MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 902 this week

Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, War  |  5 January 1990 (USA)
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 69,734 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 169 user | 68 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 17 Apr 2011
 
a list of 23 titles
created 17 Dec 2012
 
a list of 45 titles
created 01 Oct 2013
 
a list of 46 titles
created 17 May 2014
 
a list of 24 titles
created 1 week ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Born on the Fourth of July (1989)

Born on the Fourth of July (1989) on IMDb 7.2/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Born on the Fourth of July.

User Polls

Won 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Cocktail (1988)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A talented New York bartender takes a job at a bar in Jamaica and falls in love.

Director: Roger Donaldson
Stars: Tom Cruise, Bryan Brown, Elisabeth Shue
Action | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A young hot-shot stock car driver gets his chance to compete at the top level.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall
The Firm (1993)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young lawyer joins a prestigious law firm only to discover that it has a sinister dark side.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman
JFK (1991)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A New Orleans DA discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon
Nixon (1995)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A biographical story of former U.S. president Richard Milhous Nixon, from his days as a young boy to his eventual presidency which ended in shame.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Joan Allen, Powers Boothe
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Neo military lawyer Kaffee defends Marines accused of murder; they contend they were acting under orders.

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore
Far and Away (1992)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young man leaves Ireland with his landlord's daughter after some trouble with her father, and they dream of owning land at the big give-away in Oklahoma ca. 1893. When they get to the new... See full summary »

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Thomas Gibson
Jerry Maguire (1996)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent with the only athlete who stays with him.

Director: Cameron Crowe
Stars: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Chicago teenager is looking for fun at home while his parents are away, but the situation quickly gets out of hand.

Director: Paul Brickman
Stars: Tom Cruise, Rebecca De Mornay, Joe Pantoliano
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Fast Eddie Felson teaches a cocky but immensely talented protégé the ropes of pool hustling, which in turn inspires him to make an unlikely comeback.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The final movie in Oliver Stone's Vietnam trilogy follows the true story of a Vietnamese village girl who survives a life of suffering and hardship during and after the Vietnam war. As a ... See full summary »

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Hiep Thi Le, Tommy Lee Jones, Haing S. Ngor
Platoon (1986)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Josh Evans ...
Tommy Kovic
Jamie Talisman ...
Jimmy Kovic
Anne Bobby ...
Suzanne Kovic
Samantha Larkin ...
Patty Kovic
...
...
Timmy
...
Steve Boyer
Richard Panebianco ...
Joey Walsh
Rob Camilletti ...
Tommy Finnelli
...
Billy Vorsovich
Michael McTighe ...
Danny Fantozzi
Richard Haus ...
Recruiting Sgt. Bowers
Edit

Storyline

The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of innocence lost and courage found.

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

5 January 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nacido el cuatro de julio  »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$70,001,698 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Second part of Oliver Stone Vietnam-trilogy. The other two are Platoon (1986) and Heaven & Earth (1993). See more »

Goofs

Reflections of camera and operator visible in the shiny black brim of Ron's hat during the second parade. See more »

Quotes

Steve Boyer: You probably think it's just a hamburger. A patty's just a piece of meat, but it can have character. See that doughnut hole? Gets 18 patties to the pound instead of 16. Saves me about $40,000 a year. That's serious money, Ron. I plug the hole with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, spices. I cover it with a pickle. They'll never miss a thing.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Cast credits are sorted by location. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Live fra Bremen: Episode #1.1 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Born on the Bayou
Written by John Fogerty (as John C. Fogerty)
Performed by The Broken Homes
Courtesy of Jondora Music & MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An ambitious film but it doesn't pull it off despite being worth a look for Cruise alone
23 August 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Having had an all-American upbringing in Long Island, Ron Kovic leaves school and decides to sign up for the marines to represent his country in Vietnam and make a difference. Having seen all manner of horrors, Ron is shot and wounded in the field and finds himself in a veterans hospital where he hopes to regain the use of his legs despite the advice of doctors. When he realises he will never walk again, it starts his mental collapse and he becomes increasing disillusioned with the country and he lost his legs for.

There is nothing I dislike more than hearing uninformed people from other countries spouting about Northern Ireland so I'll be very careful about launching into any sort of preaching – I'll leave that to Stone himself. It isn't that I don't want to know more it's just that I have so much to learn about my own culture and history that who has the time for wandering off to learn about America's! Anyway, there is no need for me to get on a soapbox because this film has a darn good go at doing it by itself. The basic plot is fine and very involving, mostly because it is a real person, not just a character but it weakens its impact by playing to the simplistic side of things. For example there is no question about Ron being a clean cut, shy boy, nor is there any complexity about how badly he is treated afterwards. In some regards this is fair enough but at times I wished that Stone had not been so strong in his sense of moral outrage because it doesn't give the subject the balance and subjectivity that it deserves to be presented with.

This alone does not make it a bad film however, and it isn't ever bad – just a touch heavy handed at points but it is very difficult to watch impassively and uninvolved. The film shows Kovic's collapse and gradual disillusionment really well in a way that stands for the mental and/or physical suffering of many vets who must have come back to find that the sacrifice they had made was not even supported by the vocal section of the populace. In a way, focusing on this one man makes for a story that is intimate but also has wider significance but in another way it means the film has to go into very specific areas that don't work so well. In particular I didn't think that Ron's Mexican trip worked that well and some aspects of his life were simply forgotten about (Donna?) and I wondered why they had even bothered to include them at all. Anyway, despite these comments the film still worked for me and it is an impacting story even if Oliver Stone is not the person I would have chosen to tell the story – a very good director but 'non-partisan' is not a term that could ever be laid at his feet and at points this film gets a little sermonising as a result.

A big factor in this film working is a superb performance by Cruise who was still, at this point, a clean cut poster boy and not the one I would have imagined taking this role! In the first of two performances that I believe he should have won an Oscar for (the other being SA for Magnolia), Cruise is very brave and very strong in the lead, convincingly taking us from a patriotic young boy to a injured soldier to a broken man to a man trying to put all the pieces together. Credit to both Cruise and the editor that this is done convincingly and without too many big jumps in character. Outside of Cruise though, nobody is really given a great deal of material to work with and all their characters are pretty two-dimensional and fleeting. If anything the support cast's main impact is to keep bringing well known faces to the screen; these include Barry, Sedgwick, Whaley, Baldwin (times two!), Dale Dye, Berenger, LeGros, Bob Gunton, Vivica Fox, Mike Starr (and brother), Dafoe, Sizemore, Eagle Eye Cherry, Wayne Knight and John C McGinley. Few of these have much to do but it is impressive how many faces there are that have since gone on to become well-known actors in their own right (I personally was surprised to see McGinley's only contribution being pushing a wheelchair or Fox being on screen (topless) for about 3 seconds with only one line) but this actually takes away from the film more than it gives now.

Overall this is an impacting film but not a great one. The story has a few bits that don't really work and aren't delivered very well, while Stone's direction occasionally gets all preachy on us but, although the now all-star cast are not great, Cruise is superb and deals with the difficult role well.

A very ambitious film and not one that manages to get it all right but still a film that is hard to ignore even if the same subject has been done better in other films.


49 of 84 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Democrats esclated the Vietnam War and Republicans ended the war. mymai5500
Any idea what happened to the Dafoe character? housecountrywife
Anyone know if Ron Kovic has ever walked again? cadeis-1
Equipment used in Vietnam scenes -- accuracy question JackSparrow92
Tom Cruise was born today bossdog677
Moon River ally-racey
Discuss Born on the Fourth of July (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?