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5.0 out of 5 stars A War Worth Fighting
First, the DVD appears to be an excellent transfer--gorgeous colors and photography and good sound really show off a home theater system. The extra features are excellent and explain the purpose behind the movie.
Second, this is a great story with first rate direction. It is patently an action movie that "cares" about people, and does a very good job of...
Published on March 19 2004 by J. B Kraft

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars "I can't look at 'em like packages anymore."
Antoine Fuqua's "Tears of the Sun" is a film that coasts by on star power. Its story is more bare-boned than a turkey after a Thanksgiving dinner but it rises above mediocrity thanks to the presence of Bruce Willis. Without Willis anchoring the proceedings, this film would have quickly become indistinguishable from other entries in the genre.
An American military...
Published on Jan. 10 2004 by Steven Y.


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4.0 out of 5 stars ACTUALLY GOOD, March 29 2004
I'am going to be honest, the only reason I watched this is because the director was the director from TRAINING DAY. I was surprised to see Bruce Willis doing such a good job. Don't get me wrong he is great in others but he also isn't in others. The casting for this film was pretty good, every one was real belivable. Antonie Fuqua did a good job directing it, and Alex Lasker & Patrick Cirillo wrote a good script. But the thing that made this film so good was that it was very bloody, and was also so depressing to see these people in the villiges being tortured and killed. Why is that good you ask, well it's because that is what really happens. The harsh reality of it is that those things really happen, in fact it's probably happing right now. All the extras in this film were crying on set because it brought back memories. On a better note the setting in Hawai was a great choice for location, it looks like the real places in Africa. Also on another note Joe Roth Executive Produced this, you might know him very well from works with Billy Crystal
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5.0 out of 5 stars A War Worth Fighting, March 19 2004
By 
J. B Kraft "lonestargazer" (Palestine, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
First, the DVD appears to be an excellent transfer--gorgeous colors and photography and good sound really show off a home theater system. The extra features are excellent and explain the purpose behind the movie.
Second, this is a great story with first rate direction. It is patently an action movie that "cares" about people, and does a very good job of explaining why. The director does a great job of doing this by creating characters we care about in an intriguing plot, and avoids preachiness. I thought this was a great performance by all the actors, especially Bruce Willis whose character is laconic but nonetheless conveys the conflict raging between obedience to orders and a moral imperative to protect the helpless. Finally, I would advise that this movie depicts brutality and violence with frankness, and it is also suspenseful so I would not recommend this as "mere entertainment". To call this an action movie, while technically correct, denigrates the great emotional stakes this movie plays for.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 Stars. One of the best SOF movies ever., Feb. 20 2004
By A Customer
This movie was far underated by critics and even some fans.
This is military themed movie making at it's best. (Along with
Black Hawk Down, Saving Private Ryan, and few others)
Thankfully, real SEALS served as technical advisors for the film.
While this is still Hollywood and things can't be exactly accurate, it is technically superior to most warfare films. The weapons are right(notice the point man carries a shotgun in the dense jungle), tactics are good(the team peels off and covers each other, fire short bursts,not spray and pray, etc.)
The military speak is accurate and the SEALS actually look and act like Spec Warriors.
The entire cast is great and the direction is first-rate. I recommend watching with director's commentary on for a second viewing. While very violent at times, it's necessary to show the struggle of the refugees and people of modern Africa. This is not a standard straight forward action film but, rather a film about redemption and doing the right thing even if it means the loss of your own life.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Solid action + crisis of conscience for soldiers story, Feb. 14 2004
By 
TOMMY C ELLIS "Prison Rev." (Federal Way, WA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tears of the Sun (VHS Tape)
Bruce Willis and his weary, but highly-skilled military go into the Nigerian countryside, during a military coupe/ethnic cleansing, to extract a few missionaries. When they arrive, the female missionary refuses to go unless Willis brings the 70 Nigerian nationals with. Orders are orders, and Willis' team prepares to extract only the woman they have clearance for. However...the horrors of seeing the bloodbath, and the reality of what will happen if Willis obeys his orders overwhelms him, and he chooses another course. What follows is a chase through the countryside that becomes unexpectedly intense. People die, and a few of the nationals are not who they seem to be (for good and evil).
Tears of the Sun (a clever title by the way) has strong, bloody action. It moves quickly, and logically. There are a few surprises, but, in the end this is a straight-forward production. The "crisis of conscience" so many reviewers have mentioned actually gets resolved fairly quickly, and as one would expect of a Hollywood production. The action is realistic, and does not glorify the necessary violence--a plus! Willis' brooding is key in this aspect.
Bottom-line: Tears of the Sun is a solid action movie, with just enough personal conflict to give it reasonable depth. The Nigerian characters are treated with dignity, and the story ends on a somber, yet optimistic note. I just kept sensing that something was missing. I kept waiting. Was Willis carrying some dark secret about a past mission gone bad? Was the missionary lady somehow involved in the country's politics? (After all, why send a team of highly-skilled soliders to extract one civilian missionary?) Was the U.S. government somehow implicated? Most of those questions went unanswered. A movie that hinted at having almost documentary-type intentions ended up simply a solid action movie + some crisis of conscience stuff that soldiers who see action often go through. Good, strong material--but not *****.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A good action ride, but a litlle inaccurate., Feb. 10 2004
By A Customer
If you like action-packed adventures with a lot of gun fights and conflict, then this is the movie is for you. It has a lot of scenes where bullets and other weapons are just tearing through everything. A little gorey though, shows stuff that is we are better off not seeing. But since I'm a Navy SEAL buff (not a Navy SEAL, yet.) I think this movie potrays the SEALs in a bad way. It shows them as blood-thirsty, crazy, gun wild, "kill first, ask questions later" group of guys. Anyone who knows anything about the SEALs knows this is not true. For example, a SEAL never leaves another SEAL behind, wounded or dead. In this movie, everytime a SEAL gets killed the team leaves him and then tells the infantry go back and get him. Also, SEALs aren't the type of guys that disobey orders and don't follow the directions. When they're given a mission they complete it without any distractions. If a SEAL team had been in the same situation as the actors in the movie were, well they would of taken who they came for and left. I know it sounds mean but one of the few things this movie does show correctly is that when a commander leads his team off mission, people get killed. In this movie, several SEALs and Nigerian civilians die because of what they did. Anyyway, if you have an extensive knowledge of the military or the SEALs and you watch this movie you will probaly find yourself correcting the mistakes and errors the movie has. I believe the makers of this movie were mainly focused on the conflict the characters will face and what happens instead of who they are. In other words, they build thier own military unit and just give them the title of Navy SEALs. I belive the director should of done some better research on who his actors were potraying.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great War Movie for Both Men and Women, Feb. 4 2004
By 
Imperial Topaz (Marrakesh, Morocco) - See all my reviews
This is a war movie. It reminded me, in ways of some of the war movies of Vietnam, such as Casualties of War, except that it was far less violent. Rapes are hinted at, but not graphically shown. I was pleased not to be overwhelmed with bad language, as some films do. People are brutally killed, but not every graphic detail is shown. I thought it was appropriate in what it showed. A good war movie, but not out to super-shock the audience. This movie tries instead to entertain, and succeeds well. Both my husband and I really enjoyed the acting by Bruce Willis. The movie has plenty of action, but doesn't overdo it, concentrating on the drama of trying to rescue doctors and missionaries from a clinic. Instead, the main doctor won't leave without all her patients coming along. Bruce Willis tricks her by telling her they will take the patients, only to grab her, and leave the patients behind. He then changes his mind, against his commander's will, and he and his team are then on their own to try to walk everyone through the jungle to safety, showing all of their numerous difficulties along the way.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A morality tale soaked in blood and tears, Jan. 26 2004
By 
Patrick Thompson (Sydney, NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
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Suggestion: watch the 'making of' with the director's comments first and then watch the movie. You'll see that the director (fuqua- from training day) was aiming (no pun intended) for: it's considerably more than just an action movie.
This movie is a sad indictment of the savagery and genocide that afflicts Africa and the extremes that some of these power hungry lunatics go. This is extreme terror close up for some of the people, especially in this little corner of Nigeria.
A lot of poeple heard muslim in the movie's premise (since Nigeria's official religion is Islam- it's funny how islam has been perverted from a religion of peace and tolerance and equality from it's inception to what it is today in some places of the world...) and thought 'ah a rah-rah shoot-em up with revenge and muslim butt kicking in the mind'. But that doesn't wash- not even close (makes me wonder if the people who said that even understood what they were watching?? Or simple just transfering their prejudices and desires onto the movie and then trying to disavow them by denigrating the movie). Nor does it glorify the american military and cast it as the global policeman. That is such a simplistic analysis. Watch the bit in the clearing when the helicopters land and then leave and you'll see what I mean about the US military NOT being the unabashed, unreserved saviours of the good and the right. They do job they are told (very well!).
Willis, in hard faced mode- playing the role to perfection- contrary to orders, makes 'the mistake of starting to give a f--k' as his character puts it. And rather than leave a bunch of helpless civilians from a mission to the rebels chasing them, decides to escore them into nearby Cameroon primarily because the american civilian he and his navy seals are there to extarct refuses to go without them. And this is the crux of the movie: the chase (if the simplisitic viewpoint is to be accepted, then the Seals would stand and fight and kill all the badg uys and all live happily every after, basking in their glory as victors- whihc certainly doesn't happen...not even close)
There are times in the movie when you will wonder how so called human beings can do the things to each other that you are shown and are infered by what remains (this movie doesn't pull too many punches). The segement in the village is really, really tragic and grim and has zero glorification of violence and heroism, other than doing what needs to be done. Because doing nothing is complicity of the worst kind. Willis' character and his men aren't 'americans' or 'heroes' when they do what they do...rather just humans protecting humanity. Those who called this movie some sort of glorification of all things American: freedom, justice, liberty, etc. missed the point. This movie is about humans and those who aren't. And the fact that sometimes you have to make a stand, regardless of who you are or where you're from. There are no nationalities this close to the sharp end of ethinic cleansing, genocide and rape. The affront is just too great for that.
I personally thought this was an excellent movie. The only downside: speachifying at the end got a bit nauseating, and detracts from the movie to some extent (-1 star). As does the actions of Tom Skeritt's character in the finale (just a bit too schmaltzy for my liking). Otherwise, this is a very good movie. There is no artistic posturing like The Thin Red Line, nor is it pure war like Saving Private Ryan, or confused mayhem like Black Hawk Down. Rather a fairly linear chase through the darkest side of humanity with a significant body count (nobody is spared), times of extreme violence and war, where nobody escapes unscathed and unchanged, if they escape at all. There are some extremely powerful moments in this movie: my favorite (no, that isn't the word), the most moving: the old man weeping outside the village.
Excellent cast featuring Willis and Monica Bellucci (Persephone from the Matrix reloaded, revolutions) with the sultry eyes and sexy voice. And good supporting cast- the africans were played by refugees from the Sudan (another nightmare).
ALl in all, a well made movie, a good story and a disturbing study of man's inhumanity to people, all in the name of greed and ideology, religion and powerlust. There is no glory. No flag waving. Plenty of heroism that is understated, but the tacit acceptance of this heroism by the SEALS is not played upon either. They simply do their job. This isn't 'die hard in the jungle'. This is far too much of a waking nightmare for that. This movie is about sacrifice, peril, loss, suffering and hope.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worth seeing..., Jan. 19 2004
Enjoyable action film...yes there's violence and gore; yes, it portrays the poor, misunderstood rebels without trying to understand them or blame the US for their desire to "kill everyone who doesn't go to the same church." And yes, there are a few things, factually, tactically, as well as plot-wise, that might been done differently or a bit better. But come on! It is fiction! It's an action-adventure flick, not a documentary or a military training film! So relax, and enjoy, the performances are decent; my husband enjoyed seeing Monica Bellucci's breasts bouncing around almost out of her shirt (hey, if you got 'em, flaunt 'em), and I have gained a whole new appreciation for mohawk haircuts! And for those who haven't figured it out yet...there ARE bad guys in the world who hate us and don't care if we understand them or not, there is STILL inter-tribal and ethnic violence occurring in Africa and elsewhere where they DO BAD THINGS TO EACH OTHER. Just ask the "Lost Boys!" Sometimes you just have to decide which side you are going to be on....thank God we have REAL Spec Ops guys that do go out there and take care of business, messy as it may be.
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3.0 out of 5 stars "I can't look at 'em like packages anymore.", Jan. 10 2004
Antoine Fuqua's "Tears of the Sun" is a film that coasts by on star power. Its story is more bare-boned than a turkey after a Thanksgiving dinner but it rises above mediocrity thanks to the presence of Bruce Willis. Without Willis anchoring the proceedings, this film would have quickly become indistinguishable from other entries in the genre.
An American military unit led by Lieutenant A.K. Waters (Willis) parachutes in hostile Nigerian territory to retrieve Dr. Lena Kendricks (Monica Bellucci) and a priest and two nuns that she works with. Kendricks is the only one who leaves her post after Waters reluctantly agrees that the refugees under her care can also be evacuated. The refugees, however, are abandoned at the extraction point and left to fend for themselves. Yet, Waters gives in to his conscience on the flight back to his ship and decides to go back and save the refugees from the rebel military force pursuing them despite the fact that his unit is hopelessly outnumbered.
If "Tears of the Sun" is guilty of anything, it is guilty of delivering too many message moments. There is discourse on everything from religion to race to global politics in this film. Oftentimes, matters become perilously close to becoming too heavy-handed, but Willis remains a stabilizing force from beginning to end. He delivers a low-key performance that still comes across as effective thanks to the quiet intensity and sincerity he projects. In contrast, Bellucci is sadly underutilized as her only function in the second half of the film is to set up good comeback lines from Willis. This is a shame because there are strong hints that Willis and Bellucci would have had marvelous chemistry if given better material to work with. Still, even with all its problems - underdeveloped adversaries, drawn-out pacing, and convenient plot developments - "Tears of the Sun" justifies a rental fee.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tears for a few good men, Jan. 1 2004
Eight Navy Seals get a rough assignment: Pull an American doctor out of war-torn Nigeria. The mission becomes much more complicated and difficult when the doctor refuses to leave her charges. Willis, as the lieutenant commanding the squad, has to make life-and-death choices and the allow his humanity to surface or, as he says, he learns to "give a f*ck". Willis uses his "Die Hard" style, with little opportunity for humor. There really isn't any room here for humor. It is dark, tense and scary. And there is also the triumphant, mostly rewarding and credible climax.
There is more development and tension than violence and action for much of the film. The minutes of violence are heart wrenching and not overly gratuitous. Explicit, graphic violence comes with a message, even if you choose to dismiss it. For a moment, I though there might be a neat, simple and clean ending possible, but the director (who first made "Training Day") was too honest. There is also a small political twist that adds some heart and sense of revival to the devastation trailing the small group trying to make their way from the medical mission to safety in Cameroon.
To be political and personal for a moment, I was moved. A few good men can make a difference, and not the way Rob Reiner portrayed them. Sure, this is Hollywood and creative license is what often makes art and entertainment. But Michael Moore was much less honest with "Bowling for Columbine," and he won an Academy Award for his "documentary". "Tears of the Sun" is a more honest view of, as the director says, "man's inhumanity to man."As Willis says in the accompanying feature, when it comes to internecine warfare in Africa, "It all depends upon who has the guns." And he's not talking about the NRA.
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Tears of the Sun / Les Larmes du soleil (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
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