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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.


2,465 ( 226)
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

Plot Keywords:

rebel | refugee | border | doctor | jungle | See All (114) »


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)


$43,426,961 (USA) (18 April 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


A scene where Bruce Willis kissed Monica Belluci was shot, but deleted after a test screening. See more »


When the two fighter-bombers take off from the aircraft carrier in the final battle, they only have drop tanks, no missiles or other visible armaments. As they fly over to the battle, they now have six missiles each. 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 »


Heart Of Darkness
Composed by Hans Zimmer
Performed by The Hollywood Studio Symphony (as The Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra)
Orchestrated By Yvonne S. Moriarty (as Suzette Moriarty)
Conductor/ Orchestrated By, Bruce Fowler
(p) © 2003 Revolution Studios Distribution Company, LLC.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Servicable, though the human angle is undernourished
17 January 2004 | by (Victoria, BC) – See all my reviews

It's not hard to see why John Woo was attached to this project for a while - it has a lot of similarities to his earlier (and underrated) movie HEROES SHED NO TEARS. (The intense climax, in fact, feels extremely John Woo-ish.) I can only wonder what it would have been like had he been in control... though considering the general quality of his American movies, maybe that might not have been a good thing. Anyway, the movie as it is ends up being not bad. It's paced pretty well, and even though there's not that many action scenes (though they are all well-staged), it's never boring, and that fact will be enough for most people. The biggest weakness is that the characters are not very strong - Willis' character hardly says that much and you don't get a feel for his character, Bellucci's statements and actions eventually resemble that of a broken record, and the rebel commander pursuing the protagonists is given no personality at all. But if you are looking for more for jungle action, look for HEROES SHED NO TEARS. And if you are looking more for this kind of thing with more of a human element (though no less exciting) to it, seek the equally underrated DARK OF THE SUN.

22 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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