Platoon Review

A new recruit arrives in Vietnam to find himself not only caught in a brutal and confusing war but also between two experienced, but very different sergeants...

by Kim Newman |
Published on
Release Date:

24 Apr 1987

Running Time:

120 minutes



Original Title:


Half a decade on Oliver Stone's autobiographical offering impresses less than the more surreal, less accurate Vietnam pictures like Apocolypse Now and Full Metal Jacket, but it's style and brutality still make it a seriously affecting movie. Fresh-faces Charlie Sheen turns up in the hell of war to find himself torn between the respective brands of supersoldiery displayed by scar-faced sadist Tom Berenger and doomed saint Willem Dafoe.

A touch too heavy on the Faust scenario, this is nevertheless a typically powerful effort from Stone especially strong on the nightmarish aspects of the war, as when a simple misundertsanding instantly becomes a massacre. Look out for Forest Whitaker, Johnny Depp and Kevin Dillon among the later-famous causalties.

Oliver Stone's war classic is overlooked sometimes because of it's brutal but long-winded potrayal of the duality of man. This however remains gripping stuff.
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