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We Were Soldiers (2002)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  1 March 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 95,732 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 741 user | 141 critic | 37 from

The story of the first major battle of the American phase of the Vietnam War and the soldiers on both sides that fought it.



(book) (as Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore) , (book), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Capt. Matt Dillon
Capt. Tom Metsker


In a place soon to be known as The Valley of Death, in a football field-sized clearing called landing zone X-Ray, Lt. Colonel Hal Moore and 400 young troopers from the newly formed 1/7th Cavalry Regiment of the US 1st Air Cavalry Division were surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers dug into the tunnel warren mountainside. The ensuing battle was one of the most savage in U.S. history and is portrayed here as the signal encounter between the American and North Vietnamese armies. We Were Soldiers Once... And Young is a tribute to the nobility of those men under fire, their common acts of uncommon valor, and their loyalty to and love for one another. Written by PHD in CT USA

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


400 U.S paratroopers. 4000 Vietnamese soldiers. 12 000 miles away from home. 1 man led them into battle. See more »


Action | Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sustained sequences of graphic war violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






| |

Release Date:

1 March 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Lost Patrol  »

Box Office


$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$20,212,543 (USA) (1 March 2002)


$495,567 (Brazil) (16 August 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut) | (TV)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At about 40 minutes into the movie, when the buses show up to pick up the deploying soldiers, the "road" they are driving on is the 1/507th PIR (airborne school) running track See more »


When Moore and his soldiers capture a North Vietnamese Army deserter and ask him where his friends are, he supposedly says this is a base camp for the whole division; four thousand men (which was in the script). While in translation the words about the base camp are correct, the Vietnamese word (muoi ngan) he says is actually ten thousand, not four thousand. See more »


[first lines]
Joe Galloway: [Narrating; voice-over] These are the true events of November, 1965, the Ia Drang Valley of Vietnam, a place our country does not remember, in a war it does not understand. This story's a testament to the young Americans who died in the valley of death, and a tribute to the young men of the People's Army of Vietnam who died by our hand in that place. To tell this story, I must start at the beginning. But where does it begin? Maybe in June of 1954 when French Group Mobile 100 moved ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

A list of the names of the actual men who died during the battle as well as the city and state where they are from is featured before the ending credits. See more »


Featured in We Were Soldiers: Getting It Right (2002) See more »


Sgt. MacKenzie
By Joseph Rizza Kilna
Performed by Joseph Rizza Kilna (as Joseph Kilna MacKenzie)
Produced by Joseph Rizza Kilna (as Joseph Kilna MacKenzie) & Seoras Wallace
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Factual to the point of pain
9 October 2003 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

I should never be surprised that people, who wouldn't recognize Principle, much less Honor, Duty, or Country if it introduced itself, see virtue as vice. As one who served in that war, I found the movie to be factual to the point of pain. Those who call this movie racist, lack vocabulary. or an understanding of racism. I don't know which is sadder. This movie tells a part of a soldier's story very well. Soldiers march to a different drummer, how tragic that so many, today, still refuse to honor those who protected them.

The millions in Indo-China murdered at the hands of the Communist cry that our "racism" was so poorly lead at the highest civilian levels that we abandon them. Their blood is not on my hands or on the hands of my fellow soldiers. It is on the hands of those who are so blind they refuse to see. A valid case could be made that that there are errors in the story, certainly it doesn't tell the rest of the story, or of the next part of this battle where US casualties were 40%. What it does tell it tells very well. Those men were volunteers, and their nobility shows in this movie. I recommend it, especially for any who would want to understand those who served at that time.

173 of 279 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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