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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 88,845 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


He was trained to follow orders. He became a hero by defying them. 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?


Kevin Smith was originally cast to co-star with Bruce Willis as a supporting SEAL team member. Tragically, he died from head injuries sustained from a three story prop tower fall, after his last film Warriors of Virtue 2: Return to Tao (2002) wrapped. See more »


Waters' beard varies in length inconsistently throughout the film. 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...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in In Search of Real America with Harry and His Shadow (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Very worthwhile movie...give it a try.
30 March 2004 | by (Raleigh, NC, USA) – 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.

178 of 232 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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