We Were Soldiers
More About We Were Soldiers
In 1965, 400 American troops faced an ambush by 2,000 enemy troops in the Ia Drang Valley (also known as the Valley of Death), in one of the most gruesome fights of the Vietnam War. WE WERE SOLDIERS is a detailed recreation of this true story: of the strategies, obstacles, and human cost faced by the troops that participated. The story focuses on the lieutenant colonel that led the attack, Hal Moore (Mel Gibson), and a civilian reporter who accompanied them, Joseph Galloway (Barry Pepper), as well as a number of other soldiers who were involved.
This is an unusual Vietnam film in that it also shows the North Vietnamese perspective on the battle; their leader Lieutenant General Nguyen Huu An (Don Duong) is depicted as a brave soldier and smart commander. And in addition to the many gory battlefield sequences--which seem to have been influenced by SAVING PRIVATE RYAN--we also see how the carnage of war affects those left behind, the soldiers' wives and children. Ultimately this is a moving anti-war film, which, by sticking close to the true stories of real soldiers, very effectively brings home the overwhelming horror of war.
Main Cast & Crew
Randall Wallace - Director
Theatrical Release: MARCH 1, 2002
"...Solemnly forceful....[Elliott] has what could be the best role of his career..." - 03/01/2002 USA Today, p.10D
"...The movie, anchored by Mr. Gibson's modest disciplined performance, has a feeling of calm stoicism..." - 03/01/2002 New York Times, p.E1
"...[Kinnear] does that thing he does better and better with each role he takes, siphoning humor into a serious situation....[Gibson] discharges his duties maturely and successfully..." - 03/08/2002 Entertainment Weekly, p.44-5
"...[The battle] is brilliantly designed and shot....The film's major contribution to the Vietnam War movie is its willingness to view the enemy as human beings..." - 02/25/2002 Hollywood Reporter, p.10-23
"...The battle, expertly shot by Dean Semler, captures the chaos of guerrilla warfare paralleled in BLACK HAWK DOWN and gives the film a scarring documentary realism..." - 03/28/2002 Rolling Stone, p.76
"...This is a true story that brings home the real horror of war, presenting a balanced, thought-provoking record of men who fought..." - 04/01/2002 Total Film, p.92-3
"...Deft at pushing emotional buttons..." - 05/01/2002 Box Office, p.61
"...[The film] impresses with the overwhelming physicality of its combat sequences..." - 03/01/2002 Los Angeles Times, p.C1