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Tears of the Sun (Special Edition)

436 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Jun 10, 2003)
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(Jun 07, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Loyal veteran Navy S.E.A.L. Lt. A.K. Waters (Bruce Willis) is sent into the heart of war-torn Africa on a hazardous mission to rescue Dr. Lena Hendricks (Monica Bellucci), a U.S. citizen who runs a missionary. When the beautiful doctor refuses to abandon the refugees in her care, Lt. Waters finds himself having to choose between following orders and the dictates of his own conscience. Together, they begin a dangerous trek through the deadly jungle, all the while being pursued by a rebel militiagroup, with only one goal in mind: to assassinate Lt. Waters' unit and the refugees in his care.

Additional Features

Because of the intense political nature of Tears of the Sun, it's no surprise that a good deal of the DVD content is devoted to the political and historical background of Africa. Director Antoine Fuqua discusses it in his feature-length commentary track, along with other comments about the film itself. Another commentary track, in which the authors recall the making of the film and the material that was cut, lasts 17 minutes and is not related to the portion of the film it accompanies. A pop-up "fact track" offers further background and production info, as does a 15-minute making-of featurette. Eight of the African actors discuss their harrowing personal experiences in "Voices of Africa," and eight deleted scenes wouldn't have added much to the film, other than introducing two small but important characters earlier. The sound mix is particularly involving during the climactic scene. --David Horiuchi

Special Features

  • Writer's observations
  • Journey to Safety: Making Tears of the Sun
  • Voices of Africa
  • Deleted scenes
  • Africa fact track
  • Interactive map of Africa

Product Details

  • Actors: Monica Bellucci, Tom Skerritt, Cole Hauser, Bruce Willis
  • Directors: Antoine Fuqua
  • Producers: Arnold Rifkin, Ian Bryce, Michael Lobell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 10, 2003
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (436 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000095WW8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,444 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tears of the Sun (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

133 of 144 people found the following review helpful By John on March 20, 2003
Tears of the Sun is more than what the trailers make it out to be. It's not your normal action movie, meaning the plot isn't just an excuse to have lots of things blow up. The story focuses more on the internal struggles of Willis's character than anything else. If you watched the trailer and were hoping for Die Hard 4: The African Edition, you will be sorely disappointed.
The plot revolves around a mission by US Navy SEALs to go into a hostile area of Nigeria and rescue an American doctor. The doctor (Monica Bellucci) is living at Mission, taking care of sick and dying Nigerians. Getting the doctor out is only a minor hassle, the real trouble begins when Willis' characters internal struggles of following orders vs. doing what is right get the best of him and he decides to try and save all the Nigerian patients. From there all hell breaks loose and there are a few surprises before the end.
As I said before, this is not your normal action movie. It doesn't go gonzo on the special effects and explosions, but obviously this is a war movie and there is plenty of violence near the end. The thing is, by the time people do start dying, you will care. On a side note, there are several parts of the movie that are unrealistic (the main one being a Navy SEAL going against explicit orders from his commanding officer), but these can be easily forgiven and overlooked.
The combat depicted is on par with the best recent war movies, such as Black Hawk Down and We Were Soldiers. It's very realistic. The "grand finale" battle at the end is a pretty intense 30 minutes, and is best experienced at a theater with good sound. Overall, this is a very satisfying movie that is worth the exorbitant ticket prices these days.
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64 of 68 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 10, 2003
Tears of the Sun is a first class war movie in the realistic style of Black Hawk Down. The plot centers on a mission by US Navy SEALs to rescue an American doctor at a mission in Nigeria during a civil war.
Bruce Willis stars as the officer commanding the SEAL detachment. He and the other actors potraying SEALs received training from real SEALs and, therefore, come across as authentic instead of the usual Hollywood portayal of speical operators as undiscplined psychopaths.
The level of violence in this movie is high as expected in a war movie, but it is never exaggerated or cartoonish. Neither is it included just to keep the excitement level up. Instead, violence is portrayed as the inevitable product of war and is shown realistically as real human suffering.
The movie is very tightly edited and moves quickly. There are no long periods of chatter and no padding. The movie gets right into the story it intends to tell and moves along quickly. I was surprised when the movie ended that 2 hours had actually passed.
The battle scenes are clearly the product of some considerable effort at realism. The good guys are not invincible and the bad guys are not incompetent. Weapons effects are realistic, not exaggerated. Wounds are authentically gory, but not overdone for effect's sake.
In conclusion. Tears of the Sun attempts to paint a believeable picture of believable human beings in a frightening and brutal situation. It is one of the finest war movies I have seen and I recommend it highly to anyone who likes the genre.
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74 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Jon Warshawsky on March 9, 2003
Tears of the Sun brings Bruce Willis back to the rebel-with-a-cause-and-a-big-gun role. This isn't a date movie. Lots of guerrilla combat, lots of blood and a subplot that is revealed only well into the movie -- and I won't spoil it for you. If the basic plot is nothing new, the film comes together very well, and it outclasses a lot of other action flicks.
Willis (as Lt. Waters) leads his men into Nigeria to rescue an American doctor. In a fit of conscience, after having achieved his mission, Waters orders his choppers to return so that he can rescue the band of doomed refugees. We feel good about that. Especially after seeing what the Nigerian rebels did to the hospital after Waters and company evacuated. If you accept that a special forces lieutenant would disobey orders and follow his conscience, the rest of the story unfolds well.
Visually, Tears of the Sun is a stunner. You will feel as though you spent a couple of hours in the rain forest. Some of the gorier scenes look like the sort of thing that might be omitted from news coverage of such events, but it was enough for me. The pace is intense -- not much time spent chatting around the campfire. I can't vouch for the accuracy of the military operations, but Willis is very credible in this role, and realism tends to win out over dramatic licence. At least until the final sequences.
If you like action films with at least a layer of human interest, you will probably enjoy Tears of the Sun. It falls short only in the ways most desperation mission movies do -- some narrow escapes that require us to be grateful for our heroes without overanalyzing. ... But the overall writing is quite good. ...
Tears of the Sun may not be the film of the year, but it holds together well and kept the audience absorbed. It shows American soldiers as capable, confident and caring. That's a good image, and one that sends you home thinking that our men and women in uniform can do a lot of good.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Grimmy VINE VOICE on March 10, 2003
13 out of 15 found this review helpful. (I added a sentence or two and the votes were reset.)
As expected, critics are upset at the film's slightly pro-American view ("balanced" with hints of the darker side, of course).'s reviewer was apparently grinding his?her? teeth so much he couldn't even understand the dialogue:
"When someone points out a potential problem with his strategy, for example, Waters replies, "There are lots of possible scenarios and I don't presume to know them all." What great military man would put himself and his men at such risk without considering all the consequences?"
But Waters was responding to the doctor's plea that if they left, the villagers would be killed. His response, above, was simply a cop-out which neither of them believed - nothing to do with what the reviewer supposes. The real complaint these reviewers have is this that (gasp) American soldiers, for all their flaws, are portrayed as heroes:
"... the blind patriotism we are spoon-fed towards the end makes this film a little hard to swallow."
The "blind patroitism" must refer to the refugees' tears and cries of eternal gratitude for the courageous sacrifice that has bought their very lives. And that's the essence of the cries of "too simplistic," "propaganda," "jingoistic" - which is code for "I am upset that this film does not portray American soldiers as mentally deranged, pot-smoking, homicidal, genocidal, racist, trigger-happy scum of the earth." We are not given any backstory to explain that the murderous rebels were driven to their life of hatred because their parents couldn't afford to get them "Boggle" when they were kids, or any such "evenhandedness." Fuqua presents viewers with the stark reality of evil, not the evil of war.
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