• Not Pauline Kael

    Added by Not Pauline Kael

    This tense, wholehearted combination of melodrama and psychodrama is set in and around an Army base in Louisiana in 1944. A black drillmaster, Sergeant Waters (played, in flashbacks, by Adolph Caesar), has been murdered, and a black lawyer, Captain Davenport (Howard E. Rollins, Jr.)--the first black commissioned officer ever to be seen in this part of the country--has been sent down from Washington, D.C., to investigate. Charles Fuller (who did the adaptation of his A Soldier's Play) uses the structure…


  • Jeff King

    ★★★★ Watched by Jeff King 30 Jul, 2016

    Very strong Oscar entry that I knew nothing about going in. Also included a lot of actors I wasn't familiar with or who were very early in their careers. Fascinating to see Denzel and David Alan Grier in this so far back.

    A harsh look at the nature of race in the military during World War II (and race more generally), a black non-commissioned officer is killed, and a black captain is called in to investigate. The captain, played extremely…


  • Jonathan

    ★★★★½ Watched by Jonathan 20 Jul, 2016

    The mystery into the murder of a black army sergeant and the stories that follow into his murder from the soldiers who might be a prime suspect. That's the story behind this crime drama entitled A Soldiers Story.

    Set during World War II A Soldiers Story follows the death of Vernon Waters played by Adolph Caesar down south in Louisiana. A black officer in the command of black soldiers. All that is known the moment before he was killed was…


  • kurtis

    ★★★½ Rewatched by kurtis 13 Jul, 2016

    Good story about the 40's soldier's. I felt it was a good account of how things were.


  • Henrik Wilhelmsson

    ★★★½ Watched by Henrik Wilhelmsson 08 Jul, 2016

    Good enough story, good cast. Bad score.


  • Keith Adams Jr.

    ★★★★ Added by Keith Adams Jr.

    Quickie Review 
    Adapted from the stage production "A Soldier's Play", director Norman Jewison delivers a solid murder mystery with a well-assembled cast headed by Howard E. Rollins as a stoic military officer assigned to investigate the murder of a reviled sergeant (Adolph Caesar). The only problem with the movie is Herbie Hancock's score, which sometimes works with the tone of the film but other times it just has baffling cues that leaves someone scratching one's head. Still, "A Soldier's Story" is a riveting military mystery thriller.


  • Bill Shannon

    ★★★ Watched by Bill Shannon 21 Mar, 2016

    An intriguing enough mystery that has the pacing and feel of a TV movie. Its kind of like a cross between Rashomon and The Caine Mutiny, but made for the Hallmark channel.

    There are strong performances by Rollins, Caesar and Denzel Washington, but the murder mystery at the heart of the story feels rushed and perfunctory. Jewison's framing and timing feels pedestrian. The story is brimming with racial tension, but that angle is undermined by cartoonish staging.

    I'll bet the play upon which it is based is much better. It's well-written enough, but what is on film feels unworthy of Best Picture Nomination consideration.


  • Raúl Cornejo

    ★★★ Watched by Raúl Cornejo 10 Jan, 2016

    Herbie Hancock, Hitler y Adolph Caesar


  • ejeffb2004

    ★★★½ Watched by ejeffb2004 13 Dec, 2015

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Weird that I never saw this back then, but just ok now.

    From tcm
    Norman Jewison's long career as a filmmaker has touched on all types of stories, but he seems to really hit his targets when dealing with racial injustice. In the Heat of the Night (1967) was a groundbreaking piece of work in its time, and The Hurricane (1999) was another award-winning exploration of institutionalized racism. But A Soldier's Story (1984), Jewison's adaptation of Charles Fuller's Pulitzer Prize-winning…


  • Steven Cohen

    ★★★ Watched by Steven Cohen 08 Dec, 2015

    Featuring one of Denzel Washington's earliest film roles, A Soldier's Story is an adaptation of the stageplay A Solder's Play about the causes and aftermath of the murder of a black sergeant in the 40's. The script and characters are engaging and thoughtful, but a film adaptation of a play is always a tricky proposition, as they rarely feel cinematic and director Norman Jewison doesn't bring a whole lot to the table. The story itself is oddly reminiscent of Mart…


  • Jeremie Richard

    ★★½ Watched by Jeremie Richard 23 Sep, 2015

    Norman Jewison's A Solder's Story is a film that was something of a big deal at the time of its release in 1984 but it's a film that's reputation has faded over time and it's not difficult to understand why. It's a pretty standard issue 1980's awards bait fluff piece. It's not a bad film per say just a wholly unremarkable one. The film's screenplay is written by Charles Fuller based on his own play. It's the story of an…


  • tokyo5

    ★★★½ Watched by tokyo5 22 Aug, 2015

    In 1944, a black U.S. soldier is murdered just off-base in segregated Louisiana. The lead investigator is a black Army officer sent in by Washington DC who meets resistance as he tries to find the murderer(s).