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Tears of the Sun (2003)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, Thriller  |  7 March 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 88,827 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 391 user | 87 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

A Special-Ops commander leads his team into the Nigerian jungle in order to rescue a doctor who will only join them if they agree to save 70 refugees too.


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2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ellis 'Zee' Pettigrew
Demetrius 'Silk' Owens
Colonel Idris Sadick
Awaovieyi Agie ...
Hadar Busia-Singleton ...
Ida Onyango ...


Navy SEAL Lieutenant A.K. Waters and his elite squadron of tactical specialists are forced to choose between their duty and their humanity, between following orders by ignoring the conflict that surrounds them, or finding the courage to follow their conscience and protect a group of innocent refugees. When the democratic government of Nigeria collapses and the country is taken over by a ruthless military dictator, Waters, a fiercely loyal and hardened veteran is dispatched on a routine mission to retrieve a Doctors Without Borders physician, Dr. Lena Kendricks. Dr. Kendricks, an American citizen by marriage, is tending to the victims of the ongoing civil war at a Catholic mission in a remote village. When Waters arrives, however, Dr. Kendricks refuses to leave unless he promises to help deliver the villagers to political asylum at the nearby border. If they are left behind, they will be at the mercy of the enormous rebel army. Waters is under strict orders from his commanding officer ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. See more »


Action | Drama | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong war violence, some brutality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 March 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hostile Act  »

Box Office


$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$17,057,213 (USA) (7 March 2003)


$1,825,961 (Spain) (5 December 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


All the actors who played Navy SEALs had to go through a two week boot camp. See more »


During one of the last battles, one of the SEALS mistakenly yells "Grenade!" when throwing an outgoing grenade. In reality, a soldier will yell "Frag out!" when referring to an outgoing grenade, while the term "Grenade!" is used to warn comrades of an incoming grenade. See more »


[first lines]
Female news reader: [voiceover] The tension that had been brewing for months in Nigeria exploded yesterday as exiled General Mustafa Yakubu orchestrated a swift and violent coup against the democratically elected government of President Samuel Azuka. In a land with 120 million people and over 250 ethnic groups, there'd been a long-standing history of ethnic enmity, particularly between the Fulani Moslems in the north and Christian Ibo in the south. The victorious Fulani rebels have taken to the streets...
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Crazy Credits

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke See more »


Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

If you like gritty, realistic action movies then this will not disappoint.
5 June 2003 | by See all my reviews

Tears of the Sun. A pretty typical actioner which reminded me a little of Navy SEALs, though grittier and more believable. Willis is his usual mostly expressionless self here, yet somehow he manages to get the part of the troubled Lieutenant across very well indeed. The other actors all do their parts well and leave little that makes you frown in their portrayal of hardened special forces personnel. It was nice to see Cole Hauser in this movie. An underrated actor who is only now starting to get decent parts since his role in Pitch Black. Almost makes me want to go and see 2Fast 2Furious to see how he does in that. Almost...

But back to the movie. The plot won't stretch your mind much and the "strange" reason why the rebels pursue the refugees so ardently isn't very hard to guess long before the characters in the story discover it. But the action is plentiful, as is the brutality portrayed. If you like sanitized action movies then this film might upset you a little. It's not for those who think that war is about pushing buttons from hundreds of miles away or that all soldiers carry a copy of the Geneva Convention in their kit and consult it regularly.

But if you like gritty, realistic action movies then this will not disappoint.

And now....a small rant.

Oh dear God! I can't believe some of the truly stupid comments here. The concept that this movie's sole purpose was as a propaganda vehicle to make people feel better about the Iraq conflict is laughable to anyone who has a higher IQ than their shoe size. And as for Hollywood constantly portraying Americans as the great saviours....well why the hell not? Who in God's name wants to go and be depressed watching "the good guys" shoot innocents and ignore suffering. Yeah, that'd do real well at the box office! Movies are meant to entertain and make you feel good, not come out of the theatre wanting to slash your wrists. Jeez! Get a grip you people.

Thank you....end of rant.

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