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1986 Vietnam War film written and directed by Oliver Stone

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Realistic, Yet Hopeless War Story.

  • Sep 14, 2006
Based upon director and writer Oliver Stone's own experiences in Vietnam, PLATOON was the first major motion picture about that war directed by a veteran from that conflict. The movie revolves around a young American soldier, Pvt. Chris Taylor (a young Charlie Sheen) and the platoon he lives and fights with during his tour of duty. The battle sequences are very gritty, graphic, and realistic. Taylor serves under the direct leadership of Sgt. Elias Grodin (Willem Dafoe), but both men are under the command of Staff Sgt. Bob Barnes (Tom Berenger). Grodin and Barnes have two completely different views of leadership and opposing worldviews. Grodin represents everything that is good and noble and worth fighting for in the conflict, while Barnes represents all the evil and ugliness of the war. At its core then, PLATOON is a movie about the internal war for one soldier's soul between good and evil. Though Stone based the film upon his own experiences, there are scenes that have been embellished and the view Stone presents is only one view of the war--see the film WE WERE SOLDIERS for the opposite view as presented by Stone in PLATOON.

Despite the negative outlook upon life, the military, and the Vietnam War, PLATOON is probably Oliver Stone's best movie to date. Stone's direction of the film is brilliant from the two-week boot camp the actors endured before principal filming, to the fine details such as the color of the wrapping paper on the cigarettes, to filming in sequence, to recognizing the talent of Johnny Depp, Stone illustrated in PLATOON was that he was a great director and one to be reckoned with. The film contains fine performances: Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen, Forest Whitaker, Francesco Quinn, John C. McGinley, and Johnny Depp all give powerful portrayals that ground the movie in humanity, despite the deep metaphysical connotations. PLATOON won the 1986 Oscar for Best Picture, Stone won the Best Director Oscar, and also received a nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

I was surprised and found that I enjoyed PLATOON, though there were several parts of the film that I found myself aghast. I've never been in battle myself, but I do know that war is hell. Nevertheless, I cannot bring myself to agree with the film's negative worldview and ultimately the loss of one's soul to evil. Despite this, there are many positive things within the movie. This is a movie that any film buff should see and people who enjoy war movies might enjoy it as well (though they might prefer something more hopeful such as SAVING PRIVATE RYAN or WE WERE SOLDIERS).

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More Platoon reviews
review by . February 22, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
***1/2 out of ****     Oliver Stone's "Platoon" is a real multi-tasker; it is both a war film and an anti-war film. There are many war films out there, many of them historical for many different reasons, as well as many of them forgettable. "Platoon" is one of the great ones; a film that does not want to promote warfare, but rather wants to show how ugly and brutal it can get. I know that some criticize the film for its violence and depiction of war, although we all have to face …
review by . May 14, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Twenty years later, after PLATOON was released in 1986 and brought some of the horrors of the Vietnam experience to the public's media-jaundiced eye, at last the film can be seen and discussed critically. 'At last', in this viewer's vocabulary, includes the fact that more time for healing from actually being in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969 has passed, making the response to Oliver Stone's film more rational. Now the film is a film, not a nightmare memory inducer, and that fact in no way diminishes the …
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Platoon is a Vietnam war based film released on December 19, 1986 and produced by Orion Pictures.  The film was directed and written by Oliver Stone. Platoon was produced by Arnold Kopelson, and starred Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe.

Platoon is about a young recruit in Vietnamwho faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war.  After its release the film received 9 nominations, and celebrated 18 wins and 4 Academy Awards in 1987 for BestDirector, Best Film Editing, Best Picture, and Best Sound.

The film was shot in Luzon, Philippinesin 1986. It was given an MPAA rating of Rand runs 120  minutes.

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