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Tears of the Sun (2003)

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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:
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

Plot Keywords:

rebel | refugee | border | doctor | jungle | See All (118) »


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 USA:

$17,057,213, 9 March 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?


This is the first film to be filmed on the Nimitz Class Nuclear Aircraft Carrier, U.S.S. Harry S. Truman (CVN-75). See more »


On one occasion, the LT Waters refers to one of his men as "Sergeant," which is a rank that is not in the U.S. Navy. (This is not a "character error," per IMDb guidelines, as this is not an error that a SEAL or any Navy personnel would ever make in real life.) 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 Drake & Josh: Who's Got Game? (2006) See more »


Under The Forest Calm
Written By Andreas Vollenweider, Heitor Pereira
Performed by The Hollywood Studio Symphony (as The Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra)
(p) © 2003 Revolution Studios Distribution Company, LLC.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Very worthwhile movie...give it a try.
30 March 2004 | by See all my reviews

Hmmm...where do I start? Should I point out to a recent reviewer, who sarcastically pointed out that Nigeria has an air force and could have bombed the group fleeing through the jungle, that the "bad guys" are rebels, not government forces? Since the rebels just killed everyone in the President's family, they probably scared off the government pilots, too. (Sorry...couldn't resist.)

And since when was a movie so horribly, horribly bad because it couldn't be filmed in the actual location? So what if this was filmed somewhere other than Nigeria? And so what if the music was not "authentic Nigerian music"? I don't remember a title card at the beginning of the movies saying it's a National Geographic documentary.

This is a good movie. Less action than many war movies and less thought than some political dramas. There are good and bad people of all races. There's tension and there are explosions and gunfire. There is ample opportunity to reflect on what mankind is capable of doing to each other for political reasons.

Give it a chance and I think you'll enjoy it. Better yet, I think you'll be sombered by it.

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