Documentary series that reunites six soldiers who took part in major war events to discuss the impact it has had on their lives.
Runtime: 60 minutes
We Were There - We Were Soldiers - Netflix
We Were Soldiers is a 2002 American war film that dramatizes the Battle of Ia Drang on November 14, 1965. The film was directed by Randall Wallace and stars Mel Gibson. It is based on the book We Were Soldiers Once… And Young (1992) by Lieutenant General (Ret.) Hal Moore and reporter Joseph L. Galloway, both of whom were at the battle.
We Were There - Reception - Netflix
The films about Vietnam that most Americans remember are positively soaked in physical and emotional torment – from “Platoon,” with its grunt's-eye view of combat, to “Apocalypse Now,” with its exploration of war's dehumanizing insanity. Today, the pendulum has swung back again. If filmmakers with politically twisted knives once sliced away guts-and-glory clichés, their current equivalents hack away all meaningful concern with moral and political questions. “We Were Soldiers” is shameless in this regard, filling the screen with square-jawed officers who weep at carnage and fresh-faced GIs who use their last breaths to intone things like, "I'm glad I died for my country.
Lisa Schwarzbaum, from Entertainment Weekly, gave the movie a B and noted the film's fair treatment of both sides.
David Sterritt, from the Christian Science Monitor, criticized the movie for giving a more positive image of the Vietnam War that, in his opinion, did not concur with reality.
The film received mostly positive reviews. Roger Ebert, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, gave the movie 3.5 stars out of 4, and praised the movie's truthful and realistic battle scenes and how the movie follows the characters.
Todd McCarthy, from Variety, said the film “presents the fighting realistically, violently and relatively coherently given the chaotic circumstances...” McCarthy further said, “Mel Gibson has the closest thing to a John Wayne part that anyone's played since the Duke himself rode into the sunset, and he plays it damn well.” He summarized with, “Gibson's performance anchors the film with commanding star power to burn. This officer truly loves his men, and the credibility with which the actor is able to express Moore's leadership qualities as well as his sensitive side is genuinely impressive.” Hal Moore, who had long been critical of many Vietnam War films for their negative portrayals of American servicemen, publicly expressed approval of the film and is featured in segments of the DVD. Some soldiers were less pleased: Retired Col Rick Rescorla, who played an important role in the book and was pictured on the cover (and later died in the September 11 attacks), was disappointed, after reading the script, to learn that he and his unit had been written out of the movie. In one key incident, the finding of a vintage French bugle on a dying Vietnamese soldier, the English-born Rescorla is replaced by a nameless Welsh platoon leader.
We Were There - References - Netflix