MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 43 this week

Platoon (1986)

 -  Drama | War  -  6 February 1987 (USA)
8.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.2/10 from 226,642 users  
Reviews: 482 user | 109 critic

A young recruit in Vietnam faces a moral crisis when confronted with the horrors of war and the duality of man.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb: What to Watch - Guardians of the Galaxy

In the latest episode of IMDb: What to Watch, Keith Simanton talks with director James Gunn and actors Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel about their movie Guardians of the Galaxy.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 26 titles
created 01 Jul 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 30 Aug 2011
 
a list of 42 titles
created 22 Jan 2012
 
a list of 25 titles
created 28 Mar 2012
 
a list of 41 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Platoon" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Platoon (1986)

Platoon (1986) on IMDb 8.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Platoon.

User Polls

Top 250 #166 | Won 4 Oscars. Another 22 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | War | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A very realistic interpretation of one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.

Director: John Irvin
Stars: Anthony Barrile, Michael Boatman, Don Cheadle
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Terrence Malick's adaptation of James Jones' autobiographical 1962 novel, focusing on the conflict at Guadalcanal during the second World War.

Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn, Nick Nolte
Ran (1985)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An elderly lord abdicates to his three sons, and the two corrupt ones turn against him.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu
Action | Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A US Army Major is assigned a dozen convicted murderers to train and lead them into a mass assassination mission of German officers in World War II.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson
Memphis Belle (1990)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

It's May 1943 at a US Army Air Corps base in England. The four officers and six enlisted men of the Memphis Belle - a B-17 bomber so nicknamed for the girlfriend of its stern and stoic ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Caton-Jones
Stars: Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz, Tate Donovan
The Patriot (2000)
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son.

Director: Roland Emmerich
Stars: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of a sergeant and the inner core members of his unit as they try to serve in and survive World War II.

Director: Samuel Fuller
Stars: Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine
U-571 (2000)
Action | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A German submarine is boarded by disguised American submariners trying to capture their Enigma cipher machine.

Director: Jonathan Mostow
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A hard-as-nails general takes over a bomber unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill
Days of Glory (2006)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

During WWII, four North African men enlist in the French army to liberate that country from Nazi oppression, and to fight French discrimination.

Director: Rachid Bouchareb
Stars: Samy Naceri, Roschdy Zem, Sami Bouajila
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Taking place towards the end of WWII, 500 American Soldiers have been entrapped in a camp for 3 years. Beginning to give up hope they will ever be rescued, a group of Rangers goes on a dangerous mission to try and save them.

Director: John Dahl
Stars: Benjamin Bratt, Joseph Fiennes, James Franco
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

During World War II, several oddly assorted military experts are teamed in a mission to raid and destroy a bridge vital to enemy strategy.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Harrison Ford, Robert Shaw, Edward Fox
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Reggie Johnson ...
...
Corey Glover ...
...
Chris Pedersen ...
Bob Orwig ...
Corkey Ford ...
David Neidorf ...
Tex
...
...
Edit

Storyline

Chris Taylor is a young, naive American who gives up college and volunteers for combat in Vietnam. Upon arrival, he quickly discovers that his presence is quite nonessential, and is considered insignificant to the other soldiers, as he has not fought for as long as the rest of them and felt the effects of combat. Chris has two non-commissioned officers, the ill-tempered and indestructible Staff Sergeant Robert Barnes and the more pleasant and cooperative Sergeant Elias Grodin. A line is drawn between the two NCOs and a number of men in the platoon when an illegal killing occurs during a village raid. As the war continues, Chris himself draws towards psychological meltdown. And as he struggles for survival, he soon realizes he is fighting two battles, the conflict with the enemy and the conflict between the men within his platoon. Written by Jeremy Thomson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

vietnam | combat | soldier | battle | jungle | See more »

Taglines:

The first casualty of war is innocence.

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 February 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Platoon  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$137,963,328 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Dolby Stereo)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Banned in Vietnam because of its depiction of the Vietnamese. See more »

Goofs

When the platoon finds the bunker complex, the Lieutenant sends Taylor and Washington out to guard the flank. Washington has a pack of Marlboros stuck in his helmet. Once he reaches his position, it is a pack of Kools in his helmet. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pvt. Gardner: [seeing body bags] Oh, man. Is that what I think it is?
Sergeant: All right, you cheese-dicks, welcome to the Nam. Follow me!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Burly Man Chronicles (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

OKIE FROM MUSKOGEE
Composed and Performed by Merle Haggard
Published by Tree Publishing Co., Inc.
Courtesy of Capitol Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
within Vietnam and beyond
8 May 2004 | by (Silicon Valley, CA) – See all my reviews

Platoon is generally regarded as one of the strongest anti-war films of all time. While this is certainly true, what's often overlooked -- at least after only one run through the film -- is that it's chiefly a tale of God vs. Satan, and the war is there to set a perilous backdrop. No doubt, Platoon shows the Vietnam War was a big mistake, but being a fictional documentary on Vietnam is far from its purpose.

The story is told from the point of view of Chris Taylor (solidly played by Charlie Sheen), a middle class kid who goes to Vietnam to do what he thinks is his patriotic duty. In the first ten minutes, Chris is shown in the uncomfortable jungle, struggling just to survive in the natural environment, let alone do any actual damage to the enemy. Quickly we're introduced to the well-known facets of the Vietnam War: The lack of sense of purpose, the wraith-like enemies, the obvious prevalence of the uneducated and poor among the fighting grunts -- and, soon, we see how these factors combine to cause widespread low morale and some actions of more than questionable ethical value.

Chris sees his platoon fragmented into two halves, each aligned with one of two men -- Sgt. Elias (Willem Dafoe) and Sgt. Barnes (Tom Berenger). These two really are the driving force behind the film. They both have nominally the same enemy (the Viet Cong), but, really, it doesn't take long to realize that Elias is Good, and Barnes is Evil (the "enemy" does not enter into the moral equation of this film, at all -- it's an outside threat, same as malaria-carrying mosquitoes or even friendly fire). I won't deny it is a very black-vesus-white relationship, but this polarity does not feel contrived. Elias feels the futility of the war and has respect for life; Barnes fights the war doggedly and has no compassion, period. Both are efficient soldiers fighting the same enemy, but really -- as is at one point aptly put by Chris Taylor himself -- they are fighting for the souls of the platoon members, as the outcome of the war is never really in doubt.

Elias/Barnes' hold on the platoon, and the viewer, is developed through several war sequences. A chilling scene takes place in a village, where our soldiers find no VC, but they do find a cache of VC weapons. The inhumanity of certain soldiers, including of Sgt. Barnes, is unflinchingly shown here. It leaves the viewer with an empty feeling that is hard to shake, reminding of the similarly empty look on a woman's face after she sees her son killed in front her.

Elias doesn't take kindly to this kind of behavior. Elias and Barnes come closer and closer to open conflict, as Taylor becomes a veteran, obviously siding with Elias. Meanwhile, the fate of the platoon comes closer and closer to them, culminating in an explosively shot action conclusion. The end is dark, but morally satisfying.

Don't watch this movie for the action. That's not to say it's not well shot, or unrealistic. On the contrary. It's quite convincing. But it doesn't show war as a fun sport, and it's never a question of good guys versus bad guys. There will be no cheering for the "good guys" or anyone else in this one. Stone succeeds brilliantly at putting the viewer into the middle of it all, and it's not a pretty sigh (and definitely not for the squeamish, either).

On the other hand, if you want great acting, it's here. Dafoe and Berenger do incredibly well, with the incredibly good (and seemingly authentically sounding) script. Barnes is horrific as he challenges three men to kill him, drinking hard liquor out of the bottle. They don't make a move, and neither will you, though you'll hate him just as much as them. Dafoe is a ray of light in the dark as Elias. The cast is rounded out with many characters, all well played, and adding another dimension to the film.

The technical aspects of the film are superb, though one never thinks about them much, as the movie is completely engrossing. The production values seem quite good, as well. The most stunning peripheral aspect of this film, however, is the music. It's emotional and draining, and used to great effect -- listen for the main theme as you watch the village burn.

Watch this one a few times, and you'll likely be quite moved each time. I'll be surprised if you give it less than what I gave it: 9/10


155 of 191 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Did Barnes kill Manny in some sick plot to harden his men? julielambert99
Did this film exaggerate how poorly GI's handled themselves? This_is_an_outrage
Horribly Overracted joet1999
About 'Junior' pj_palencia2000
Why all the hate for Barnes... MikeyEvan
How authentic would you say 'Platoon' is? PatGoD67
Discuss Platoon (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page