Parents' Guide to

We Were Soldiers

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

One of the most violent movies ever released.

Movie R 2002 138 minutes
We Were Soldiers Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 15+

Fantastic War Movie For Teenagers

Most of the violence in this movie is basic battle-style violence in which men and shot, blown up, lit on fire, stabbed, and incinerated, most of the time without blood or significant injury detail. However, there are exceptions. In the beginning of the movie a man is shot in the throat (in slow motion) with very bloody results. A scene later in the movie depicts bloody flesh being scraped off of a mans legs by accident. Another scene shows a man hit in the face with prosperous, which begins to burn him until another soldier uses a boot knife to cut it out of his face. These are all very brief but noteworthy incidents. As for language, there are 4 uses of the f-word (three of which are subtitles in the first 5 minutes of the movie) a handful of s-words, and 3 uses of the word “Pu*sy.” Also, stating this movie as "One of the most violent ever released"is a gross over exaggeration.
age 16+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (24 ):

We Were Soldiers spends half an hour making us care about each of the characters and the rest of the movie blowing them up. There have been thousands of war movies, and dozens of movies about the Viet Nam war, but this is one of the few to truly honor the men who fought and the women they loved. This is not a movie about politicians (though there are some digs at those who sent these men into battle without adequate resources) and it is not a movie about whether the US involvement stemmed from imperialism or a commitment to freedom. This is a movie about those who put their lives on the line not for their country but for each other.

The movie has some weaknesses that, in context, work very well. The battle action is often hard to follow, though perhaps that is a good way to replicate the relentlessness and disorientation of war. The characters and dialogue are clichéd, even corny. But in the context of the movie, they become paradigms. We Were Soldiers also takes the unusual step of treating the soldiers on the other side with dignity as well, making them human beings with ability, honor – and wives left behind to mourn them.

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