8.1/10
320,999
526 user 123 critic

Platoon (1986)

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

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
677 ( 197)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Top Rated Movies #188 | Won 4 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam War impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.

Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio
Unforgiven (1992)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman
Rocky (1976)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer, gets a supremely rare chance to fight heavy-weight champion Apollo Creed in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.

Director: John G. Avildsen
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin
Raging Bull (1980)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An emotionally self-destructive boxer's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci
Jaws (1975)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A local sheriff, a marine biologist and an old seafarer team up to hunt down a great white shark wrecking havoc in a beach resort.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss
Casino (1995)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A tale of greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a casino executive, compete against each other over a gambling empire, and over a fast living and fast loving socialite.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci
Scarface (1983)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In Miami in 1980, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer
Taxi Driver (1976)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action, while attempting to liberate a twelve-year-old prostitute.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A seemingly indestructible humanoid cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Chris Pedersen ...
...
Corkey Ford ...
Manny
...
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

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:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$241,080, 21 December 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$138,530,565
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(CFI)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is "Dedicated to the men who fought and died in the Vietnam War". See more »

Goofs

When we see Chris and the other new soldiers arriving in Vietnam during the opening sequence of the film they jump to the ground from the rear end of an Air Force C-130 - the rear ramp they would have walked down is missing. The ramp which doubles as the rear cargo door is either closed during long distance flights or partially open flying 'in country' with a rear gunner positioned out on the ramp tethered inside of the plane. 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 De slimste mens ter wereld: Episode #7.19 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

TRACKS OF MY TEARS
Composed by Smokey Robinson (as William Robinson), Marvin Tarplin and Warren Moore
Performed by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles
Published by Jobete Music Co., Inc.
Courtesy of Motown Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Not just surface Violence (see book Tropic Thunder, Red Lightning)
17 July 2002 | by See all my reviews

I may be over analyzing the film. It certainly appears at first glance that other than the deer appearing after the battle, and the talk of soul in Chris's/Charlie Sheen's final narration there is very little symbolism in the film… basically every thing is what it is.

However, I believe that even if Mr. Stone didn't intend it, the fact that Chris picks up an AK-47 to kill SSGT Barnes is important. There are weapons (and bodies) all over the battlefield but he picks up the AK-47. It must be noted that the Armalite Rifle or M-16 as it became known had become the weapon of the ARVN forces and the US troops (and is still the primary issue for US forces today.) This weapon then, represents the `establishment' or the status quo power. The silhouette of an AK-47 on the other hand, had come to represent revolution the whole world over. Chris's use of the AK-47 was not to hide the fact that Barnes was killed by an M-16, as Bergerud's book points out, ‘friendly fire' casualties were a fact of life in Vietnam.

When I combine the integrated `potheads' dancing to ‘tracks of my tears,' I wonder if the tears are related to the civil rights struggle back home. Taylor's `I volunteered' speech when he gives his reasons that it shouldn't just be black kids and poor kids doing the ‘s**t jobs' also add to my belief that the AK-47 is relevant as a taking up the opposition to fight the establishment. Barnes also represented the `lifer' or career military and from there one can extrapolate that to include the Pentagon establishment who tenaciously clung to the belief in some kind of victory in spite of evidence that the population rejected the Saigon government could be had. By killing Barnes, it seems Oliver Stone might shed a different light on the comments Chris Taylor/Charlie Sheen makes at after the rampage at the village and the divisiveness it brought the platoon: `…I can't believe we're fighting each other when we should be fighting them!' In this view the ‘Them' could be the establishment that created a world in which a Vietnam could take place. His platitudes at the end don't dissuade me from seeing Chris Taylor (as Oliver Stone) having undergone a personal sea change. `We didn't fight the enemy we fought ourselves…'

Stone could very well express these sentiments, `The war is over for me now… but it will always be there the rest of my days… as I am sure Elias will be fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called the possession of my soul... Those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again and try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and meaning to this life.' `…To teach others what we know…'

This obligation statement is almost a verbatim reprise of the defeated Japanese soldiers in the movie `The Burmese Harp' (1956.) They say the same thing about a duty to go home and rebuild after the war, though there isn't a statement accepting or even acknowledging any wrongdoing. Thirty years separate these films. I would not exactly say they claim ‘war is senseless,' though they both overwhelm the viewer with the senseless waste of lives caused by war.

Other points of note: when we see the APC (armored personnel carrier) roll up behind the patrol looking for survivors after the battle, there is a Nazi flag on the top of it (it is very close to the top of the screen and hard to make out, and is not the typical hakenkruz on the white circle in a red field, but the one that was meant to express a ‘pan-Aryanism' with the Scandinavian people by having a red field with a black cross outlined by a white cross and the swastika in the crux.) Is Stone implying a fascist nature to this war?

Secondly, we briefly see the men who are the despicable `ear collectors' I had read about in a 1981 book called `Nam.' They would string the ears on their dog-tag necklace as a show of bravado of how many ‘confirmed kills' they had. (Though there are some interesting perspectives brought out by ‘Nam' much of that book reads like war crimes…)

The shot of the lynched soldier was a strange inclusion, considering the Blacks marching against the war at home carrying a banner that stated, `The VC never called me a nigger'. I wondered why Stone did that. Furthermore, except for a glimpse at a suspected VC in the tunnel shot by Elias, we never actually see a VC in the film. The person shot by Elias is not attacking. We see their tunnels, the arms caches, their posts, campsites and bunkers. It's always only hints of them. The only Vietnamese we see attacking are NVA regulars. Is this saying Stone does not blame the popular Front forces for attacks on US troops?

`Gook' is also used through out the film, as it was in Vietnam. This word entered the GI lexicon through the Korean War. ‘Han Gook' is Korean for Korea/Korean. The Korean's would see the American's and say `Mi Gook' which is Korean for America/American. The GI's thought the Koreans were saying they were ‘gooks' Me Gook. The carrying of the word from Korea to Vietnam shows the tendency of latent dehumanizing racism ‘they all look alike'…

Speaking of Human, David Lynch, the director of The Elephant Man (1980) was furious that Stone used Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings since he had used it in his film and hoped when people heard it they would reflect on it. He must have sensed that people are now more likely to associate Adagio with the ‘Elias crucified' scene. However, there is another connection to the Elephant Man. Think of Taylor stopping the gang rape. The GI's respond, `she's an animal!' to which Chris shouts back, `She's a HUMAN BEING, man… a human being! This is an echo of John Hurt's line in Elephant Man, `I am not an animal! I am a human being! I...am...a man!'

There are a few more interesting points worth comment, but I will close by mentioning the suicide attack. Stone himself was the actor playing the Battalion Commander in the bunker that suffered the suicide attack. It is interesting that In response to the suicide attack, Captain Harris, the Company Commander calls in an air strike right on his own position. In other words it is as though he answered the suicide attack with a suicide attack. This seems analogous to the continuing inflow of US troops to Vietnam as a suicide. I will leave it off here in hope that someone else discusses the intentional inflicting of wounds on oneself as a means to be sent home.


16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 526 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Steven Spielberg's Most Mind-Blowing Easter Eggs

"The IMDb Show" takes a look at the new trailer for Ready Player One and breaks down director Steven Spielberg's five greatest Easter eggs of all time. Plus, we connect the dots between IMDb's Top 10 Stars of 2017.

Watch now