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on 14 July 2000
Platoon is a superlative masterpiece, written and directed by Oliver Stone. From its striking visuals to its perfectly chosen score, you will find it hard to take your eyes away from the screen untill the last frame. With majestic performences from Charlie Sheen, William Dafoe and Tom Berenger, it ranks as one of the most powerful and brutally realistic films ever made. The battle sequences are exquisitly choreographed, but to me, it was the narration from Charlie Sheen, combined with the use of 'Adagio For Strings' by Samuel Barber that captured the unique atmosphere of Vietnam. A line of note - "The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days. As I'm sure Elias will be, fighting with Barnes for what Roch called, posession of my soul. There are times since, that I've felt like the child, born of those two fathers." Buy this film. You will not be dissappointed.
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the film remains one of the best 'Vietnam' movies ever.
'Oliver Stone' is one of the most accomplished director's with movies
like 'J.F.K' 'WALL STREET' 'ALEXANDER' along with 'PLATOON' and
many other notable movies under his belt.
the movie follows a small platoon of U.S soldiers fighting to stay alive
in the theatre of war that was 'Vietnam'
fighting any enemy that are relentless and often seemingly invisible.
tensions build up within the ranks as those in charge do not agree with
each others tactics or methods.
a brutal account of the realities of the war that could not be won.
great cast......maybe not the best transfer to Blu-ray, however sharper
than the DVD version.
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This is probably one of the best Vietnam movies out there. It has a moving soundtrack, great cinematography and you find yourself engrossed and involved when watching the development of one naive recruit as he becomes hardened by the war and his experiences. You also see him profoundly changed in his outlook, that you too will share, as the film closes. A brilliant film, that should be watched by all.

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on 25 June 2010
Speaking as a (very) old soldier, I have switched off more war films in exasperation than I care to remember. This however is the best. I ought to qualify that as I know little about tank warfare in the steppes of central Russia but when it comes to jungle warfare then this is the most realistic film you will ever see - long periods of boredom interspersed with short periods of absolute terror and mayhem. Forget about stereotypical rubbish like Full Metal Jacket - this is the real thing.
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on 3 September 2001
Platoon has become a Vietnam War classic film. With a tramendus cast and a successful director like Oliver Stone, the film deals with the cruelty of the war, exploring at the same time the difficulties at the relationships between the sholdiers. All these with a fantastic music score and a fabulus photography make this film one of the best of its kind. An absolute buy for the collector and not only.
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on 25 September 2007
Probably the best Vietnam war film ever made. Oliver Stone directed the film and i believe he actually served in Vietnam originally.

The cast is excellent, including Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger and Willem Defoe which adds quality to the film.

I enjoyed the fact that Stone didn't glorify the war and highlighted the more seedy side of American soldiering with drugs and the sheer stress of fighting in hellish conditions, thousands of miles from home.

Great action scenes. Really recommend this one.
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on 14 June 2009
I think this film is the most accurate portrayal of a platoon's experience in Vietnam around. There's not some Hollywood star with the rank of a colonel leading a platoon as I've seen in some films - just an inexperienced (2nd) lieutenant undermined by a more experienced NCO (Staff Sgt Barnes, played by Tom Berenger). Even the little details are there - such as Sgt Elias (played by Willem Dafoe) wearing a Cav patch on his right sleeve and making references to Ia Drang (I've obviously watched this too many times).

I'm not sure if all the events portrayed happened to Oliver Stone as there are similar events in the book "Nam" by Mark Baker and the famous death scene on the cover is very similar to one in the book "Platoon Leader" by James R. McDonough, both of which pre-date this film.

The film is an achievement and it's worth getting a version with the extras. The commentaries are interesting, especially Dale Dye's, who was the military adviser on the film and also fought in the Marines in Vietnam - and is featured briefly in the book "Dispatches" by Michael Herr.

The best extra is the "making of" called "Return to the Inferno" (I think) which features a lot of the cast, Oliver Stone and Dale Dye describing the experience of making the film. Highly recommended - when is it out on blu-ray?
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on 28 June 2007
Platoon is also the best of all Vietnam films; loosely based on Stone's own experience in the war-torn jungles. In Platoon, the phrase "war is hell" takes on new meaning; the frenetic, chaotic battle rages everywhere in Platoon: within Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen; the main character), between the soldiers in the platoon (most notably father-figure Sergeants Elias-Willem Dafoe- and Barnes-Tom Berenger-; who seem to be warring for control of Chris' untainted soul), and of course between the Americans and the Vietnamese (who are rarely shown; a wise choice on Stone's part). Directing from all points of view possible (the soldier's points anyway), and filming each battle in a frenzy hazy way, where we are no longer sure who is fighting who, Stone captures the sense of messy chaos that war (or at least the Vietnam, proclaimed by many) is. Also known for the hit single ' Tracks of My Tears'
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 September 2006
I have watched Platoon more than any other war movie. So much so that I've had to give it a rest over the last few years.

Why is it so good?

Perhaps because it is the most realistic (certainly Vietnam) war movie ever made. Its based on Oliver Stones own experiences in Vietnam. Now I doubt whether there were actually two so clearly good and bad characters, as represented by Willem Dafoe and Tom Beringer in the film, but it is the spark between these two that creates much of the films atmosphere.

There are quite a few scenes in this film, such as when the Charlie Sheen character wakes up in the middle of the night (in the jungle), that are wonderfully done. You really get an idea of just how scary being a soldier might be.

I'm also sure that the film would not not have been as successful as it was, without its marvellous soundtrack. Most noteably Samuel Barbers 'Adagio for Strings'. This piece of music alone adds an extra dimension to the scenes it is used in. A very haunting and sad piece of music.

The ending of the film is perhaps the only weak point, but it is a minor quibble about a very powerful and moving film.
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on 31 October 2012
Platoon defined my eighties as much as Aliens did. It was arguably the first real film about the "police action" in Vietnam. It still is. The Green Berets was a repulsively sachrrine propaganda film. Apocalypse Now was Hearts of Darkness is an Asian setting. Full metal Jacket had an excellent first half, but the second half in-country was awful. The less said about Hamburger hill or the awful, awful Casualties of War, the better.

Platoon succeeds where others fail, because it feels so authentic. Stone is writing and directing what he experienced, and it shows. Checkout the extras to find out what the cast was put through to get performances Stone was happy with.

Chris, a volunteer turns up in 'Nam with the other FNGs. (The N stands for new, the G for Guy). One of the first things he sees is a row of body bags setup to occupy the plane he's leaving. One thousand yard stare later, and we're in the jungle with elements of Bravo company.

After a rude awakening, Chris' idealism has been replaced by a far less pleasant reality. Few experienced soldiers even want to know his name. They view him as they would any FNG. A risk. Someone who might get you killed.

His platoon, nominally run by a Leiutenant is split into two camps, personified by the Sergeants, Barnes and Elias. Barnes is utterly ruthless, vindictive and unbalanced. A frighteningly scarred figure who has been shot numerous times, and lived. Someone who believes the war is winnable if they were given authority to do "what was necessary".

The gaunt Elias has been in Vietnam at least as long as Barnes, and has come to the opposite conclusion. While Barnes may have lost his humanity voluntarily, Elias holds onto his. And he and Barnes hate each other with a passion.

The supporting cast is great. Keith David and Francesco Quinn particular standouts. You may also recognise a very young Johnny Depp and John C McGinley in his pre-Scrubs days.

An absolute must-see.
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