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
Empire
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?
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
It is a film of enormous visceral power with, in the central role, a performance by Tom Cruise that defines everything that is best about the movie.
100
Variety
Oliver Stone again shows America to itself in a way it won't forget. His collaboration with Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic to depict Kovic's odyssey from teenage true believer to wheel-chair-bound soldier in a very different war results in a gripping, devastating and telling film about the Vietnam era.
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]
60
Stone has created a film whose overblown parts add up to far less than the epic whole he had in mind.
60
This is an impassioned movie, made with conviction and evangelical verve. It's also hysterical and overbearing and alienating.
60
Los Angeles Times
Possibly because Stone empathizes so enormously with co-writer Kovic, who came back from Vietnam at the age of 21 paralyzed from the chest down, the director has lost the specificity that made "Platoon" so electrifying. In its place he uses bombast, overkill, bullying. His scenes, and their ironic juxtapositioning, explode like land mines. [20 Dec 1989, p.1]
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]

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