Critic Reviews

75

Metascore

Based on 16 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Nothing Cruise has done will prepare you for what he does in Born on the Fourth of July. His performance is so good that the movie lives through it. Stone is able to make his statement with Cruise's face and voice and doesn't need to put everything into the dialogue.
100
But Stone has found in Cruise the ideal actor to anchor the movie with simplicity and strength. Together they do more than show what happened to Kovic. Their fervent, consistently gripping film shows why it still urgently matters.
100
San Francisco Chronicle
Stone's feisty, intensely personal style of film making is well-known. With Born on the Fourth of July we are treated to a poignant, spirited and captivating - for the broken heartedness of it all - performance by Tom Cruise. [25 Dec 1989, p.E1]
100
Boston Globe
Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July is a knockout, a huge angry howl of movie that uses a crippled Vietnam veteran's disability as metaphor for a country's paralysis. [5 Jan 1990, p.67]
100
Some will find it overly long, but with such a pivotal performance by Cruise and a veritable platoon of Hollywood elite supporting, who can begrudge a bit more screen time?
75
The critique of masculinity is far more thoughtful and compelling than the vague ruminations about war. Nonetheless Cruise's impassioned performance as Kovic is an impressive accomplishment.
75
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Never the most subtle of directors Oliver Stone brings a jackhammer brutality to Born on the Fourth that the material no longer needs. [22 Dec 1989, p.C1]
63
USA Today
A fresh-slant Vietnam picture in which lead Tom Cruise achieves indisputable greatness, July is otherwise a "more often than not'' achievement. But though it's as full of itself as Stone's watchably windy Talk Radio, the film's roundhouse punches propel you into remote Mike Tyson-land when they connect. [20 Dec 1989, p.1D]
50
Chicago Tribune
for all its flaws, Born on the Fourth of July provides the final proof that Tom Cruise is the real thing-a movie star with all the natural, unforced ability to connect with an audience that the title implies. [20 Dec 1989, p.1]
40
Wall Street Journal
Born on the Fourth of July would be merely a hilariously inept gathering of Vietnam War movie cliches. Instead it is an unrelenting series of dramatic blows; almost every scene packs violence, sleaze, screamed rage and an ear-splitting music with headbutt force. For someone who despises the military, Mr. Stone is quite bellicose. [21 Dec 1989, p.1]

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