Screenwriter Randall Wallace, a specialist in sweeping historical epics, steps behind the camera for this fact-based Vietnam War drama that reunites him with his Braveheart (1995) star Mel Gibson. Gibson is Lt. Col. Hal Moore, commander of the First Battalion, Seventh Cavalry, the same regiment fatefully led by George Armstrong Custer. As part of the Pleiku Campaign of late 1965, Moore is assigned to an action at Landing Zone X-Ray in the Drang Valley, an area that would come to be known as the "The Valley of Death." Moore soon finds himself and his men contained to an area about the size of a football field, surrounded by more than 2,000 enemy troops and engaged in the first major battle of the war. Heroism becomes the order of the day as men like Moore, chopper pilot Bruce Crandall (Greg Kinnear), and Lt. Henry Herrick (Marc Blucas) refuse to yield, in spite of heavy losses of life. The film co-stars Madeleine Stowe, Chris Klein, Keri Russell, and Sam Elliott. We Were Soldiers is based on the book We Were Soldiers Once...and Young by Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore (retired) and UPI reporter Joe Galloway (played in the film by Barry Pepper).~Karl Williams
I bought this movie to learn about the Ia Drang incident in November 1965. I expected the movie to be like many war movies...lots of glitz and unreal scenes.
Having read the book, the movie followed the book very well.
I would recommend this to any Vietnam War historian.
This movie is not for everyone. There are war scenes that are graphic, which is the reality of situations like the conflict in the Ia Drang Valley, Vietnam.
I had watched the movie several times, and never lost the emotional attachment to all the soldiers' lives that were lost in that first major battle between the U.S. Army and the PAVN with the Viet Cong on 14 November, 1965. It also brings in emotions of some families with soldiers involved.
The ambush at LZ X-Ray under the command of Harold G. Moore was short. Only a 2 day fight, but watching the movie gives you the perception it was much longer by immersing you into the soldiers and pilots' feelings and thoughts. It also also touches (lightly) on how the command of the enemy may have functioned.
Great acting. Great cinematography.
This movie reminds you of what others have sacrificed for us today. **Remember your Veterans**
NOTE: A book by the same name, written by Harold Moore and co-authored by Joseph Galloway (1992) is also a good read if you want to find out more on this subject. A follow up book was written in 2008 called "We Are Soldiers Still".
This review is from We Were Soldiers [Blu-ray]