Tears of the Sun

2003

Tears of the Sun

Critics Consensus

Tries to be high-minded, but in the end, it's just a stylish action movie.

33%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 155

69%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 119,703
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Tears of the Sun Photos

Movie Info

A career soldier is forced to choose between following orders and saving lives in this action thriller. Lt. A.K. Waters (Bruce Willis) is a veteran Navy SEAL whose commander (Tom Skerritt) has given his team a special assignment. A Central African nation is expected to explode into war at any moment, and Waters and his cohorts are to escort any American citizens in the area to safety, most notably Dr. Lena Kendricks (Monica Bellucci), a doctor from the United States who has set up a clinic in the jungle. Waters and his men find Kendricks, but she refuses to leave with them unless she can bring along 70 refugees who have been left to her care. Kendricks makes it clear that if they are left behind, the refugees will face certain death, but Waters's C.O. insists he bring back Kendricks -- but not her patients. Forced by his conscience to disobey orders, Waters and his team race against time to escort the refugees to a border town where they will find safe haven before invading troops can ambush them. Tears of the Sun (which was produced under the title Man of War) also features Cole Hauser and Fionnula Flanagan.

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Cast

Bruce Willis
as Lt. A.K. Waters
Monica Bellucci
as Dr. Lena Fiore Kendricks
Cole Hauser
as James `Red' Atkins
Eamonn Walker
as Ellis `Zee' Pettigrew
Nick Chinlund
as Michael `Slo' Slowenski
Johnny Messner
as Kelly Lake
Charles Ingram
as Demetrius `Silk' Owens
Paul Francis
as Danny `Doc' Kelly
Chad Smith
as Jason `Flea' Mabry
Tom Skerritt
as Capt. Bill Rhodes
Malick Bowens
as Col. Idriss Sadique
Akosua Busia
as Patience
Sammi Rotibi
as Arthur Azuka
Benjamin Onyango
as Colonel Emanuel Okeze
Fionnula Flanagan
as Sister Grace
Pierrino Mascarino
as Father Gianni
Peter Mensah
as Terwase
Howard Mungo
as President Samuel Azuka
Kanayo Chiemelu
as General Mustafa Yakubu
Nkeonye Nwankwo
as Refugee Woman
Morris Sesay
as Man with Goat
Cle "Bone" Sloan
as Mission Rebel
Kobby Dankyi
as Rebel Officer
Lahai Fahnbulleh
as Injured Old Man
Allison Dean
as Rape Victim
Rodney Charles
as Christopher Marwa
Jewel McDonald
as Village Woman
George Reid
as Tortured Villager
Yannick Doth
as Teenage Rebel Soldier
Ousmane Sall
as Village Attacker
Harry Van Gorkum
as Carrier Reporter
Michael Clossin
as Rhodes' Aide
Anthony Vaughan
as Rebel Squad Commander
Randall J. Gillet
as Seahawk Pilot
William Wood
as Carrier Corpsman
Chinyere A. Joyce
as Chanting Woman
Martha Myles
as Chanting Woman
Gerald Michael Burch
as Refugee Camp Guard
Frederick Harris Jr.
as Refugee Camp Guard
Elton C. Garner Jr.
as Refugee Camp Guard
Floyd W. Vaughan
as Relief Worker
John Anyak
as Refugee
Haddy Cham
as Refugee
Ngone' Dia
as Refugee
Khady Dieng
as Refugee
Fidelis Ezch
as Refugee
Awino Gam
as Refugee
Evelyn Kabba
as Refugee
Sophia Mark
as Refugee
Esther Quaye
as Refugee
Martha Quaye
as Refugee
Antonio Suco
as Refugee
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News & Interviews for Tears of the Sun

Critic Reviews for Tears of the Sun

All Critics (155) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (104)

  • The movie's noble aspirations are clear--Bosnia and Rwanda were obviously on the filmmakers' minds--yet it's hopelessly steeped in stale Hollywood action conventions.

    Mar 8, 2018 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Newsweek
    Top Critic
  • There is enough tension and violent action in the movie for it to qualify as a respectable, if worthy, militarist adventure, with Willis and his grizzled band wearing their gear and operating their weapons with ruthless and authentic efficiency.

    Sep 13, 2003 | Full Review…
  • Will a thinking audience really buy the image of helpless, grateful people bestowing kisses and victory songs upon Willis as the representative of all things American: power, guts, compassion?

    Apr 22, 2003 | Rating: 1.5/4
  • Deserves the bad reviews and the lackluster earnings it has accumulated thus far.

    Apr 4, 2003 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Observer
    Top Critic
  • Raping and pillaging and blowing things up is mainly what this movie is about, although it claims to show how the most robotic, dehumanized soldiers can be transformed by human suffering.

    Mar 20, 2003 | Full Review…

    Rex Reed

    Observer
    Top Critic
  • Fuqua ... can stage action, but he can't save a trivializing, reactionary script featuring a Hollywood star (read America) as a global savior.

    Mar 12, 2003 | Rating: 1/4

Audience Reviews for Tears of the Sun

  • Jul 21, 2013
    Fuqua is a magician: give him almost any material and he'll transform it into something superficial. The feature has a weak storyline and awful pacing issues, lack of good acting and characters that you care for. They expect from us to be moved by images of human suffering while forgetting the most essential elements of filmmaking. War is no game in real life, that's true, but the war genre is no game either. How am I supposed to feel sympathy for cardboard cutouts despite a surrounding carnage? And how am I supposed to believe that an emotionless Bruce Willis, with a permanently serious face that rivals Steven Seagal's, had motivations, feelings, objectives or whatever it was he had? He was asked in the film why he changed the mission. His answer was: "I'll tell you when I know". We we never told. There was no need to abandon the audience and leave it with sensationalism. 52/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • May 09, 2012
    I'm guessing they put this on TV because of the KONY hype, or I'm just crazy for thinking its based on him, I've put this movie on hold until it came on TV and I watched the entire thing because of Bruce Willis and it was worth the watch
    Shawn M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 17, 2012
    There's a lot to admire about Antoine Fuqua's Tears of the Sun amidst the "Ra Ra America" sentiment, and the weak storyline about a hard as nails Lieutenant who never disobeys an order until now. I really enjoyed the first hour of this film. Unlike most action war pictures that find a conflict to exploit, Tears of the Sun immerses itself in the horror of the political situation, and the horrific genocide that is currently taking place. Nigerian rebels have successfully overthrown a democratically elected government, and before the entire country descends into complete chaos (which it pretty much already has), the US Navy SEALS have decided to extract all American military and personnel in the area. Bruce Willis plays a commander whose team has been ordered to find and extract an American doctor, played by Monica Bellucci. Things get complicated when this doctor refuses to leave without many of the nearby Nigerian civilians she's been treating. Against his orders, Willis agrees, and soon after, he and his team become pursued by the Rebels as this doctor seems to be more important to them than anyone could have realized. Genocide is a horrible thing. Even more horrible is how so much of the world watches in dismay, yet does not lift a finger to help save these people. Wars between African tribes seem to always end in mass genocide, and this script means to put these American soldiers into a situation where they are forced to look face to face at the human cost they will have to bear by leaving the innocent Nigerians to fend for themselves. For the first half of the film, the violence is kept at a minimal, and we get to know all the soldiers in the platoon, as well as many of the innocents that are being led to safety. Of course, this being a studio film, the second half of the film dissolves into an action packed firefight between the American soldiers and the African Rebels. Fuqua isn't the strongest action director either, and many of these scenes lack real excitement. Amidst these war sequences, the film pauses to focus on how grateful these civilians are that these soldiers are there for them and that God will bless them. There's nothing particularly wrong with including one or even two such scenes, but there are too many to count, and the "Ra Ra" undertones become a little too obvious for my tastes. And because the film starts off as a darker, more intellectual narrative, it's disappointing that the filmmakers opted for a typical action movie showdown as opposed to a proper and much more daring follow through.
    Edward B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 2011
    To be honest, I can barely remember anything about this film, but what i do remember, it was pretty boring.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer

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