Forgotten Bruce Willis War Film on Netflix Has Fans Dubbing It 'A Masterpiece'

Forgotten Bruce Willis War Film on Netflix Has Fans Dubbing It 'A Masterpiece'
Image credit: Revolution Studios

It flopped at the box office, but fans love this lesser-known Bruce Willis movie on Netflix.


  • It lost money – but fans still enjoyed it.
  • Critics and audience scores are worlds apart on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • It's an exciting military action movie.

When you think of Bruce Willis movies, Sixth Sense and Die Hard come to mind, but he actually appeared in over 120 films before retiring due to ill health.

Of course, not all of them were massive blockbusters, although attaching the name Bruce Willis to any movie has been a way of giving it gravitas for decades. Also, not all of his works were box office hits.

Take a look at his filmography, however, and you might be surprised by some of the gems you uncover. And this action movie about a race to rescue a US citizen from a jungle hospital in Nigeria after a military coup is one of them.

What’s it about?

Tears of the Sun was first released in 2003. Willis plays Lieutenant A.K. Waters, who is tasked with leading a team of Navy SEALS on a rescue mission to save Dr. Lena Fiore Kendricks (Monica Bellucci), a doctor working on behalf of international humanitarian aid.

When the SEALS arrive at the hospital, they find that Dr. Kendricks will not leave without her patients. From then on, there is tension between the doctor, who is acting to save her patients, and the Army lieutenant, who is primarily focused on completing his mission.

The movie has all sorts of conflicts and is upfront about some of the horrors of war that perhaps aren't always in the spotlight. This was particularly poignant at the time, given the situation in some areas of Africa, and is still relevant today.

Of course, it also has plenty of action and a bona fide hero in Bruce Willis. What's not to love about that?

Why did the critics hate it so much?

That's a good question. Even if you read what the critics on Rotten Tomatoes had to say about it, most of it seems to be more about the fact that it had nothing to stand out for rather than being an objectively bad movie.

There's a sense that more was expected of it just because it starred a legend of the genre. Still, the general consensus is that it's a pretty decent war flick – even if that's not reflected in its overall score of a meager 33%.

Viewers who commented on Rotten Tomatoes were much more complimentary, giving it a much more respectable audience score of 67%.

Still, it was a complete flop, grossing only $86.5 million against a budget of $100 million.

Forgotten Bruce Willis War Film on Netflix Has Fans Dubbing It 'A Masterpiece' - image 1

How come it’s made a comeback?

Good ol’ Netflix. With Bruce Willis no longer making movies, it seems that his fans have been reacquainting themselves with the classics and trying out some of his films that they've just never gotten around to watching.

Whether this influenced Netflix's decision to stream Tears of the Sun is unknown, but its addition to the roster has certainly made it available to more viewers. And they're loving it!

On the Facebook fan page Netflix Bangers, fans have called it "best movie [Willis] ever made besides Armageddon" and a "masterpiece."

More than one fan said it brought them to tears.

Where else can I watch it?

In addition to streaming on Netflix, Tears of the Sun can also be watched with a subscription to Max.It's also available to buy or rent on Vudu, Prime and Apple TV.

Source: Netflix Bangers.