Buffalo Soldiers (2001) - Rotten Tomatoes

Buffalo Soldiers (2001)



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

Buffalo Soldiers Trailers & Photos

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. On the side, he does everything from selling stolen Mop'N'Glo, to cooking heroin for the base's ruthless head of Military Police, Sgt. Saad. When a new top sergeant arrives, with the avowed intention of cleaning up the base, Elwood thinks the new blood is nothing he can't handle. But that was before he factored in the $5 million in stolen arms that just landed in his lap, Berman's jealous wife, an insane Turkish drug dealer, and the resulting lust, betrayal and murder.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


Joaquin Phoenix
as Ray Elwood
Ed Harris
as Col. Berman
Scott Glenn
as Sgt. Robert Lee
Anna Paquin
as Robyn Lee
Elizabeth McGovern
as Mrs. Berman
as Stoney
Dean Stockwell
as Gen. Lancaster
Brian Delate
as Colonel Marshall
Amani Gethers
as Kirschfield
Tom Ellis
as Squash
Idris Elba
as Kimborough
Kimo Wills
as Walters
Enoch Frost
as Johnnie
Jimmie Ray Weeks
as Colonel Armstrong
Alexis Rodney
as Parsons McCovey
Tom George
as Nerdy Young Soldier
Lars Rudolph
as Courier
Derek Lea
as Truck Driver 1
Mark Newman
as Truck Driver 2
David Crow
as Private
Jason Rayford
as Young Soldier
Gary Washington
as Sergeant Saad's Man
James Battles
as Sergeant Saad's Man
Leon Deavers
as Sergeant Saad's Man
Gerald Jacy
as Sergeant Saad's Man
Michael Johnson
as Sergeant Saad's Man
John Ryan Lovett
as Sergeant Saad's Man
Antonio Ruffin
as Sergeant Saad's Man
Glenn Stephens
as Sergeant Saad's Man
Terrence Packer
as Sergeant Saad's Man
as Rothfuss
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Buffalo Soldiers

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

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

Essentially Air America with tanks set in West Germany, Funny satire with an enjoyable plot.

Ross Collins

Super Reviewer

Buffalo Soldiers Quotes

Pvt. Ray Elwood: There really is no peace. There's always war, somewhere, with someone. And there are no winners or losers, either. Just those who are still around to fight another day.
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
Col. Wallace Berman: A thousand gallons of Mop and Glow? Do we really need that much?
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)

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