This is a difficult movie to watch. There are disturbing scenes. I won't go into the plot because this is a review rather than a summary. What it made me think about was natural justice; the idea that a person, simply by being a person, irrespective of their nationality or religion or other circumstances, has certain inherent rights - including the right not to be brutally treated by another human being. The irony of the movie is that America, a country that has natural justice as the heart of its culture (the concept leads to democracy, the inherent right to choose who governs you - part of the whole right to life, liberty and happiness deal), in this movie is seen sending soldiers to a country, in this case Vietnam, as part of espousing that the western democratic way, natural justice, is better than communism but, in doing so, uses poorly educated soldiers and fails to control them so that they are allowed to betray the idea that they are meant to be fighting for and behave in a way totally contrary to the way that natural justice says people should act. The movie more or less asks the question, if we're going to behave in that way, and turn a blind eye when it happens, then what's the point? If we behave like that, do we have any right to call ourselves civilized and tell other countries that they should respect our morality and culture? It asks wouldn't it just be better if we stayed at home and sorted ourselves out before going around and telling other countries how to behave?
Disturbing stuff; a provocative morality play rather than a date movie.