Winter Soldier (1972) - Rotten Tomatoes

Winter Soldier (1972)

Winter Soldier



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In February 1971, one month after the revelations of the My Lai massacre, an astonishing public inquiry into war crimes committed by American forces in Vietnam was held at a Howard Johnson motel in Detroit. The Vietnam Veterans Against the War organized this event called the Winter Soldier Investigation. More than 125 veterans spoke of atrocities they had witnessed and committed. Though the event was attended by press and television news crews, almost nothing was reported to the American public. Yet, this unprecedented forum marked a turning point in the anti-war movement. It was a pivotal moment in the lives of young vets from around the country who participated, including the young John Kerry. The Winter Soldier Investigation changed him and his comrades forever. Their courage in testifying, their desire to prevent further atrocities and to regain their own humanity, provide a dramatic intensity that makes seeing Winter Soldier an unforgettable experience.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Documentary, Drama, Special Interest
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 30, 2006
Milliarium Zero - Official Site


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News & Interviews for Winter Soldier

Critic Reviews for Winter Soldier

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (9)

The film is an important historical document, an eerily prescient antiwar plea and a dazzling example of moviemaking at its most iconographically potent. But at its best, it is the eloquent, unforgettable tale of profound moral reckoning.

Full Review… | December 15, 2005
Washington Post
Top Critic

The most chilling aspect of "Winter Soldier" is that, 34 years down the road, it feels fresh.

November 11, 2005
Top Critic

A harrowing and often nauseating compendium of battle-zone confessions that was cast into obscurity almost immediately upon release in 1972.

Full Review… | November 3, 2005
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Very much a product of its time: It's not an investigative piece; it's a combination of documentary footage, protest, despair and anger.

October 14, 2005
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic

Rich with moments of excruciating eloquence.

Full Review… | October 14, 2005
Denver Post
Top Critic

I couldn't call this film a masterpiece, only indispensable.

Full Review… | September 24, 2005
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Winter Soldier

Initially banned in the U.S., Winter Soldier is a candid compilation of eyewitness accounts and first hand testimony about atrocities committed during the Vietnam war. Harsh but eye opening.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


"Winter Soldier" is an illuminating and powerful documentary filmed in grainy black and white of the 1971 hearings held by the Vietnam Veterans against the War. In the hearings, the veterans testify about atrocities committed by American troops in Vietnam. The documentary consists of testimony and conversation with some photographic evidence. All of which is thoroughly gripping.

What comes to the fore in the testimony is how much an underlying cause of the atrocities racism was. I remember reading that demeaning a group of people(in this case using the derogatory term "gook" to describe the Vietnamese people) makes it psychologically easier to hurt them. In the end, the ultimate responsibility is laid at the foot of the command officers. They are the ones who set policy and punishments. The documentary is timely, as ever.

The movie urges the need for people of different viewpoints to converse. Occasionally, this can serve as a form of therapy.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer


Long going, but exceptional documentary that captures moment-in-time exceptionally well. Centers around a group of protesting soldiers who, after returning from Vietnam, recount the atrocities they encountered, and face the reality of what they had to become to witness all that they did. Highly recommended.

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