Buffalo Soldiers (2001)



Critic Consensus: Overall, this caustic comedy hits more of its targets than it misses.

Movie Info

It's 1989. The Berlin Wall is about to fall; but outside of Stuttgart, West Germany, at the Theodore Roosevelt Army Base, Specialist Ray Elwood of the 317th Supply Battalion is about to find his own cold war turn white hot. Elwood's a loveable rogue, a conscript who's managed to turn his military servitude into a blossoming network of black market deals--more out of boredom than ambition. Officially, Elwood has a day job, as battalion secretary to the inept--but caring--Commander Wallace Berman. … More

Rating: R (for violence, drug content, strong language and some sexuality)
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Eric Axel Weiss, Nora Maccoby, Gregor Jordan, Eric Weiss
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 13, 2004
Miramax Films - Official Site


as Ray Elwood

as Col. Berman

as Sgt. Robert Lee

as Robyn Lee

as Mrs. Berman

as Stoney

as Gen. Lancaster

as Sgt. Saad

as Colonel Marshall

as Kirschfield

as Squash

as Video

as The Turk

as Kimborough

as Walters

as Johnnie

as Colonel Armstrong

as Parsons McCovey

as Nerdy Young Soldier

as Courier

as Truck Driver 1

as Truck Driver 2

as Private

as Young Soldier

as Sergeant Saad's Man

as Sergeant Saad's Man

as Sergeant Saad's Man

as Sergeant Saad's Man

as Sergeant Saad's Man

as Sergeant Saad's Man

as Sergeant Saad's Man

as Sergeant Saad's Man

as Sergeant Saad's Man

as Rothfuss
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Buffalo Soldiers

All Critics (125) | Top Critics (39)

Eventually, the movie's rampant nihilism catches up with it.

Full Review… | November 13, 2003
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

The characters, if not sympathetic, are at least interesting and brought to life with authenticity by the talented cast.

October 9, 2003
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

It's a well-done satire that only the thinnest of skins would find insulting.

Full Review… | September 18, 2003
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Like its bored soldiers, this movie seems to play with volatile substances with not nearly enough respect for their meaning.

Full Review… | September 12, 2003
Denver Post
Top Critic

doing for the Cold War what Three Kings did for the first Gulf war - i.e. following the adventures of a small group of profiteering soldiers in order to satirise the self-interested smash-and-grab attitudes of US foreign policy.

Full Review… | June 11, 2013
Daily Info

In the chaotic tradition of "Dr. Strangelove"...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

Audience Reviews for Buffalo Soldiers

A wheeler dealer based in a US army camp in Germany becomes locked in a battle of wills with his new sergeant, a Vietnam veteran determined to break him and his operation. Sgt. Bilko meets Tarantino in this blackly comic story of bored soldiers looking for ways to make a fast buck. Kind of like a cross between Jarhead and True Romance, there is the combination violence, drugs and humour that is common to post Tarantino comedy thrillers, but somehow it doesn't quite sit well with the setting of the US military. There is something a little unsettling about seeing soldiers with such a disregard for life and law (on "our side" anyway), and I found little humour in seeing them killed in various gruesome ways, accidentally or not. Otherwise, it's actually not a bad little film; Joaquin Phoenix amiably treads the line between immorality and charm, Ed Harris is as reliable as ever as the impotent base commander who is caught in the crossfire and Scott Glenn is a first rate Nazi war veteran. Not exactly a classic, but it has a quality that marks it above the average Tarantino copycat.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


Good film, a bit like M*A*S*H in places and very entertaining!

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

Quite simply this is a well written, well acted and exceptionally funny film. It follows the story of a soldier in the US army as the Cold War is coming to an end, and the black market exploits that thrive when there is nothing for the soldiers to do. It is also an interesting political take on the chain of command in the military, lampooning the superior officers as incompetent fools, despite having their hearts in the right place, the film manages to successfully create sympathy for Col. Berman (Ed Harris) in that despite his general inability to do the job, he is actually well liked. It becomes increasingly clear towards the end of the film that Elwood (Joaquin Phoenix) has a lot of affection for the man.

All in all a highly successful film, and recommended for anyone who wants a well made, smartly written comedic drama.

Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

Buffalo Soldiers Quotes

– Submitted by Frances H (23 months ago)
– Submitted by Frances H (23 months ago)

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