Platoon Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 18, 2015
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
Super Reviewer
November 5, 2006
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.
Super Reviewer
½ April 26, 2009
REVIEW SOON..............
Super Reviewer
½ February 26, 2011
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.
paul o.
Super Reviewer
December 14, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
July 13, 2012
Oliver Stone's 'Platoon' is an excellent foray into the chaos of our most chaotic war. It is still powerful, shocking, and realistic. Stone has a couple action sequences that are a little over-the-top, including the climax and the death of Elias. The latter is such an iconic scene that it's forgivable. 'Platoon' still stands as one of the most important war films of our time.
Super Reviewer
½ December 19, 2010
Excellent! A standout film for War cinema. Platoon goes where so few films do, the emotional side of wartime. The cast is perfect with so many great performances, especially Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe, who both received Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor. A great story, intense action, good writing, and memorable scenes. A great film! I recommend it!
Super Reviewer
February 20, 2011
Since it was on the IMDb Top 250 list, and wasn't a love story or animation (I avoid those genres as far as possible), I'd to give it a go. And it was an okay war movie. But definitely not so great as I was expecting. JFK (of course, I'm talking of the 1991 flick and not The JFK in person for real) introduced me to Oliver Stone's work, and it's one of my all-time favorites. Little did I know that it'll leave some side-effects too. Since JFK, I've had relatively high expectation from his movies. Most probably, that's the reason I was left unsatisfied by his other ventures like 'Nixon' and 'World Trade Center', and didn't find Platoon to be a ground-breaking experience either. In fact, this war movie was nowhere near as great as J.P. Dutta's 'Border' based on Indo-Pak war. Yeah, I know most people will frown at this. Foreigners might not find 'Border' any good because it's a typical Bollywood flick. Though lengthy (including a few long songs), it was highly entertaining. It's the best war film ever. Sorry, I shouldn't have crossed the Border here; let's get back to Platoon. I was surprised to find Forest Whitaker getting less footage, and Johnny Depp hardly appears on screen That wasn't the problem, though. The movie succeeds in displaying the soldiers' agonies and difficulties during the Vietnam war, but it falls short of entertainment (it's not highly enlightening either) value and ended up as "just another war movie" for me. Then again, it had some powerful dialogues and didn't need to rely on unnecessary scenes. I like that decency in Oliver Stone's movies (well, at least, in his four movies that I've seen till date). He doesn't have to use cheap tricks like nudity and sex to be an 'inevitable part' of the script [unlike most Hollywood and foreign films which often claim (which is a lame excuse in most cases, though not all) that it was there only and only because of the script's indispensable demand] to attract viewers. Hope he'd maintain this style and give some worthwhile movies in the future.
Super Reviewer
½ February 13, 2011
Wow, took me long enough to see this one didn't it? I'd say it was worth the wait, and that it was one of the better war movies I've seen. "Full Metal Jacket" ain't got nothin' on this!
Super Reviewer
July 2, 2010
Two Vietnam war epics have been made prior to Platoon. Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter. Both films showed the chaos and personal cost of war on a soldier. However Oliver Stone's film goes a little deeper than that, as it shows the dehumization of a soldier fighting a misunderstood war. Platoon is the third greatest film about the Vietnam war. Oliver Stone's vision is unrelenting, raw and brutal. The film has many difficult scenes to watch, but it's all part of showing you the madness of this war. The film is brilliantly directed by Oliver Stone and is based on his experiences fighting in the war. What I admire most about this film is that it doesn't sugar coat the chaos with typical Hollywood action cliches. The film shows the cost and horrors of combat as it is. The film isn't a romanticized version of war. The film is very realistic and shows warfare for what it really is. Platoon is an action packed war film with tons of drama, and has many difficult scenes to watch. Platoon is still relevant after all these years and this is Oliver's greateat achievement, after this film he was fairly hit and miss. The cast that Stone has assembled for Platoon is simply stunning. Tom Berenger plays Sgt Barnes, a cruel leader with no remorse. Willem Dafoe Plays Sgt Ellias the favoirite of many from the Platoon. Both actors go head to head in the film, and deliver top notch performances. Charlie Sheen delivers the best performance of his career as Chris Taylor. Platoon is an unrelenting brutal film, and we see how the war slowly changes Chris Taylor as he arrives in Vietnam till after he's seen the cruelty of combat. Many Vietnam war films examine the chaos of war, but Platoon aside from Apocalypse Now is a film that really dwells into the dehumanization of a young soldier as he he experiences the horror of combat first hand. Marvelously directed by Oliver Stone, Platoon remains one of the best Vietnam war films ever filmed since Apocalypse Now. Platoon is one of my favorite war films, and if you haven't seen it yet; do yourself a favor and rent it.
Super Reviewer
September 26, 2010
One of the most believable war films I have ever seen. Charlie Sheen acts to perfection as the new recruit trainee in the Vietnam War, and he plays it with style. In the end, the film goes through deaths, betrayals, suicides, and war. Never in my life have I felt myself caring for every single prson in the film. Normally there is soemone who I cannot stand, but every character present here, was 100% believable. I loved Platoon and how well it stayed true to the war without going over the top and taking a wrong turn for a film inspired by true events. Amazing cast, amazing dialogue, and a truly moving war story that had me hooked until the end.
Super Reviewer
January 3, 2009
My favorite film on the American war in Vietnam. I've seen this one at least 12 times and it never seems to get old.
Mr Awesome
Super Reviewer
April 16, 2010
"And it's one, two, three, what are we fighting for? Don't ask me I don't give a damn, the next stop is Vietnam"- Country Joe
Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe fight it out to prove who's the craziest in Oliver Stone's ultimate Vietnam war movie. I'm not sure which one of them wins, but they sure create an interesting duel of personalities. When Chris (Charlie Sheen) first steps off the plane into the jungles of Vietnam, he's thrown in with the wolves, the old soldiers don't help out the new arrivals, figuring it's best to die in the first week and "not suffer". Chris outlasts many of fellow new recruits and even begins to thrive, under the terrifying tutelage of Sgt. Barnes (Tom Berenger). It's not until he sees the depth of deprivation of Barnes and his fellow soldiers that he turns to Sgt. Elias (Willem Dafoe) for an ally. Elias, like Barnes, knows no fear, and yet Sgt. Elias hasn't lost sight of his humanity. He helps out the new recruits when no one else will, he does alot for the soldier's morale. Barnes is the hero of psychopaths like Bunny (Kevin Dillon), who believe Vietnam is their own personal playground where they can "do whatever" they want as long as they don't get killed. When Barnes and Bunny and their morally questionable fellow soldiers commit vile and illegal acts, Elias and Barnes finally come to a stand-off, and it becomes a matter of soldier against fellow soldier in the middle of a jungle war. Oliver Stone creates a harrowing vision of Vietnam, thanks to the consultation of former soldiers and his own war experiences. Platoon is a composite of the entire Vietnam war, and perhaps war in general. It's always a question of maintaining one's humanity when your very survival is at stake. I think the main question Platoon raises is, why? What was the purpose of all this killing and death? Abstract idealogy? It's a question that stayed on my mind while watching this film, and I still don't know the answer.
Super Reviewer
November 19, 2009
Platoon might not be the definitive war movie, but it's pretty close in terms of capturing what it means to be a soldier and fight in a war without a purpose. I think that Oliver Stone really wanted to get the point across that no one wins in The Nam, even the victors come off scarred. The story is simple in many ways, but extremely captivating. The depiction of the jungles in Vietnam are shot to perfection and the score works like an operatic sync. The performances are all pretty flawless, with the obvious standouts being Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger and Forest Whitaker. However, it's really Charlie Sheen that carries the film and makes the biggest impression overall. He goes from being a naive volunteer to a tortured soul torn between justice and what is easy. I think it really takes a few viewings to really appreciate the genius behind the film and not classify it as an average action/war movie.
Super Reviewer
October 7, 2007
One of the most harrowing and memorable war films ever made. This film belongs in the ranks of the greats like "Saving Private Ryan" and "Apocalypse Now". It features two incredible performances (from the scar-faced Tom Berenger and the wily Willem Dafoe), a haunting score, disturbing scenes, and an unforgettable ending. The iconic shot from the movie is definitely the highlight, as Stone punctuates this pose (man on his knees with his arms raised and head tilted back) with hair-raising music when one of the characters is unfairly slain. For a film with so many characters, it runs the risk of overpopulation, but gives us enough reason to care for each of them and their situations (the last scene is especially memorable, closed out with excellent narration), this doesn't happen often. Say what you want about Oliver Stone and his take on certain things - this is a masterstroke.
Super Reviewer
August 2, 2009
Great war film. Full review later
Super Reviewer
April 22, 2008
I remember the first couple of times I ever saw this movie, I hated the damn thing. Maybe I just didn't understand the whole premise at the time, but after watching it again I have to say that this is an absolute classic. The cast is excellent, especially with Tom Berringer and Willem Defoe, who you know is going to give 100% in a rol no matter what. Charlie Sheen is also really good as a young recruit who has to struggle to choose a proper moral ground between two completely different Sergeants with completely different views of how things should go in the anything-goes battleground of Vietnam. Not the greatest war movie of all-time, but at least it's not just a film of constant war scenes with shit blowing up.
Super Reviewer
September 17, 2009
This is a great insight into the lives of the American soldiers serving during the Vietnam war. Oliver Stone was himself a soldiers serving in Vietnam, so you know that most of what you're seeing is authentic. Unfortunately for the very same reasons, I believe there is a lot he's left out. It's not my favourite war film but it is entertaining.
Super Reviewer
January 12, 2007
And now on to Oliver Stone's most famous and most talked about film, Platoon. This film won an Oscar for best picture in 1986 and its easy to see why. Its stark and realistic look at an innocent young man in the army who is sent to Vietnam and goes to hell and back is still as powerful today as it was in 1986. The film's log line "the first casualty of war is innocence" can't be any more relevant to its subject matter. It's also worth mentioning that this is the first film in Stone's Vietnam trilogy, following with Born On The Fourth Of July in 1989 and Heaven & Earth in 1993. One thing you have to marvel at while watching this film is its cast: Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Johnny Depp, John C. McGinley, Kevin Dillon, Forest Whitaker, Keith David, Tony Todd, Francesco Quinn and Dale Dye...absolutely remarkable. Everybody's performances are stellar throughout the entire film. Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe steal the show of course. The score for the film is pretty sparse, but the main theme of the film that repeats itself over and over throughout is effective and emotional. There is also a mix of music from the era, including some Motown tunes and most notably, Jefferson Airplane's 'White Rabbit'. The violence level of this film is pretty high, and there is a small amount of gore throughout. Not surprising coming from Oliver Stone who tends to push the limits and get into the realism of storytelling. The film doesn't really have the frenetic style that Stone would later be known for, mostly from Natural Born Killers, but I think that the craziness of the portrayal of war wouldn't lend itself to that sort of style anyway. Needless to say, Stone really hit this one out of the park. It's a phenomenal and gripping tale that had me glued to my chair from beginning to end. A very emotional and human tale.
Super Reviewer
March 4, 2008
Between 1986 and 1987 three major films were released about the Vietnam War: Hamburger Hill, Full Metal Jacket, and Platoon. All were haunting, depressing films that finally gave the audience a feeling of what that war really was about. Platoon was probably the most celebrated of this trio. The film follows Pvt. Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) and his tour in Vietnam. The Platoon he's assigned to is separated into two factions, one led by the sadistic Sgt. Barnes (Tom Berenger) and the down to earth Sgt. Elias (Willem Dafoe). As the film progresses the rivalry builds up until it finally explodes.

Platoon is probably one of the finest acted war films ever. Director Oliver Stone had the actors go through their own basic training before shooting the film and it helped them develop what amounts to their exhaustion that all of them feel in this film. They drag you to hell with them as they travel further and further toward death. A finely acted film.

What sets Platoon above other Vietnam war films is how personal it is. Oliver Stone wrote this film as a semi-autobiographical rebuttal to John Wayne's The Green Berets back in the mid 1970's. Stone nursed this film for a decade and his personal association with it shows on screen. What Stone shows the audience is the ideals that numerous young men went to Southeast Asia with and how all of that was flushed down the toilet as these men never knew who the enemy really was. Platoon is a chronicle of how wars with no real purpose never accomplish anything but mindless lunacy.
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