Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 36
  2. Negative: 7 out of 36
  1. The film is a strictly no-bull proposition.
  2. The movie remains engaging, with a couple of sequences verging on stunning.
  3. 80
    By turns morally compelling and racially paternalistic, this provocative drama may be the first halfway truthful war movie to hit multiplexes since "Three Kings."
  4. 75
    Until it descends into mindless routine action in the climactic scenes, Tears of the Sun is essentially an impressionistic nightmare.
  5. 75
    The film would be just as powerful, if less likely to saturate suburban megaplexes and flatter its patrons, were its saviors -- I don't know - French.
  6. 75
    Fuqua takes a genre picture and, by diverting the story onto an unconventional path, generates a sense of urgency. Tears of the Sun is not a great movie, but it is satisfying, and represents an example of accomplished filmmaking.
  7. Whenever its noble aims miss, Bruce Willis saves it.
  8. 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.
  9. This is an odd amalgam of bleeding-heart sentimentality and over-the-top guts-and-glory action. You're not sure how to feel. But you're certainly not as moved and stunned as you were in "Black Hawk Down."
  10. 70
    Tears of the Sun may be a flattering myth, but it’s not a bad myth to be flattered by. [17 March 2003, p. 154]
  11. Left wing? Right wing? Center? Who cares, as long as Bruce Willis is saving the world.
  12. Fairly entertaining and often exciting, expertly done in a way, but not especially engaging or new, and not as emotionally involving as its title suggests.
  13. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    60
    A schizoid action flick bogs down in lofty intentions.
  14. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    60
    This is one of those pictures that unavoidably becomes part of the zeitgeist due to its coincidental arrival at a precise moment in history when its themes play into current events.
  15. The result is hardly a subtle film, but it has a stronger sense of combat's real costs and consequences than more sensationalistic pictures like "Black Hawk Down" and "We Were Soldiers" provide.
  16. 50
    Tried to turn this into a replay of its 2000 military-rescue hitBlack Hawk Down -- though, in the end, it's almost totally lacking in the serious hardware and viscerally paced action that propelled Ridley Scott's movie to the top of the box office.
  17. It's simplistic and reactionary and designed to get hearts pumping but not minds thinking.
  18. What pushes it above mediocrity is that it ends better than it begins.
  19. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    50
    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.
  20. The fiction that follows can be safely regarded as much more than a war movie -- hell, this is a pro-war movie. Were it a politician, it would be Donald Rumsfeld.
  21. 50
    Has honorable aspirations, even as it becomes mired in mainstream movie conventions.
  22. 50
    Fuqua has made three films before his newest, Tears of the Sun, and they've all begun well enough but then collapsed under the weight of his heavy-handed visual technique and his indifference to plot, character and logic.
  23. 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. There’s an uncomfortable Great White Father (and Mother) aspect to this movie.
  24. 50
    Despite the busy camera work, bombastic score and rapt attention to violence, director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) can't mask the script's white-savior paternalism.
  25. May make you weep, but not in the way anyone intended. 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. It doesn't appear to be a genre with much of a future.
  26. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    50
    At times, you could actually mistake Tears of the Sun for a blunt modern parable instead of an opportunistic mixture of up-to-the-minute atrocities and old-fashioned corn.
  27. For a film so intent on the rules of engagement, this is hardly engaging drama.
  28. 40
    Aside from a few routine battle scenes, the movie's action consists mostly of people slogging slowly through non-stop rain. This is not interesting, much less exciting. The dialogue is hokey hero blather.
  29. 40
    There's a fine line dividing Hollywood tradition and overly manipulative junk, and Tears of the Sun crosses it.
  30. A preposterous action movie in which a Navy SEAL makes the world safe for democracy one continent at a time.
  31. 30
    Impossible to swallow as truth, this Rambo treatment is equally hard to enjoy as escapism.
  32. Unfortunately, the movie's real setting is a sentimental fantasy world, and its story is a spectacularly incoherent exercise in geopolitical wish fulfillment.
  33. 25
    Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) can stage action, but he can't save a trivializing, reactionary script featuring a Hollywood star (read America) as a global savior.
  34. 20
    It’s as deadly dull as the blunt end of a rifle.
  35. This "Black Hawk Down" theft is a trial by cliché until the climax, which suggests a dress rehearsal for the torching of Baghdad.
  36. Relevance can't rescue this would-be epic from the swamps of inertia, absurdity and sentimentality.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 57 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 37
  2. Negative: 10 out of 37
  1. Oct 15, 2011
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. It is strange to see its such - the actor whom it is difficult to present in other role, than to roles of the cool guy thrusting tens of bullets in any who will encroach on the American way of life.


    It is strange to look, how flow down on the person of the lieutenant rain drops, and to see his eyes. Eyes of the professional many long years killing by order of where will tell and in whom will specify. Eyes in which is brighter, than in the opinion of the person of any other trade, all pain of this silly is reflected, God of the damned world which is not able and doing not wish to learn to live in the consent with itself. Eyes in which depth, behind a wall of composure of the gone through fire and water person, the weariness hardly considerably decays. Both grief. And a question: what I for you, become hardened should make heart and soul Adam and Eve's living on this planet descendants that you at last have realized importance of each human life? How many still lives I that you has reached should take away, what it is impossible to kill or order to kill only because to you so it is pleasant or because you are obliged? Whom from you I should shoot down or kill, that the mankind has come round and has ceased is boastful to be trampled down knee-deep in own blood? This question is set to itself by each soldier. Not only at cinema, but also in life. But it is necessary to search for the answer to it very long. At times so happens that it comes only when the one who set, has already failed on the earth with the raked breast.


    And still each of them hopes that will find the answer not too late. That can make it still before will feel that for quite some time now to it already on all to spit, and the question that was once shone in the heart of eyes, was replaced with the cold, cynical and indifferent counter of death.


    And it... It has already found it. Not in words and not in books. And in eyes. In the opinion of Lena Kendricks, going mad of ignorance - it has survived or not. In the opinion of those whom conducted behind itself to the border and whom covered with fire in last furious and bloody firing. In the opinion of Slo, dying at it on hands. In the opinion of Lake, covered before death the body the Nigerian girl.


    The answer has appeared is simple. Easier the most simple question. Healthy fellow Mike was right, devil take it: "all it wasn't vain".


    After all if you want to rescue the whole world - begin at least with one person...
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 25, 2013
    6
    Yes, the characters are wooden and the plot is entirely generic and predictable, but thanks to some utter cinematic dedication from Fuqua, a handful of cool action set pieces, and a criminally underrated score from Hans Zimmer, "Tears Of The Sun" mostly succeeds as an action thriller. Full Review »
  3. Dec 15, 2011
    4
    The movie opens brilliantly offering a new look into war in contrast to the Vietnam/World II films such as Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, or Saving Private Ryan. Unfortunately this new look is not so good and I found myself soon begging for those classics. The only basis for Tears of the Sun is not in history, but in fiction. The film thus becomes tiresome soon after Bruce Willis enters the Nigerian village. By the end, we are left with lackluster acting (save for Willis), improbable and unbelievable circumstances including Willis disobeying direct orders without consequence, a cliched and poorly created love scenario between Willis and the good doctor, an ending more cliched than the love scenario and just as poorly built, and a directing style that is at times smooth and stylish, but at others cramped and hard to stomach. Tears of the Sun stands as one of the worse war movies of recent years, though with only two battle sequences in its over 2 hour length, war movie may be an improper description. Full Review »