Platoon (1986)

Platoon (1986)

1986 R 120 Minutes

Drama | War | Action

Chris Taylor, a young, naive recruit in Vietnam, faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

Overall Rating

9 / 10
Verdict: Great

User Review

  • WHAT I LIKED: 'Platoon' is quite simply one of the most harrowing and masterful depictions of war ever put to the big screen, as it almost exclusively devotes its time to painting a maddening picture of Vietnam with real intensity and vivid reality. In fact it's not really much of a narrative film at all this - it just builds a character you care about in the form of Charlie Sheen's foot-soldier Chris, and shows the never-ending war in all maddening detail through his terrified young eyes. You really get a sense of how out of control things are and what it's like on the ground, and that's mainly down to director Oliver Stone who constructs an environment and films it in a way that's completely tangible and all-consuming. Take the scene with the villagers as an example - the menace of Tom Berenger's character and the evil he and his men are so easily driven to is terrifying, and the lack of reason and control is clear. This is the same throughout the film as so much dialogue and camera-work literally serves no other purpose than expertly broadcasting the surrounding environment and the way of life, and when you couple that with such a great set of performances from Willem Dafoe and Berenger - as well as the leading man - what you've got is arguably one of the best depictions of war ever put to the big screen.
    WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: It's certainly no narrative film...
    VERDICT: 'Platoon' is a film that devotes all of its attention to simply painting a picture of the horrors of Vietnam, and in that respect it's an absolutely masterful success. It's an overlooked war-film in many ways, and is undoubtedly one of the best in my eyes.