Lee Grant , The San Diego Union-Tribune (found via Lexis Nexis)
`SIR!' YES `SIR!'
"Soldier boy / Oh, my little soldier boy / I'll be true to you"
The engrossing documentary "Sir! No Sir!" utilizes that great Shirelles hit from the '60s as a backdrop to its story of a unique antiwar movement during the Vietnam era that took place not on the streets or the campuses, but in the military itself.
Whether you support the invasion of Iraq or not, "Sir! No Sir!" touches a contemporary nerve -- body counts then, body counts now; scandals involving deaths of innocent civilians then, scandals now.
The brisk film captures the chill-inducing sound of helicopters that Francis Ford Coppola bled into "Apocalypse Now," the best Vietnam War picture. In "Sir! No Sir!," though, there's no Robert Duvall loving "the smell of napalm in the morning."
These are, instead, real GIs -- a Green Beret who resigned in protest, a doctor assigned to train medics court-martialed and imprisoned, a West Point graduate who refused to fight.
They were young then, more than middle-aged now and still carrying the baggage. One says to the camera, "What's the pride in being a veteran of something so wrong?"