13 user 1 critic

Ride the Thunder (2015)

PG-13 | | History | 27 March 2015 (USA)
A look at Vietnam from the perspectives of a U.S. Marine adviser, and a Vietnamese Marine who was left behind.


Fred Koster


Fred Koster

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Eric St. John ... John Ripley
Joseph Hieu Joseph Hieu ... Le Ba Binh
Pierre Nguyen Pierre Nguyen ... Hoa
Steve Son Nguyen Steve Son Nguyen ... Dong
Megatran Roy ... Head Prison Guard
Alan Vo Ford ... Prison Camp Teacher
Tran Lynn Tran Lynn ... Cam
Ajax Maharlika ... POW Guard
Amy Loy Amy Loy ... Moline Ripley
Toan Doran Toan Doran ... Binh's Father
Taylor Chuck Taylor Chuck ... Bar Thug Leader
John H. Euber ... Bartender
Baker Les Baker Les ... Colonel
Paul T. Morris Paul T. Morris ... Bar Singer
Gillaspy Greg Gillaspy Greg ... MC Ripley's Speech


A look at Vietnam from the perspectives of a U.S. Marine adviser, and a Vietnamese Marine who was left behind.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for graphic war testimonials, some violence and brief strong language


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

27 March 2015 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Mediocre storytelling
26 March 2018 | by sengbranchSee all my reviews

I was incredibly surprised at the extremely favorable reviews after viewing this film. It doesn't help that the recent Burns/Novik film was released several months ago, eclipsing the efforts of this film. The story is epic, some of us are very familiar with the history of Vietnam from early colonial times to the present. I'm one of those people, and have spent considerable time in Vietnam, speak basic Viet, and understand the culture - so that's the caveat. The story told in this film was nothing new to me, and I mean nothing. The Burns/Novick film was refreshing, and there was new material I'd never seen, including some compelling footage gleaned from the archives in Hanoi. VC and NVA vets gave emotional interviews.... and in Vietnamese. And US vets also told their incredible stories. Ride the Thunder made some attempts at this, with a couple of interviews with US vets. Nothing from VC/NVA, or S Vietnamese. In the end, these portrayals created an awkward mix of low quality drama, and documentary lacking any real substance. It's kind of shocking, really.

This film had terrible acting. I'm sorry to have to relay this, but it was on par with a hastily made lower budget TV program, featuring extras. It took me three separate attempts to finish this movie. There were some Viet Kieu (foreign Vietnamese) actors, but I'm not sure there was a single Viet word spoken in this movie. Besides Dien Bien Phu, or Saigon, etc, lol.

If you're not up to speed on post war Vietnam following the fall of Saigon, or issues US soldiers faced back home after this terribly unpopular and foolish war, you might find this film worth your time. If you are somewhat informed, then you may find this film exceptionally cheesy and factually anemic. I'd have given it a lower score, but out of respect for the filmmakers, and their efforts to portray various perspectives, I'm not doing that. In all candor, it was a real let down.

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