“Can't We Just Send Bruce Willis To Iraq To Make Things Right?”
“From The Director Of "Training Day" And "Shooter" Brings You...”
Antoine Fuqua, coming off Training Day, knows how to stage a skirmish in the foliage so that each leaf glistens with waxy moonlit peril.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
The audience's tears are more likely to result from boredom, irritation at Hans Zimmer's wretched fake-world-music score and inadvertent amusement at the thunderously earnest dialogue and Ms. Bellucci's awkward line readings.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
- Guardian [UK]
The movie might have gotten a dramatic boost from its topical theme, indirect as it is. Unfortunately, it's not one-tenth as interesting as what you can see at home during a nightly cable surf as U.S. war policy is debated.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
This movie should have been called Crocodile Tears of the Sun.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
The film is a strictly no-bull proposition.
Stephen Hunter - Washington Post
At its best, the film is a nightmare embossed on a postcard -- horrific and ominously gorgeous.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
This Black Hawk Down theft is a trial by cliche.
Michael Atkinson - Village Voice
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?
Jami Bernard - New York Daily News
What's noteworthy is that Tears is simultaneously a gripping action tale and a plea for a policy of engagement, of humanitarian intervention, in parts of the world where oil is not at stake.
Eric Harrison - Houston Chronicle
Just smart and novel enough to not be mistaken for military propaganda.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
In a movie with so much graphic suffering by innocent Africans, it's a bit disconcerting that so much loving attention is paid to Bruce Willis's anguished mug.
Peter Rainer - New York Magazine
Until it descends into mindless routine action in the climactic scenes, Tears of the Sun is essentially an impressionistic nightmare ...
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Flashy on the surface, Tears of the Sun is shallow at the heart.
Michael Wilmington - Chicago Tribune
Tears of the Sun has a title that makes no sense whatsoever. The film's message, on the other hand, makes too much sense -- it's simplistic and reactionary and designed to get hearts pumping but not minds thinking.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Washington may like the timing, but the serious considerations of war and horror here are ultimately undermined by sentiment and schlock.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Tears of the Sun may make you weep, but not for joy.
Bill Muller - Arizona Republic
Deserves the bad reviews and the lackluster earnings it has accumulated thus far.
Andrew Sarris - New York Observer
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.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
Uninvolving due to stick-figure characters and off-putting in its images of technology-enhanced Yanks striding like benevolent giants among helpless Third World victims.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
Timely but confused Black Hawk Down wannabe.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
Willis' performance redeems much of the film.
Jay Boyar - Orlando Sentinel
If you ever wanted a reason to root for a righteous invasion, this sequence -- like My Lai but improved because it's perpetrated by the bad guys -- provides it.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
Like most politicians and some columnists, the script kindly spares us any historical context or confusing detail.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
Can Bruce Willis save Africa from the Africans? Not in Antoine Fuqua's overwrought, blood-drenched fable of bogus Hollywood heroism, he can't.
Stephanie Zacharek - Salon.com
David Edelstein - Slate
Tears of the Sun is not a great movie, but it is satisfying, and represents an example of accomplished filmmaking.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Fuqua mixes the heroism, tears and courage with enough taut suspense and action to appeal to male audiences of all ages.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
Fuqua ... can stage action, but he can't save a trivializing, reactionary script featuring a Hollywood star (read America) as a global savior.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Handsomely made, well-meaning but finally frustrating and unsatisfying, this perplexing film is an example of a previously unseen hybrid, the socially conscious, humanitarian action movie.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Shamelessly one-sided with cheesy wooden dialogue.
Nell Minow - Common Sense Media
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Michelle Alexandria - Eclipse Magazine
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
The movie regales us with the heroics of a (mostly) white American platoon picking off anonymous black savages.
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
- Empire Magazine
Geoff Andrew - Time Out
- Film Threat
A huge screaming bore of a war flick with a big plate of pretentiousness on the side.
Scott Weinberg - DVDTalk.com
Garth Franklin - Dark Horizons
...an unapologetic paean to the nobility of the American foot solider.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
A tale of courage so facile and off-handedly racist that only Hollywood could have invented it. It confuses slaughter with action, and it's stupid, too.
Jake Euker - F5 (Wichita, KS)
... Fuqua relies on old-fashioned, gung-ho heroics and the stern face of Bruce Willis to carry the show.
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Tears of the Sun... [tells us]how the chain of command can be ignored if you 'feel' you have a better idea. Let's hope no one takes this seriously.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Ao contrario de insultos como Falcao Negro em Perigo e Fomos Herois, o protagonista deste filme investe numa causa nobre. E isso faz toda a diferenca.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Carol Cling - Las Vegas Review-Journal
Offers a heroism high on condition that you can ditch disbelief ASAP.
Harry Guerin - RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)
Movies like Tears of the Sun, which are not up to getting immersed in current events, should just stay away from history entirely.
Prairie Miller - Long Island Press
- This is London
Nev Pierce - BBC
Dumbed-down, tree-hugging propaganda trying to masquerade as an action film.
Andrew Manning - Radio Free Entertainment
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
The issues it raises are both noble, topical and worth exploring, which makes this an interesting, if flawed, military exercise.
Shannon J. Harvey - Sunday Times (Australia)
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
- Boston Phoenix
Tears waffles so much between three 'war-is' mentalities - hell, redemptive and super-cool for explosions - that it's hard to truly connect.
Nick Rogers - State Journal-Register (Springfield, IL)
More entertaining than the average action flick
Forrest Hartman - Reno Gazette-Journal
overwrought, underwritten and with glacial pace that makes for a piquant juxtaposition to its tropical Nigerian location.
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
'Tears of the Sun is great PR for United States foreign policy and its military. Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld could not have crafted a more pro-United States script, nor could they have hoped for a more valorous portrayal of its soldiers.'
Michael Drakulich - Star Newspapers (Chicago, IL)
Brian Orndorf - Modamag.com
It's as if the blueprint for the basic outline never left the development table, resulting in a picture that's painted in wide swaths of soldier-boy posturing and pontificating.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Unusually thoughtful and involving.
Jason Anderson - eye WEEKLY
Ben Nuckols - San Francisco Examiner
That a filmmaker as promising as Fuqua squandered time and talent on Tears of the Sun is nothing short of a crying shame.
Rick Kisonak - Film Threat
I'm sure they'll take away my film geek badge for saying so, but shouldn't they have dumbed this down a little more?
Rob Vaux - Flipside Movie Emporium
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
If you have accepted that there are few new stories in Hollywood, or even old stories being told in new ways, then you have accepted the mediocrity that awaits you in this grim, inconsequential action drama.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
I'm ultimately recommending Tears of the Sun and notably its first three-quarters, because even with its oversimplified and falsely optimistic ending, the film hits upon an issue people need to start exploring.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Tears of the Sun is war fluff for the lobotomized Hollywood crowd, a transparent and thin effort without rhythm, depth, thrust or even basic structure.
David Keyes - Cinemaphile.org
The result feels predictably shallow and painfully familiar, notwithstanding the obvious conviction on the part of the filmmakers that they're actually making an important statement.
Wade Major - Boxoffice Magazine
- Orlando Weekly
On the whole, Tears of the Sun isn't interested in politics. It is content to be an 8-year-old on the playground, making explosion sounds with its mouth and spitting out tough-sounding jargon.
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
Tears of the Sun reduces the concept of pillaging a village to something like an R-rated ride at Disney World -- sort of like the Pirates of the Caribbean with atrocities.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
It seems like it's trying to have something to say, but I'll be darned if I can figure out the message.
John R. McEwen - Film Quips Online
Shinan Govani - National Post
An action film with more than just action. It deals with serious, substantial, contemporary political and moral issues.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Don't be bamboozled by the humanist mythopoetic title: 'Tears of the Sun' is 'Rambo' with a better script and a sense of style.
Jonathan R. Perry - Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)
The rest of the world will find us even more arrogant than they already did because of it.
Danny Minton - KBTV-NBC (Beaumont, TX)
Has all the makings of a classic '80s-style action-thriller.
Jill Bernstein - Premiere Magazine
The film turns the very real plight of ethnic refugees into fodder for special effects and stunt work.
Daniel Eagan - Film Journal International
The pull between Fuqua's socio-political style and Willis' Hollywood action style is evident, and the compromised film gives us neither ideal to its greatest extent.
Audrey Rock-Richardson - Tooele Transcript-Bulletin (Utah)
By closing credits, I still wasn't sure why this utterly inconsequential and thoroughly depressing bloodbath was made.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
Just in time for the U.S. invasion of Iraq comes 'Tears of the Sun,' a glossy but fraudulent promotion for America's revived role as global policeman.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Led by Bruce Willis, the film is flawed but entertaining and thrilling enough to please all in a time when the topic of war is hot.
Wilson Morales - BlackFilm.com
"By the time the film concludes, its striking message has long been forgotten..."
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
The film is a completely mirthless affair. But to its credit, it never turns into the numbing shrapnel-fest of a "Black Hawk Down", either.
Brian Mckay - eFilmCritic.com
On hesite a qualifier de film d'action cette pub evidente pour l'implication militaire americaine un peu partout dans le monde.
Nicolas Lacroix - Showbizz.net
A worthy story marred by too much dark cinematography and sketchy character development.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Tears is efficient and gets the job done -- but there's not much personality on display.
Scott Von Doviak - Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Scott Von Doviak - Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
Dramatizes exactly the kind of life-and-death choices we all dread having to make, but in a story where the choices are obvious.
Marshall Fine - Journal News (Westchester, NY)
This is the best Bruce Willis movie since his last one! - Let's see them blurb that.
Larry Carroll - Countingdown.com
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Fuqua has a fairly conventional script for a war team film, but his feeling for the thick landscape and the people within it has moral thrust.
David Elliott - San Diego Union-Tribune
As was the case with Training Day, which climaxed with a long slugfest that flirted with the preposterous, Fuqua can't quite finesse the screenplay's moments of heavy-handed melodrama and a couple of glaring narrative improbabilities.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Propaganda doesn't get any more entertaining.
Glenn Lovell - San Jose Mercury News
If it were better done, Tears would be offensive: the villains are evil, faceless, baby-murdering Muslims. But the movie is so shoddy and one-dimensional that it's just a dreary, predictably violent bore.
Mary Brennan - Seattle Times
- Baltimore Sun
Had the movie been a straightforward action yarn, it might have worked. But it tries to sound Platoon-like chords of sorrow.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
The movie is smothered by wooden characters, one-dimensional performances, a flawed story line and unforgivable cliches.
Nick Carter - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
To his credit, director Antoine Fuqua makes this nonsense as effective as possible. In the end, however, his efforts are undone by the button-pushing script.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Painfully obvious, yet confusing.
John Anderson - Newsday
Shortcomings are saved by fast-paced combat scenes.
Peter Bernard - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
One part unconvincing, jingoistic war picture and one part melodramatic, preachy hogwash.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
An action movie that doesn't have much upstairs, but is loaded with enough naive gumption to lull you into liking it.
Mary F. Pols - Contra Costa Times
Fuqua and his writers, Alex Lasker and Patrick Cirillo, have delivered not only the most satisfying and plausible action movie in months but one that's accidentally timely.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
Tears Of The Sun is just as remarkable as a drama as it is intense as an action flick.
Bruce Kirkland - Jam! Movies
Too bad it doesn't take as much care to detail the humanity of its characters -- or reasons for its politics -- as it does to build ominous battlefield moods.
David Sterritt - Christian Science Monitor
Susan Granger - www.susangranger.com
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
Filled with decent jungle battles and suspense scenes, the film is engaging at times. Yet, its various problems -- some big, some small -- prevent it from being as effective as it might have been.
Jim Judy - Screen It!
Stylish pap that has the ill grace to think itself meaningful.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
Despite its potent nature, the drama is diluted by the film's thinly sketched central characters.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
For all the brutal inhumanity depicted here, Tears never manages to engage its audience's emotions.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Daily News
It's unlikely that this film will be nominated for any awards, but it will keep your interest for the duration.
Clint Morris - Moviehole
Shamelessly one-sided, with cheesy wooden dialogue and even cheesier -- and numbingly predictable -- plot developments.
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Has honorable aspirations, even as it becomes mired in mainstream movie conventions.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
There's an undeniable atmosphere here, in the visuals but also in the incredible aural jungle of sound designer George Simpson and crew, and in the tribal-New Age soundtrack.
Gregory Weinkauf - New Times
As generic as its title.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
This movie has enough social commentary and left wing politicizing to satisfy the California crowd, and its flattering portrayal of the military and adulation for combat hardware should appease the Texas contingent.
Jon Niccum - Lawrence Journal-World
Tears of the Sun has big problems as a piece of entertainment -- there are many corny and ungainly moments -- but it gains considerable strength from the urgency of its issues.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
The best military flick since Black Hawk Down. It's not clever or smart, just entertaining.
John Venable - Supercala.com
It's not a bad film; it's just not very enlightening.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
In the absence of any larger drama of characters or exploration of moral issues, the horror seems manipulative rather than dramatically justified.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
A routine rescue mission drama.
Louis B. Hobson - Jam! Movies
At its best, it's a little hard to sit through. At its worst, it's like every other picture about soldiers on a tough mission. What pushes it above mediocrity is that it ends better than it begins.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
"Tears of the Sun" has some good moments, including the intense ambulatory trek out of Nigeria. But the blind patriotism we are spoon-fed towards the end makes this film a little hard to swallow.
Guylaine Cadorette - Hollywood.com
Despite a few moments of heavy-handed sentimentality, overall Tears of the Sun shines.
- E! Online
Tears of the Sun would have been a much better film had it strictly focused on the band of Navy SEALs and the Willis character's struggle to find redemption in the refugees he's trying to save.
Drew McAnulty - Jam! Movies
The film may have been inspired by The Seachers, but it's worlds away from John Wayne.
Joe Baltake - Sacramento Bee
This may be a 'war' movie that has more appeal to women because it's not just about the battles, it's about the people caught in the struggle.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
Bruce Willis military actioner has guts, brains and patience -- and while not a masterpiece, it's far better than you'd think.
James Rocchi - Netflix
Misguided and destructive, quite like the military actions the film portrays.
Jimmy O - Film Snobs
Fuqua desires to do more, but he hasn't developed the skill to incorporate moral and ethical themes into his stories.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Can't we just send Bruce Willis to Iraq to make things right?
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Mostly looks good and does succeed in maintaining its tension, but it's stupid and objectionable.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
The movie hammers home its message with the subtlety of an unfettered belch.
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
Cries a river of cliches, but gets the job done.
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Even if you judge it purely as a Bruce Willis action flick, Tears of the Sun hardly stacks up, with its flawed logic, black-and-white morals, paper-thin characters and anonymous videogame villains.
Bill Pearis - Citysearch
America seems to be longing for a clear-cut conflict of good vs. well-defined evil.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
Tears of the Sun should be condemned for cheapening the tragedy of West Africa's civil wars with a cheesy plot.
Tor Thorsen - Reel.com
If you're going into this flick expecting an 'action' movie... walk away!
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
...deals with messy subject matter, but wades through such subjects wearing big rubber boots -- and then spends its silly finale hosing them off.
Josh Larsen - Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
It's hard to say what is more upsetting: the atrocities of a brutal African dictator's militia against innocent Catholic peasants, or the victims of that genocide becoming background figures in the story of the platoon's moral quandary.
Sean Axmaker - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Tears is content to allow the camera to swirl gracefully around Willis's noble cranium as he sucks in his cheeks and looks with disdain upon the bloody works of man while stirring music gives you an idea as to what he might be thinking.
D.K. Holm - DVDTalk.com
On paper, the movie doesn't sound like it could be a disaster, but trust me: this is horrendously bad stuff.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
Its moral and political viewpoint is so crushingly simple-minded that one yearns for the intellectual nuance of George Bush.
John Powers - L.A. Weekly
Low expectations aside, imagine my surprise when I found myself rather involved with a film that quietly ingratitates itself into your head while not really offering anything new.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
Just when the viewer thinks "this is just another typical Bruce Willis character" - Willis quietly and slowly begins to transform himself into much more than a simple box office hero
Tony Toscano - Talking Pictures (U.S.)
Stands taller than muscle pictures of late for its insight into the military mindset and the goal of completing the mission, regardless of the costs.
Sean O'Connell - Filmcritic.com
Jesus, how did they drag this thing out to two hours?
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
The overwhelming reaction must be one of distaste at seeing so real a human tragedy turned into so false a combination of gung-ho theatrics, pious pontificating and mawkish melodrama.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
An imminent favorite at the White House screening room, but the film is ultimately so dry and remote that one can't imagine Chaney or Ashcroft trooping through all the exposition and moral finagling to get to the carnage.
Chuck Rudolph - Slant Magazine
An overly sentimental, arch screenplay detracts from Fuqua's previously exhibited strength as a director.
Victoria Alexander - Movie Reviews in Croatian
Interchangeable characters mumble their way through a series of poorly written denunciations of 'following orders.' Never have I watched a war movie this dispassionate.
Alex Sandell - Juicy Cerebellum
Three Kings had something to say about the self-serving double standards of American diplomacy. Tears is (just) action-movie propaganda with simulated pseudo-substance.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
The film is off again, on again. I'll average it to a 'B.'
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
The awe that the heretofore desperate refugees display for our Yankee whirlybirds doesn't suggest citizenry hardened by years of modern Civil War, but a band of savages genuflecting before a Zippo.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
The very things that make "Tears of the Sun" a riveting thriller destroy its attempt to become a powerful drama. Yet, I admire it immensely for its determination to be unique and original.
Steven Snyder - Zertinet Movies
Literally laughably bad.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
A really, really strong piece of work by [Willis].
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
An abysmal, hyper-propagandized testosterone peddler.
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
Every single element in Tears of the Sun is simplified to such an extent that the film feels more like a one of those educational films you were forced to watch in grade school...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
No "Bridge on the River Kwai," but how nice to see Americans loved by a non-Western people!
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Director Antoine Fuqua punches the familiar story across with fierce efficiency, though things get a little muddled at the blood-and-thunder climax.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review