***/**** Image A- Sound A+ Extras B
starring Mel Gibson, Madeleine Stowe, Sam Elliott, Greg Kinnear
screenplay by Randall Wallace, based on the memoir We Were Soldiers Once...and Young : Ia Drang--The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam by Harold G. Moore, Joseph L. Galloway
directed by Randall Wallace
by Walter Chaw We Were Soldiers is a rousing war epic presented as the world's most gruesome underdog sports intrigue, its carnage--fuelled by a brilliant attention to the decisions made in the heat of battle by a genius-level military mind--at once exploitive and orgasmic in its cathartic effectiveness. Concerning the bloodiest confrontation between the United States and North Vietnam, which took place in the infancy (November 14, 1965) of the doomed police action at LZ X-Ray in the Ia Drang Valley, the memoir of the battle We Were Soldiers Once...and Young (by battlefield commander Lt. Col. Hal Moore with war journalist Joseph Galloway) finds its way to the screen with Mel Gibson as Moore and his Braveheart scribe Randall Wallace at the typewriter and behind the camera.