Winter Soldier (1972) - Rotten Tomatoes

Winter Soldier (1972)



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.
Documentary , Drama , Special Interest
In Theaters:


Critic Reviews for Winter Soldier

All Critics (21) | 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The film is an important historical document, an eerily prescient antiwar plea and a dazzling example of moviemaking at its most iconographically potent.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.

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
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


Crude from a filmmaking standpoint, essential viewing from a sociopolitical standpoint. Rough B&W recordings of Vietnam vets testifying to various war atrocities, intercut with color photographs in a kind of sadistic stroke of genius. If there's a fraction of truth to their stories, there has yet to be an honest depiction of the war in any form of media. "Winter Soldier" makes "Hearts and Minds" look like a Disney production. Oddly enough, the most effective passage has nothing to do with the stomach-churning accounts of dehumanizing violence, but rather a "rap session" with a Black Militant who brings the simmering undercurrent of racism to a boiling head. Small wonder the film has been suppressed from US release until recent years.

Kevin McCormick
Kevin McCormick

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.

Maxwell Demon
Maxwell Demon

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