Reviewed by: Jonathan Rothgeb
Starring: Mel Gibson, Greg Kinnear, Madeleine Stowe, Sam Elliott, Chris Klein, Keri Russell, Barry Pepper, Duong Don, Ryan Hurst, Robert Bagnell, Marc Blucas, Josh Daugherty, Jsu Garcia, Jon Hamm, Clark Gregg, Desmond Harrington, Blake Heron, Erik MacArthur, Dylan Walsh, Mark McCracken, Edwin Morrow, Brian Tee, Sloane Momsen, Bellamy Young, Simbi Kali Williams, Jim Grimshaw, Forry Smith, Steven Nelson, Vincent Angell, Michael Tomlinson, Keith Szarabajka, Tim Abell, Patrick St. Esprit, Michael John White, Daniel Roebuck, Maia Lien, Danny Beene, Taylor Momsen, Josh McLaurin, Devon Werkheiser, Luke Benward, Billinjer C. Tran, Vien Hong, Joseph Tran, Joseph Hieu, Lam Nguyen, Zoë Bui, Andrew Wallace, Nicholas Hosking, Michael Giordani, Shep Koster, Kate Lombardi, Ingrid Semler, Jason Powell, Doug C. Cook, Sean Thomas Bunch, F. Lee Reynolds, Stephen Zapotoczny, Frank Kostenko Jr. | Directed by: Randall Wallace | Produced by: Icon Entertainment International, Motion Picture Production GmbH & Co. Erste KG, Wheelhouse Entertainment, Eveleen Bandy, Bruce Davey, William Hoy, Jim Lemley, Stephen McEveety, Arne L. Schmidt, Randall Wallace, Danielle Lemmon, Stephen Zapotoczny | Written by: Randall Wallace | Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Like “Saving Private Ryan,” and “Black Hawk Down”, “We Were Soldiers” left me with an awe and respect for all those men and women who have fought and died to give us all the freedoms we enjoy. Although the movie is inundated with an assortment of profanity and has a good 45 minutes of extremely violent footage, the message holds true throughout the picture.
The story is the true account of Lt. Col. Hal Moore (Mel Gibson) who led the first bloody assault into Vietnam with 400 of his men. The plot starts with introducing us to Moore as a loving father and dedicated leader in the 7th Cavalry Division. He is shown not only as a caring father but also as a devoted Catholic who is bold about his faith in and devotion to God and this into his command. I was pleasantly surprised to see him shown in such a spiritually redeeming light.
The second half of “We Were Soldiers” is both harsh and realistic as the troops engage in battle. While the battle footage is certainly impressive. so too is the humanity that it offered during it. We see the desperation in Moore and his second in command (Sam Elliot). The story also takes us back to American soil where the soldier’s wives receive the unbearable news of their fallen husbands.
There is a great sadness, then anguish, then fear and suspense as the direction progresses smoothly between scenes. “We Were Soldiers” is a moving portrayal of a war that is still full of controversy over how it was handled.
Though the movie is very deserving of its “R” rating, it paints a very moral picture. It makes clear that war, though horrible, is sometimes necessary and is fought by courageous and dedicated people. It shows clearly that God is with us always and guides us to great courage and fortitude. I highly recommend “We Were Soldiers” within the guidelines of its “R” rating.
This is a very graphic, realistic movie about the 1st few battles of the Vietnam War and the life of Hal Moore and the troops under him. A powerful, emotional story, my wife used up a lot of Kleenex, as it’s definitely a sad story about the realities of war. This movie is even more graphic than Saving Private Ryan, which says a lot, so it’s not for younger viewers (under 17). There are several instances of prayer being used but some Christians will find one of Moore’s prayers objectionable. No nudity and a lot less language than what would’ve actually been said in that situation I’m sure! Morally, well let’s just say there is nothing moral about war! After the movie, my wife held me a little tighter and we both thanked God we never had to live thru war personally and pray our son never has to either!
[Very Offensive / 5]
—Bob Sprenger, age 49