The Outpost

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Outpost Movie Poster Image
Impressive, harrowing depiction of battle in true war story.
  • R
  • 2020
  • 123 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Fictional depiction of real-life courage and heroism, with people risking their lives in a deadly situation to save their colleagues. Wrestles with question of whether Army made a mistake by placing the outpost in such a vulnerable spot, putting the soldiers in danger in the first place, in addition to origins of war in Afghanistan.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Real-life staff sergeants Clint Romesha and Ty Carter, both awarded Medal of Honor, are heroes for attempts to save others during deadly situation. Many heroic acts depicted, from dragging wounded to safety to donating blood to concentrating on bigger picture and ending the attack. In addition to being portrayed in the movie, Romesha and Carter -- and other soldiers -- are interviewed for the epilogue. On the downside: use of racial/cultural slurs (joke about Mexicans sneaking across the border, use of the word "retard," etc.).

Violence

Frequent guns and shooting. Exploding mortars. Many characters killed. Bloody, gory wounds (character's cheek blown off his face, piece of brain lands in man's mouth, etc.). Charred body. Fighting, kicking. Truck tumbles off cliff, crashes below. Character considers suicide, points rifle at chin. Fire. Dog shot and killed (off-camera). Characters hold waterboarding contests.

Sex

Naked male behind. Strong sex-related dialogue. A man wears women's underwear on his face and inhales. Man caught attempting to masturbate to a photo of another man's wife, etc. Sexy pinup picture shown hanging in background.

Language

Constant, extremely strong language includes uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "c--ksucker," "s--t," "bulls--t," the "N" word, "p---y," "t-ts," "a--hole," "ass," "d--k," "snatch," "cum," "bastard," "bitch," "goddamn," "damn," "hell," "piss," "retarded," plus exclamatory use of "Jesus," "Jesus Christ," and "doing the Lord's f--king work."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Cigarette smoking. Reference to smoking hash. Reference to a character having a "substance abuse issue."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Outpost is a war drama set in Afghanistan in 2009. Based on Jake Tapper's book, it tells the true story of a deadly attack on a U.S. Army outpost. Violence is bloody and intense, with lots of guns and shooting, explosions, death, extremely gory wounds, fighting, and other disturbing imagery (someone contemplating suicide, a dog getting shot, etc.). Language is also extremely strong, with constant use of words including "f--k," "c--ksucker," "s--t," "retard," and more. There's some pretty graphic sex-related dialogue, a naked male bottom, a man sniffing a woman's panties, and more. Characters smoke cigarettes, and there are references to smoking hash and a man with substance abuse issues. While the film isn't perfect, it does have impressive filmmaking, depicting the action in suspenseful yet harrowing and heartbreaking ways.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bylangston w. October 8, 2020

A Great, Though Shockingly Profane Movie

I saw The Outpost with my Grandpa on VOD. While it is a great, realistic movie, I felt that the profanity was kind of ridiculous. The f-word is used somewhere i... Continue reading
Adult Written byWar Movie Lover August 2, 2020

Bloody movie is very good!

R: intense/brutal sequences of war violence, shooting, suggestive image, strong language throughout and some sex dialogue
Teen, 14 years old Written byUnklebok January 15, 2021

Amazing

17 plus, violence, language, blood and gore.
Teen, 14 years old Written byEdster October 12, 2020

Very intense

The Outpost is a well made movie about what soldiers went through in the Afghanistan war. It is well made and well acted but it is very intense. It makes you... Continue reading

What's the story?

In THE OUTPOST, which is based on a true story, a group of American soldiers is stationed at U.S. Army Combat Outpost Keating, located at the bottom of a valley in Nurestan Province in Afghanistan. Surrounded by mountains, the outpost is highly vulnerable to attacks, and the men fend off Taliban snipers on a daily basis while going through an ever-rotating selection of first lieutenants. In 2009, the Taliban launched everything they had at the outpost, resulting in the bloody Battle of Kamdesh. There were many casualties, and many lives were lost, but the bravery and heroism of staff sergeants Clint Romesha (Scott Eastwood) and Ty Carter (Caleb Landry Jones) earned them both Medals of Honor.

Is it any good?

It has a few flaws typical of war movies, but this tense drama features an amazing, extended battle sequence that's harrowing yet coherent. It also has an appealingly hard, terse quality to its dialogue. That said, The Outpost -- which is based on journalist Jake Tapper's book -- has many characters, and, with the roving camera and identical military gear and helmets, it's often difficult to tell them apart. Director Rod Lurie tries to make up for this with an extended epilogue in which many of the real men who were there are interviewed, but that still doesn't provide much context. The movie also sometimes leans too far toward seriousness and honor, but fortunately it pulls back frequently enough.

The actual storytelling during the movie's first half focuses on little moments -- such as one scene involving a soldier admiring his girlfriend back home -- and the exchanges between characters have a classical snap, recalling "tough guy" war movies of the 1950s. The final half of The Outpost focuses on the big battle, with Lurie's camera darting and dodging between buildings and barriers, ducking bullets, and getting up to move again. These scenes are composed of several long, dynamic takes that capture the chaos and the action perfectly and with clarity. It's suspenseful but also horrifying and heartbreaking. Ultimately, this is a portrait of men in war whose top priority is to look out for one another.

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