Born on the Fourth of July - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Born on the Fourth of July Reviews

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January 25, 2018
Man, what a heartbreaking movie this is.

We all (should) know by now how wrong the Vietnam War was, but if you're somehow not convinced, give this one a watch. Although movies like 'Apocalypse Now' showcase the horrors of the war and present us with something more philosophical, I think this is the best movie made about Vietnam; at least that I've seen. It's certainly the most personal and heartfelt, and this comes down to a trio of incredible people. Firstly, Tom Cruise's performance in this role was...hard to put into words. I'll be honest - although I've always been a big fan of Cruise, I didn't think he could do something like this. But my word did he bring his A-game to this film, and his performance here is easily up there with 'Magnolia' as one of his best. Secondly, is Oliver Stone. Himself a Vietnam War veteran, you can tell this project held a particular place in his own heart, and its probably the best movie I've ever seen from him. And finally, is Ron Kovic, the veteran of whom this movie is based on and who also co-wrote the screenplay with Stone. His journey is truly heartbreaking and I'd be lying if I said I didn't shed a tear or two throughout. It's technically masterful too, with beautiful cinematography and an amazing score by John Williams; who also does some career-best work. Overall, this is not the kind of movie you can enjoy, and not the kind of movie you're going to feel like popping in every once in a while. It was a devastating experience that left me heartbroken and angry at the same time, but one that I'm sure will stick with me for many years to come.
Super Reviewer
January 10, 2018
One of Cruise's best and bravest performances, the fantastically directed Born on the Fourth of July is a tribute to veterans, America and Ron Kovic, whilst also being a huge compliment and showcase of the talents of Tom Cruise and Oliver Stone. The best of Oliver Stone's war trilogy.
December 23, 2017
Great movie but some real powerful scenes but in all is a great movie but a bit violent.
½ November 15, 2017
The first half of this movie was really great, however the second half kind of turned into a bunch of hippie nonsense that was mishandled. The movie is still pretty good overall, but it didn't really sell its point of view as well as it thought that it did. Still, the direction and acting is quite good, and I loved the cinematography.
October 16, 2017
Great filmmaking, storytelling, and acting abound in this film of Ron Kovic's life story. It begins in placid suburban 50s New York when the teenaged Kovic enlisted in the Marines out of blind patriotism, proceeds to Vietnam where his dreams of war glory become village massacres and friendly-fire accidents. Next up is his gruelling rehabilitation when a bullet paralyzes him from the chest down. Then he goes back to his small town to find it much different under his maturing gaze. He rethinks the war and gets involved in politics, desperately protesting what he has concluded is a wrong-headed war and a political leadership that is corrupt to the core. This film is full of moving imagery, dense characterization, and a riveting story about different definitions of patriotism and myriad ways to "serve your country." I loved the way it showed Kovic go from a conventional flag-waving patriot to a protest marcher while showing that in each one of these opposing registers he was in fact just as patriotic as in the other. It really makes you look hard at the sort of dialectic of patriotism where flag-waving and flag-burning both represent a kind of heart-feeling that is equivalent. Great John Williams score too.
September 27, 2017
Great message, performances and criticism
August 26, 2017
Amazing movie about a Vietnam veterans life and has an unforgettable performance by Tom Cruise giving him an oscar nomination! It's very well directed by Oliver Stone who won an oscar for best director. This movie really shows what war does to people and is a moving story!
August 25, 2017
Very good movie. A classic Oliver Stone film. Tom Cruise was phenomenal. The supporting acting was a bit dry and the movie was a half hour longer than it should've been, but it was a great film.
½ August 13, 2017
Story about a Vietnam veteran who returns from the war a cripple. I absolutely hate this film. The start of Oliver Stone's career suicide. Just awful moviemaking.
½ May 7, 2017
I'd have to watch it again to give a better review
March 5, 2017
A film that will definitely leave you thinking, but not worth a second visit. This Oliver Stone film does not rank among his best. Though it poses some interesting questions about war, this one overstays its welcome. Tom Cruise gives a great performance but I hated his character
½ December 21, 2016
The emotionally charged autobiography of war hero turned anti-war activist Ron Kovic. Tom Cruise turns in a wonderful performance as Kovic in this gripping tale of the evils of war on the mind and psyche of an individual, the innocent casualties that come with war, and the despair that war veterans face when they come home from an unpopular war. Like Johnny Got His Gun has done for literature (which a copy is brilliantly and strategically displayed on-screen in this movie), Born on the Fourth of July has done with film; that is, take a happy-go-lucky young lad who feels destined to fight for his country, show naīve patriotism, and turn him and his world upside down by showing the unnecessary reasons for war, the disgusting treatment of soldiers in its aftermath, and the political corruptions that coincide with war. As for any downsides, there was a strange seemingly Disney-like musical riff that played throughout the movie, and it very often did not fit the accompanying, darker-toned scenes.
½ October 8, 2016
Great film could of gone on a bit longer at the end. Felt a bit rushed would defo watch again though.
½ September 19, 2016
Born on the Fourth of July is a truly epic tale of the devastating effects that the Vietnam War has on a young man. This is the tour-de-force performance that most people will point to in order to make it clear that Tom Cruise is more than just a dumb action star. The way that he portrays the highs and lows of this poor man's life is shockingly realistic. I also think the makeup and hair team did a stellar job at aging him appropriately, without making it obvious I was looking at a 26-year-old with a wig on. The story is a very tough one to watch and every time my mind would wander back to that young boy from the beginning, while he was in a horrible hospital being treated for war wounds or he felt completely unlovable, I started to tear up. The journey that the character takes is a harsh one to watch because you slowly see the war, and the physical/emotional wounds he acquired from it, gradually take away every ounce of his former self. It starts by taking away his physical abilities, then it takes away his family and friends, eventually it takes away any hope he had for love, and finally his entire belief system is torn down. Since it's based on the biography of a real man, you can feel the authentic emotion in that journey. It's not a perfect film, there are certain beats that are skipped over too quickly, and there are some that are dragged out longer than necessary or repeated more than necessary. While I would find it difficult to ever watch Born on the Fourth of July again, I applaud the quality of the film-making and the astounding performance from Tom Cruise.
September 10, 2016
Good acting, good story.
August 24, 2016
This was a really hard film to watch! I couldn't even imagine what it would have been like to be in this poor guys shoes! One of Oliver Stones best movies!
July 31, 2016
Con tres aņos de diferencia de Peloton tiene el mismo tono dramatico y de reflexion sobre la Guerra de Vietnam. Se aprecia sobre todo por un Tom Cruise contenido y maduro.
July 27, 2016
Not a fan of Tom Cruise coming into this movie, but I thought he did an okay job in this one. I guess if there is one thing I realized while watching this movie, is how shitty people treated soldiers coming home from Vietnam. In some ways, we still do.
July 24, 2016
How did Tom Cruise get the nomination and not win. Best anti-war movie ever.
½ July 19, 2016
"Born on the Fourth of July" is not the only anti-war film out there, but it's easily the hardest to watch.
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