Platoon
Directed by: Oliver Stone.
Written by: Oliver Stone.
Actors: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Forest Whitaker, Francesco Quinn, John C. McGinley, Richard Edson, Kevin Dillon, Reggie Johnson, Keith David, Johnny Depp.
Released: 1986.
MPAA Rating: R.
Length: 120 min.
War.

Brief outline (no spoilers):
The movie is the story of Chris Taylor’s (Sheen) tour of duty in Vietnam. It starts when he is fresh out of basic training and the other soldiers in the unit do no care much about him since he is a rookie. When they get to know that he is a college drop out that has volunteered because he do not think that it was “fair” for the underprivileged to do all the fighting, he gets known as a crusader. Two of the leaders of the platoon Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger), a psychopathic veteran who gets high on combat, and Sergeant Elias (Willem Dafoe) are conflicting characters of good and evil, and this will also cause two fractions in the platoon.

Personal opinions
Platoon is highly inspired by Stone’s own tour of duty in Vietnam, and the main character Taylor is supposedly a portrait of him self.

Good
The fact that Stone has been in Nam gives him an advantage and he manages to give a lot of details on how it is to really be a grunt; the bugs, the heat, the fatigue, the fear. War offers a good deal of nastiness and Stone is not afraid of incorporating that into the film. The movie builds up to a horrific final battle. It is not a recruitment movie that wants to subliminal portrays war as something glorious. All the soldiers want from the moment they get to Nam is to go home alive.

Bad
Some critiques that the story is weak and that there is no plot. But it necessarily is not bad, it just makes it different.

Other
The film won four academy awards: best picture, best sound, best editing and best director for Stone.

Bottom Line
It is one of the heavy hitter war movies.
Rating: 8/10 (where 10 is the best).