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Platoon (1986)


Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 58
Fresh: 51
Rotten: 7

Critics 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.

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 15
Fresh: 12
Rotten: 3

Critics 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.


Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 237,347



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 … More

R (adult situations/language, violence)
Drama , Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By:
Oliver Stone
In Theaters:
Dec 9, 1997
Orion Pictures


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Critic Reviews for Platoon

All Critics (58) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (7) | DVD (34)

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

Platoon is different. It matters.

Full Review… | February 24, 2010
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

The artistic veneer Stone applies, along with the simpy narration provided for Sheen in the way of letters to his grandmother, detract significantly from the work's immediacy.

Full Review… | February 20, 2009
Top Critic

Platoon is not the definitive Vietnam statement that Stone may have intended, or that others are already claiming it to be. But it is a powerful document about that sad war, and a riveting piece of moviemaking.

Full Review… | February 24, 2014
Philadelphia Daily News

The utter chaos of war in Vietnam is brilliantly portrayed. No one can deny this film the power of its images and the weight of all-pervasive terror it creates.

Full Review… | February 24, 2014
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

This is a modern classic and a personal exorcism for its director.

Full Review… | February 24, 2014
Radio Times

Oliver Stone tries ambitiously to capture the full horror and frenzy of combat in Southeast Asia, but his technical skill outstrips his insight.

Full Review… | February 24, 2014
Christian Science Monitor

No sane person should want to get any closer to war than this film.

Full Review… | January 21, 2014
People Magazine

One of the best Vietnam films out there. And this is coming from a person who thinks that modern-day filmmaker Oliver Stone is a big, fat windbag.

Full Review… | October 2, 2013
7M Pictures

The grisly reality is brought to life by Stone's dialogue and emotion-charged combat scenes, raising thought-provoking questions of morality in this still-resonant classic.

Full Review… | February 16, 2013
Total Film

Vietnam seems to have made [Stone] a better filmmaker -- his next movies should tell us whether, in the best war-movie tradition, it's also made a man out of him.

Full Review… | January 14, 2013
The Nation

Stone, who's known for his excess, offers a few voiceover lines that border on the cheesy, but other than that it's a pretty straightforward realistic tour of duty. And that's what makes it so powerful.

Full Review… | May 4, 2012
Movie Metropolis

Remains an intriguing blend of the political and the personal, with Stone turning his memories and his opinions about Vietnam into potent drama. [Blu-ray]

Full Review… | June 6, 2011
Groucho Reviews

No war movie is truly an anti-war movie, but PLATOON comes close, and it's still as powerful as it was decades ago.

Full Review… | May 31, 2011
Common Sense Media

The first and best of Stone's Vietnam trilogy, it's also one of his finest pieces of work.

Full Review… | February 20, 2009

Most war films adhere to a big-picture purview, explaining which battles meant what and fulfilled which strategic objectives. Stone's effort skirts all that in favor of wrapping the viewer in visceral detail.

Full Review… | January 28, 2007
Arizona Daily Star

Audience Reviews for Platoon

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


Sgt. Barnes: Y'all love Elias. Oh, you wanna kick ass. Yeah. Well, here I am, all by my lonesome, and ain't nobody gonna know. Six of you boys against me. Kill me. Huh. I shit on all of you. 

"The first casualty of war is innocence."

Platoon, often cited as one of the best and most realistic war films ever made, is a stunning and sobering movie about Vietnam. Oliver Stone brings this film to the screen with an extreme amount of power. He explores the war on many levels. It isn't just us vs. them, but us vs. us. There's senseless killing, drug use, rape, and all of it is viewed from the point of view of the soldiers. The movie is, at times, hard to watch. It's graphic, it's gritty, it's real. It gives you a little taste of the hell that was Vietnam.

Taylor is a new arrival to the war. New arrivals basically get shit upon. You have to earn the respect of your fellow soldiers by putting your time in. Taylor wasn't drafted, but voluntarily went because his grandfather and father both fought in wars. He falls under the guidance of a good leader in Sgt. Elias. There's a lot of inner fighting between the platoon as some side with the vicious Sgt. Barnes, who has no qualms with killing civilians, and some side with Elias. The battle sequences are as intense as you'd expect and we see characters transformed through these battles into killing machines.

The movie looks amazing, but it also sounds equally amazing. There's also an amazing all-star cast bringing everything to life. Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, John C. McGinley, Forest Whitaker, and  Johnny Depp are the biggest names, but the rest of the huge cast give great performances as well. Through the great performances, the audience deals with a ranging amount of emotions. The movie is at times terrifying, at times sad, at times infuriating, and even at times funny and heartfelt. 

There's a reason this movie is regarded as the classic it is, and after watching it you'll understand. This is one of Stone's very best movies and one that will never lose a touch of its power. Fifty years from now, this movie will still be every bit as powerful. This is a must see for everyone. It doesn't matter if you don't like war films, or you don't like Charlie Sheen, or you don't like Oliver Stone. It should be required viewing.

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

It might be because I saw Apocalypse now Redux but this wasn't the masterpiece I was looking for. It was definitely violent but not as brutal as other war movies depicting the vietnam war. I feel that Oliver Stone could've gone farther in the inner feelings of Charlie sheen's character but in the end puts more action than emotion in.

A film that deserves praise but not Best Picture.

paul o.
paul oh

Super Reviewer

Platoon Quotes

Chris Taylor:
Hell is the impossibility of reason.
– Submitted by Alonso A (22 months ago)
Chris Taylor:
She's a fucking human being, man! Fuck you!
– Submitted by X L (2 years ago)
Chris Taylor:
Somebody once wrote: 'Hell is the impossibility of reason.' That's what this place feels like. Hell.
– Submitted by Brandon C (2 years ago)
Chris Taylor:
I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. And the enemy... was in us.
– Submitted by Melvin L (2 years ago)
Chris Taylor:
Most come from the end of the line--small towns you never heard of: Pulaski, Tennesse;. Brandon, Mississipp;. Pork Bend, Utah; Wampum, Pennsylvania. Two years' high school's about it. If they're lucky, a job waiting for them back in a factory. Most have got nothing. They're poor. They're the unwanted. Yet they're fighting for our society and our freedom. It's weird, isn't it? At the bottom of the barrel, and they know it. Maybe that's why they call themselves 'grunts', 'cause a grunt can take it--can take anything.
– Submitted by Melvin L (2 years ago)
Sgt. Barnes:
Death? What do you know about death?
– Submitted by Melvin L (2 years ago)

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