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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 4 September 2016
War is hell they say, the film certainly seems to agree.

Charlie Sheen stars as our main protagonist a young man who finds himself completely out of his depth in the jungles of Vietnam. His company quickly fragments into two hostile camps as the stress of war begins to take it's tool on the men. The environment they find themselves in is one whether moral thresholds are crossed, there is little accountability and attitudes towards death become casual and uncaring.

Charlie Sheen does a fine job in his role though I'd say that William Defoe steals the show with his performance. The film is brutual in it's realism, limbs are blown off, soliders bleed to death and even the elements conspire against our team with constant rain and mosquitoes at war with them.

The tone is dark and meancing, danger lurks not just outside the group but within, it's the kind of situation where everybody needs someone to watch their back. The film score is made of up tragic harrowing music. If the director does not have sympathy with the war objectives then you can see that he does at least with the men brought in to fight the war. The day and night-time scenes are well lit for a murky jungle and the cast really throw themselves physically into the role.

There's lots of character development for Sheen's character, his a raw idealistic youth confronted with the shock of real combat and savage soldiers out of control. The pacing of the film never lets up and I was surprised this was made for just $6 million, even the non combat scenes are full of conflict. I don't think you can really improve on this film as one of the greatest in the war genera.
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on 23 October 2016
Anti-war movies are odd. They seem to ultimately war look like a heroic, glorious adventure. Not here. We see the Vietnam war from the ground, as Charlie Sheen lands he is greeted by the sight of body bags. His potential fate is served up there and then. The characters we are introduced to seem to be weary from long marches, lost to drugs or trying to distance themselves from the Hell they have been sent to. The enemy are barely seen, they merge in and out of the undergrowth and disappear into village populations. This is one of the best anti war movies made.
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on 3 April 2017
The Vietnam war was monstrous and this amazing film shows it in all its horror. The cast are wonderful and the story line is amazing. Honestly i bought it to start with simply because it had Johnny Depp in. When i started watching though I forgot about Depp because of how good the other members of the cast were and how beautiful the scenery shots are. All i have to say though I hope Willem Dafoe got paid a lot - the poor man or his character that is.
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on 22 May 2017
Good transfer to Blu-Ray for this version. It's not perfect, but given that it was filmed in the 80's it's not too shabby quality-wise, unlike quite a few BR's of older movies that i've purchased recently.

You can still take Charlie Sheen seriously in this movie, it's grown-up stuff & a great war film, But Berenger & Dafoe steal it.
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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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on 30 April 2016
My opinion from personal experience..... this ranks with 'FULL METAL JACKET' in authenticity and content.
Yes, it's an action movie but it's really a bit more than that and deserves to be taken seriously as a statement as
well as a film.
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on 29 July 2017
This movie sits up there with the best anti war films. It shows some of the reasons for failure in war. The lack of discipline and communication, individual ego and fear which left the platoon with nothing holding it together!! A great movie and a great cast.
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on 1 October 2016
good film, lots of young stars that 30 years on are now Big Stars - has johnny depp in, didn't spot him first time round in 1986!!!
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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 16 July 2017
I bought this out of curiosity of the quality of the Blu Ray version.. A bit poor to be honest. But a long time sinced I watched this movie and it still was a joy to watch....
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