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Hearts & Minds (2009)



Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 30
Fresh: 28 | Rotten: 2

A powerful, unflinching exploration of the Vietnam War, with first-person stories from both sides of the conflict, Hearts and Minds still hits the mark decades after its release.


Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 0

A powerful, unflinching exploration of the Vietnam War, with first-person stories from both sides of the conflict, Hearts and Minds still hits the mark decades after its release.



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Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 440

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Movie Info

The title of this documentary was inspired by the mantra recited by those in charge of the Vietnam War: "In order to win the war, we must win the hearts and minds of the people." The failure to achieve this, coupled with the disastrous no-win policies of the higher-ups, is the nucleus of this film, put together by director Peter Davis in the same manner as Marcel Ophuls' The Sorrow and the Pity. Like the Ophuls film, Davis juxtaposes news footage of the Vietnam war with interviews conducted with


Documentary, Special Interest

Jun 17, 2014

Rainbow Films

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All Critics (34) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (2) | DVD (20)

Not only the definitive American documentary about the war in Vietnam but a landmark political action.

March 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Hearts and Minds is a tough film but it is no mere rehash of sad events. It is always aware of the primacy of man when man's given even half a chance.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A reminder of how the best documentaries can resonate years after their release.

November 12, 2004 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

We're bludgeoned by the point of view, we don't like the feeling of manipulation we get. Yet there are scenes here of incredible power, even for a nation which watched this war on television every evening.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's one of the best documentaries ever made, a superb film about the thoughts and feelings of the era, the whole festering, spirited animus of it.

October 22, 2004 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Davis's film seems as much a prosecution of the present as it is of the recent past; only the names and geographies have been changed.

October 19, 2004 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The urgency of Hearts and Minds, its anger and its articulation, its insistence that effects of war be visible, and its cogent analysis of connections among politics, media, and the military, all seem apt lessons for today.

April 7, 2009 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Davis' visual argument overwhelms rationality.This was the beginning of Red/Blue antagonism -- turning benighted patriotism against an opponent's humanity.

March 25, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Press | Comments (2)
New York Press

It's Michael Moore's favorite documentary. See it anyway.

March 21, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

The definitive Vietnam War documentary and arguably the greatest political documentary ever made.

March 20, 2009 Full Review Source:

Quite simply, one of the greatest non-fiction films ever made.

March 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Hearts and Minds is an essay told in a voice of thinly controlled moral outrage, which sometimes dribbles over into seething hate.

March 19, 2009 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

A definitive anti-war documentary which won an Academy Award in 1974 and has been restored for release in theaters.

March 12, 2009 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Ahead of the pack, filmmaker Peter Davis illustrates the human toll on 'victor' and 'vanquished.'

March 11, 2009 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Even after three and a half decades this film still will be controversial and still has a real impact.

March 2, 2009 Full Review

If you were ultimately disappointed by the agitprop entertainment of Fahrenheit 9/11, then check out its older, wiser brother to see how a real documentary is made.

July 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Still shocking, still powerful, still prudent. What is it they say about the more things change?

April 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Se na época de seu lançamento este importante filme serviu como denúncia das atrocidades norte-americanas no Vietnã, hoje funciona como triste constatação de que nada mudou.

February 9, 2005
Cinema em Cena

It is a carefully structured yet highly emotional argument against the war in Vietnam.

December 3, 2004
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Elicits a palpable emotional and intellectual effect...strikes the same sad note of discord thirty years later.

September 26, 2004
Groucho Reviews

Audience Reviews for Hearts & Minds

[font=Century Gothic]"Hearts and Minds" is a documentary about the Vietnam war, made slightly after the United States removed its forces from the country and a year before the fall of Saigon. It is an effectively searing attack on the war starting with the fallacies of rabid anti-communism which was a disguise for imperalistic hubris in aiding the French, thus missing the opportunity to aid Ho Chi Minh after World War II when it had the chance. After that, it was a downhill ride to the racism of the combat troops towards the Vietnamese people. [/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Hearts and Minds" is a very informative documentary, even though I was very familiar with most of the talking heads.(For example, I was familiar with what Clark Clifford, Daniel Ellsberg and William Westmoreland had to say but had not seen footage of the great senator, J. William Fulbright before.) Where this documentary separates itself from others is the unforgettable imagery of the ground-level view of the war. The movie talks to Vietnamese civilians who are not often heard from.(And compare their views to those of the American bomber pilots...) [/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]One last thought: compare "Communism" and "Vietnam" to "Terrorism" and "Iraq."[/font]
May 16, 2005
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Hearts and Minds is a powerful indictment against the Vietnam War. The editing, though often manipulative, seamlessly weaves actual footage with interviews, giving the film a firm narrative and definite political stance. Itâ(TM)s not objective, but itâ(TM)s certainly persuasive and leaves an impression on you, even almost 40 years after the release of the film and the senseless war.
January 9, 2012
Jeffrey Meyers

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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