Superb war movie that effectively captures not only both sides of the conflict, but the war at home as well. Mel Gibson gives one of his best leading performances, accurately playing Hal Moore as a deeply religious family man and brilliant soldier who doesn't see contradiction in that (as he tells one of his lieutenants on being a soldier & a father, he believes being good at one makes him better at the other). He receives fantastic support from the rest of the cast, particularly Sam Elliot as Sgt. Major Plumley (who by all accounts nailed him) and Greg Kinnear as Bruce Crandall (whose heroics as a helicopter pilot would earn him the Medal of Honor). Behind the camera, Randall Wallace crafts an effective war film that examines all sides of the conflict. The Vietnamese soldiers are humanized and treated with respect, particularly Lt. Col. Nguyen Han (nicely played by Duong Den), Hal Moore's counter part on the battlefield who is also a religious but effective battlefield commander. The conflict is brutally played out (war & violence is not glorified here) and you seeing Moore & Han make moves & counter moves to best each other like a bloody chess game. Wallace also makes a point to show the effects of the conflict back home, as the soldiers wives must learn the news of their husbands deaths. Overall, one of the better Vietnam movies ever made, thanks to this balance of presenting all sides of the conflict.