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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.

Director:

Antoine Fuqua
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3,513 ( 654)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Willis ... Lieutenant A.K. Waters
Monica Bellucci ... Dr. Lena Fiore Kendricks
Cole Hauser ... James 'Red' Atkins
Eamonn Walker ... Ellis 'Zee' Pettigrew
Johnny Messner ... Kelly Lake
Nick Chinlund ... Michael 'Slo' Slowenski
Charles Ingram ... Demetrius 'Silk' Owens
Paul Francis ... Danny 'Doc' Kelley
Chad Smith ... Jason 'Flea' Mabry
Tom Skerritt ... Captain Bill Rhodes
Malick Bowens ... Colonel Idris Sadick
Awaovieyi Agie Awaovieyi Agie ... Musa
Akosua Busia ... Patience
Hadar Busia-Singleton Hadar Busia-Singleton ... Amaka
Ida Onyango Ida Onyango ... Lasana
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The lives of many rest in the courage of a few. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 March 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hostile Act See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:

$43,734,876

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$42,733,286
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cole Hauser and Nick Chinlund appeared in the first two Riddick movies with Vin Diesel. Hauser played in Pitch Black (2000), and Chinlund in The Chronicles of Riddick (2004). See more »

Goofs

When the SEALs jump from the aircraft it is shown in different shots as two different aircraft types. A side shot shows a type with fins on the extremities of the horizontal stabilizer, but the shot looking up after they jump shows a conventional tail with a single central vertical stabilizer. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Alternate Versions

DVD Director's Extended Cut is 142 minutes (theatrical version 121 minutes). See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

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

 
Enjoyable drama set in an undeclared war...
20 November 2004 | by mentalcriticSee all my reviews

The world we live in is a dangerous, unstable place, and nowhere is this more evident than in Africa, the place where many things of our world, AIDS included, are said to originate. Indeed, about the only thing that cannot be found in Africa is oil, which makes American interest in the region difficult to imagine, leave alone explain. So when we are presented with a story about a war in Africa, it only stands to reason that we must ask exactly why we see American soldiers.

Bruce Willis gives a delightfully underacted performance as the leader of an infantry unit sent to retrieve a handful of American citizens. Things get complicated when the primary objective refuses to leave without dozens of her patients. Instead of simply escorting one woman to safe territory, the party winds up in a race to the Cameroon border with one substantial territorial force in pursuit. Exactly why this force pursues them, we don't know until the climactic battles are about to take place, but it works.

Indeed, the actors here are not even noticeable, excepting maybe Tom Skerritt, who looks as if he spent his salary on diet pills. Instead, the sumptuous locations and cinematography, along with the action, are the stars of this film. This is a good old-fashioned action film, in spite of its very relevant story. What makes it stand out is that instead of modern action where nobody can see enough of what is going on for it to matter or make sense, we get our action scenes the old fashioned way. Blood spurts, detailed shots of the guns going off, or weapons striking flesh, are a reality rather than a much lamented unfulfilled requisite.

There are some problems, but they are minor in the grand scheme of things. When one shows fighter planes dropping air-to-surface weapons, it is usually an idea to get those weapons right. Using air-to-air missiles to drop napalm, for example, is not on. At least the dire action films of the 1980s used weapons in a manner that was convincing. The believability of a commanding officer allowing such violations of orders is very difficult to imagine, to say the least. Then again, given that these minor lapses happen once or twice during a two-hour film, this can be overlooked.

I gave Tears Of The Sun a seven out of ten. It's not at the level of a Verhoeven action film, or even a Cameron action film. It is, on the other hand, a good piece of entertainment with a decent and human edge, with sequences that have been competently shot. Which puts it ahead of a lot of films on today's market already.


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