Platoon (1986) - Rotten Tomatoes

Platoon (1986)



Critic Consensus: Informed by director Oliver Stone's personal experiences in Vietnam, Platoon forgoes easy sermonizing in favor of a harrowing, ground-level view of war, bolstered by no-holds-barred performances from Charlie Sheen and Willem Dafoe.

Movie Info

Oliver Stone's breakthrough as a director, Platoon is a brutally realistic look at a young soldier's tour of duty in Vietnam. Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) is a college student who quits school to volunteer for the Army in the late '60s. He's shipped off to Vietnam, where he serves with a culturally diverse group of fellow soldiers under two men who lead the platoon: Sgt. Barnes (Tom Berenger), whose facial scars are a mirror of the violence and corruption of his soul, and Sgt. Elias (Willem Dafoe), who maintains a Zen-like calm in the jungle and fights with both personal and moral courage even though he no longer believes in the war. After a few weeks "in country," Taylor begins to see the naïveté of his views of the war, especially after a quick search for enemy troops devolves into a round of murder and rape. Unlike Hollywood's first wave of Vietnam movies (including The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now, and Coming Home), Platoon is a grunt's-eye view of the war, touching on moral issues but focusing on the men who fought the battles and suffered the wounds. In this sense, it resembles older war movies more than its Vietnam peers, as it mixes familiar elements of onscreen battle with small realistic details: bugs, jungle rot, exhaustion, C-rations, marijuana, and counting the days before you go home. This mix of traditional war movie elements with a contemporary sensibility won Platoon four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director, and a reputation as one of the definitive modern war films.more
Rating: R (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By: Oliver Stone, Richard Boyle
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 9, 1997
Orion Pictures


Willem Dafoe
as Sgt. Elias
Tom Berenger
as Sgt. Barnes
Forest Whitaker
as Big Harold
John C. McGinley
as Sgt. O'Neill
Mark Moses
as Lt. Wolfe
Li Mai Thao
as Rape Victim
Corey Glover
as Francis
Bob Orwig
as Gardner
Matthew Westfall
as Terrified Soldier
Tony Todd
as Warren
Kevin Eshelman
as Morehouse
Adam J. Glover
as Sanderson
Dale Dye
as Capt. Harris
Bernardo Manalili
as Village Chief
Than Rogers
as Village Chief's Wife
Li Thi Van
as Village Chief's Daug...
Steve Barredo
as Fu Sheng
Clarisa Ortacio
as Old Woman
Romy Sevilla
as One-Legged Man
Mathew Westfall
as Terrified Soldier
Nick Nicholson
as Mechanized Soldier
Warren McLean
as Mechanized Soldier
Oliver Stone
as Officer in Bunker
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Platoon

Critic Reviews for Platoon

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (17)

This film is an act of courage. Stone, the gutsy writer-director, records in a devastating barrage of images the relentless horror and the senseless carnage experienced by far too many Americans in Vietnam.

Full Review… | February 22, 2015
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Stone's strongest suit, however, isn't so much realism as it is his way of blending immediacy and insight.

Full Review… | February 22, 2015
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

There are images in Platoon so powerful that they seem, rather than simply imprinted on celluloid, to have been burned into memory.

Full Review… | February 24, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Precisely because Stone forces you to experience a grunt's tunnel vision and rage, Platoon is a film of inspiring empathy and awesome force. Curiously, that same tunnelvision in the end compromises Platoon.

Full Review… | February 24, 2014
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

This is movie-making with a zealot's fervor.

Full Review… | February 19, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Platoon is filled with one fine performance after another, and one can only wish that every person who saw the cartoonish war fantasy that was Rambo would buy a ticket to Platoon and bear witness to something closer to the truth.

Full Review… | February 19, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Platoon

Platoon is the landmark definition of a war film. Pulse-pounding sequences stacked on well-performed portrayal of soldiers (Sheen, Berenger & Dafoe) as well as a couple of heart-wrenching scenes that would be somewhat difficult to view. The film is Oliver Stone's most significant to date, especially since it's based off his own personal experience in the Vietnam War. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

A more human telling of the Vietnam experience than it's bleakly factual contemporary Full Metal Jacket, this film is almost scuppered by the gimmicky casting of Charlie Sheen in the lead role. The strong supporting cast make up for his obvious shortcomings as a serious actor, however. Watch out for a young Johnny Depp as Lerner.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


REVIEW SOON..............


Super Reviewer

Platoon Quotes

– Submitted by Alonso A (2 years ago)
– Submitted by X L (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Brandon C (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Melvin L (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Platoon on our Movie forum!