the question of why it was necessary, except to make people think there’s something more exciting about it than there is. As to the trailer itself. It uses the “true story” tag even though the intelligence behind the film has largely been debunked, making it a loose interpretation and embellishment of the truth meant to appeal to people who aren’t smart enough to know better.

(#3 & #4) Another near-duplication of trailers between red (#4) and green (#3). This just seems like an inefficient method of advertising. Regardless, while this trailer does mostly the same thing as the prior, it adds in a much more human element making this sound like men who believe they are about to go die for a cause and why they are fighting. That gives the film a better grounding, but doesn’t improve its lack of honesty.

Oscar Prospects:

Even American Sniper, which this film’s subject and release window seems styled after, got an Oscar-qualifying run the year before.

Trailer #1

Trailer #2

Trailer #3

Trailer #4


Poster #1Poster #2Poster #3

Poster #4

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