Platoon

1986, War/Drama, 2h 0m

122 Reviews 100,000+ Ratings

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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. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen) leaves his university studies to enlist in combat duty in Vietnam in 1967. Once he's on the ground in the middle of battle, his idealism fades. Infighting in his unit between Staff Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger), who believes nearby villagers are harboring Viet Cong soldiers, and Sergeant Elias (Willem Dafoe), who has a more sympathetic view of the locals, ends up pitting the soldiers against each other as well as against the enemy.

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Critic Reviews for Platoon

Audience Reviews for Platoon

  • Aug 15, 2017
    Platoon is so much more than just your average war film. This is actually rather intelligent, both in its plot and technical execution. It's the Vietnam War, we follow a platoon of US soldiers as they attempt to wipe out the enemy. The question that this film raises is: who really is the enemy? You have the conflict of the war itself (America against Vietnam) but within the platoon is a conflict for authority. Split between what is right and what is wrong, the moral implications of this war have taken effect on several soldiers as they question their choices. This was a smart element to include within the plot, it was easier to establish character development and build some tension. The majority of the characters were sufficiently developed and their personalities had charisma. This was mostly down to the great cast. Willem Dafoe was easily the best performance, Tom Berenger was also decent and the heated chemistry between them was well conveyed. Charlie Sheen however, didn't work for me. His acting ability consisted of monotonous dialogue delivery and shouting, perhaps he was overpowered by the rest of the great cast? I don't know, just felt meh. Didn't help that his biggest battle was with nature...we're talking ants, leeches and other insects. Obviously, animals love abit of Sheen. Oliver Stone's direction was solid, very realistic and gritty. The makeup effects were practical, the wounds and blown up limbs looked pretty damn realistic. A standout scene was the raiding of the Vietnamese village. This was the turning point where actually the American side were perceived as the antagonists, clearly communicating with our inner moral compasses. Effective, very effective. This is easily one of the best war films I've seen and winning Best Picture was fully justified.
    Luke A Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2016
    5/04/2018 - With masterful performances and cinematography, Platoon is probably the best Vietnam war movie ever made. An absolute masterpiece.
    Peter B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 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
  • Feb 06, 2014
    Oliver Stone's take on Vietnam is good. It just pales in comparison to earlier films like Apocalypse Now and the Deer Hunter. It makes you wonder why the same Vietnam theme is explored again and again and again from the same angle. This one would have been more highly considered if it were the definitive Vietnam epic.
    John B Super Reviewer

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