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Tears of the Sun (2003)

Cast: Chuck Jeffries, Bruce Willis, Monica Bellucci, more...
Director: Antoine Fuqua
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Studio: Columbia TriStar
Genre: Action, Wilderness & Nature
Running Time: 121 min.
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French
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A career soldier is forced to choose between following orders and saving lives in this action thriller. Lt. A.K. Waters (Bruce Willis) is a veteran Navy SEAL whose commander (Tom Skerritt) has given his team a special assignment. A Central African nation is expected to explode into war at any moment, and Waters and his cohorts are to escort any American citizens in the area to safety, most notably Dr. Lena Kendricks (Monica Bellucci), a doctor from the United States who has set up a clinic in the jungle. Waters and his men find Kendricks, but she refuses to leave with them unless she can bring along 70 refugees who have been left to her care. Kendricks makes it clear that if they are left behind, the refugees will face certain death, but Waters's C.O. insists he bring back Kendricks -- but not her patients. Forced by his conscience to disobey orders, Waters and his team race against time to escort the refugees to a border town where they will find safe haven before invading troops can ambush them. Tears of the Sun (which was produced under the title Man of War) also features Cole Hauser and Fionnula Flanagan. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Cut above the genre by Texan99 September 4, 2010 - 12:54 PM PDT
A movie about whom you can save and whom you can bear to leave behind when you have the opportunity to escape yourself. Setting aside my annoyance at the many characters who refuse to arm themselves and instead expect others to come protect them at great risk to themselves, I found the film a powerful treatment of each Europeans character's choice (the Africans are presented as having none). The first choices are those of the priests, nuns, and doctor (Belucci), who must decide whether to leave the wounded behind in the initial evacuation. Willis, the Navy seal who's been sent to evacuate only the Europeans, doesn't at first experience any sense of choice. He's a hardened veteran of many successful missions conducted under orders by the book: his job is to save the Europeans, period. Early on, however, he unexpectedly does find that he has a choice, brought on not by Belucci's begging him to help the Africans (a request that leaves him totally unmoved), but by the way she turns her face away in absolute resignation and is undone by grief. This would have been a finer movie if the circumstances that drove each character to his excruciating choice made more sense instead of being a series of terse but inexplicable messages that this LZ is available that that one isn't, or only X helicopters can be sent when you need Y. Even so, I was drawn in by the way Willis and his men found themselves no longer able to see the refugees as objects. Once they become people, all bets were off.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.94)
53 Votes
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