Review of Michael Bay’s “13 Hours”

By Debra Tash

This may be more an opinion piece than a movie review, then again reviews, for the most part, are opinion anyway.

13 Hours is a riveting, gritty work, which though it never outright places blame on any one individual, graphically brings home the point that help — American help — never came for those defending the CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya. 

The film recounts the what happened in the days leading up to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Diplomatic Mission and then the nearby CIA Annex.  That attack left four Americans dead, Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith and former Navy SEALs,Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods.  Stevens and Smith died at the Mission while Doherty and Woods perished defending the CIA Annex early on the morning of September 12th.  The film sets up who these people were, along with others who would survive and tell the story.

That fateful day is measured out by the hour, beginning the morning of the assault, which even before the last bullet had been fired had the attack being labeled as a spontaneous “protest” stirred up by an obscure youtube film.  Military assets were spun up in Spain and Italy but never deployed. This alone is the “smoking gun” question left hanging at the end of the film.  What happened to those assets and where was the air cover/military firepower that could have made a difference during the attack?  The Annex’s contingent was evacuated on a private jet, with no room for the bodies of the four who had been killed or the surviving private security detail.  Those men were taken out of Tripoli on a Libyan plane.  The four remaining private security contractors would later recount what happened during the “13 Hours” they were under a well orchestrated attack.

Some may question the timing of the film’s release in what is already a very contentious presidential race.  Even so, those questions need to be raised.  And, maybe, just maybe, people will finally get some real answers and not the spin that’s come from both sides of the political aisle.  To paraphrase Secretary Clinton: “The truth makes a big difference.”  And the American people and those who died and their families deserve nothing less.

13 Hours is a must see film: Showtimes and Tickets



Debra Tash is Editor-in-Chief of, past president for Citizens Alliance for Property Rights, business executive and award-winning author, residing in Somis.

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