8.11 h 59 min1986X-Ray18+
The film probes the psyche of the young soldiers who fought in Vietnam. Their camaraderie, their struggle for survival amid terrifying violence and madness of combat. Dealing with the day-to-day existence of an infantry rifle platoon of thirty guys from all walks of life, Platoon examines the fight between good and evil in the outfit and what it was really like to be a foot soldier in Vietnam.
Oliver Stone
Charlie SheenForest WhitakerJohnny Depp
DramaMilitary and War
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Kevin DillonWillem DafoeTom BerengerKeith DavidFrancesco QuinnJohn C. McGinley
Derek GibsonJohn DalyA. Kitman HoArnold Kopelson
Content advisory
Violencesubstance usesmokingsexual contentnudityfoul languagealcohol use
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4.7 out of 5 stars

5471 global ratings

  1. 83% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 10% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

SkyGunnerReviewed in the United States on February 13, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
Vietnam like it was
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When I saw Platoon the first time I had trouble staying still. It seemed every five minutes, or so something on the screen would remind me of Nam. Finally, the last part of the movie , where they were overrun, I had to leave. My body was re-acting to the night, to the LP getting killed and the words of Vietnamese the North Vietnamese were yelling became too much. I started flashing back, because we had been overrun during TET68. My girlfriend stayed with me and at last got me calmed down( along with the Lorazepam my psychiatrist gave me) and we left.
It wasn't until the third time I watched it that I could sit all the way through, still wasn't easy. When you're overrun, just like the movie, you're filled with( what I called) Bloodlust! You are killing everything that doesn't look like an American. I don't have a lot of memories about it except for snippets of individual actions I was in. It's mass confusion and, like the movie, when the commanding officer expected that his company was losing, he called in what's called " Broken Arrow", which means an American unit is being wiped out and needs all possible assistance and the Air Force responded. The CO called them down right on top of his unit. If you'll check your history, we didn't surrender in Vietnam. We didn't talk about it, it was understood that we would all go down fighting to the last man. We didn't give quarter, nor did we ask for it. We always went to the knife in our fights, you kill me or I'll kill you. In our case, our CO called in artillery on our position to kill the enemy that was killing all of us. There's always survivors of this, where if we just kept fighting, all would die.
Platoon was the closest I'd seen to action like it was. Just as an aside, we were overrun on Hwy 13( Thunder Road) close to Cambodia and that part of the Ho Chi Minh trail. Oliver Stone had been there and he got it right on the fighting.
189 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on June 17, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
like a young Johnny Depp character dying was agonizing and ...
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A brillant movie, timeless in its execution. Most veterans, with whom I've spoke, indicated that Platoon was the closest to how things actually were over there. For the history buff, this would give you a fairly accurate glimpse into the Vietnam war through a cinematic perspective. Speaking of cinema, the intensity and wear on the actor's faces were real as they were put through an extensive boot camp before shooting even started, and most of them were both exhausted and worn out throughout most of the filming. Stone wanted to create a sense of reality and his accomplished his goal in spades. The big scenes that moved the story were robust, touching and in some cases overwhelming. Perhaps, though, the little scenes, like a young Johnny Depp character dying was agonizing and you almost felt you were dying with him. The amazing Forest Whitaker's screams as his character is assaulted by a land mine was sickening. Throughout all of this though, we're reminded again that before sex, drugs and rock and roll, Charlie Sheen was an incredibly talented actor. I felt the ant stings on his neck, the pain in his voice, the hopelessness in his tone and physical demeanor throughout the movie. He knew how to step it up and pull back the ethos during the course of the movie and, I think, had an understanding, perhaps somewhat gained from growing up in a talented cinematic family, of what was going on in a movie at any given time, from the scene to the specifics of his character, even though shooting never occurs linearly. Anyway, sit down, watch this movie. You'll be affected and will come away a better human being for it. Enjoy.
41 people found this helpful
ChrisSherrillReviewed in the United States on September 20, 2019
2.0 out of 5 stars
30 years
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I found the film disturbing when I first watched it years and years ago. It was more disturbing this time. By taking certain isolated incidents of brutality and presenting them as acts committed by one group of soldiers, Stone distorts history. Perhaps that was his goal. When the film was released 30 odd years ago there was a different narrative in this country – it was okay to say that the war was wrong and, therefore, that the service men and women who served deserved whatever guilt was dumped on us. Were there tragic actions during the war? Of course. There are always some bad apples, but we don’t burn down the entire orchard. And this film suggests that it was one-sided. Any interested party should read about what the NVA did to village and town leaders during the Tet offensive. That wasn’t isolated. Atrocities committed by US servicemen were rogue acts committed by individuals. Those committed by VC and NVA were done as a matter of policy. In both cases wrong, but in each case being committed from very different motivations. This movie may accurately depict the chaos of battle, but that is only a side effect.
6 people found this helpful
Dan RicheyReviewed in the United States on October 22, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
4K UHD Picture Quality Lacking
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This isn't a review of the film. The film is imperfect, and hasn't aged perfectly well, but is a bona fide classic with an excellent cast -- if you've seen it, you know how you feel about it. If you haven't, you should. If you're a film collector, it's worth buying at these prices even if you haven't seen it.

This is a review specifically of the 4K Ultra HD HDR streaming version offered on Amazon Prime. It's just not very good. I don't suspect it of being an upconvert or anything - there are definitely instances where the level of detail reflects that it's 4K. However, they are relatively few and far between.

First, the overall film quality is relatively low - soft, grainy, with some instances where the image is a little out of focus. Not surprising for a film from this era and shot on location in gritty fashion like Platoon was. I'm fine with that - I prefer that film look like film, and that it more or less look its age. I'm not one of those people who isn't happy with a 4K presentation if it doesn't look like a demo reel. But if you've seen the UHD Blu Ray release of, say, Apocalypse Now, don't expect anything close to that level of quality here.

It looks like the culprits here are digital noise reduction, overcompression and some video edge enhancement. If you compare this transfer to the previous one from the 25th anniversary Blu Ray (see here:, it's clear this new transfer trades detail and film grain for a less noisy picture. I think Amazon's 4K HDR bitrate is something in the range of 20-23 Mbps, wihch is better than most others', but still not adequate for 4K. This causes a lot of motion smearing -- when there's little to no movement onscreen, it's reasonably detailed, but the second something moves, the detail level crashes.

The HDR grade is OK, but nothing particularly impressive. It looks like it sticks pretty closely to a normal film range, with occasional instances of things like point lights, sunlight highlights and fire putting out a good bit of brightness. Overall, appropriate for what it is.

Between this and a Blu Ray, it's a push. The video is superior, but not by a huge margin. The audio is inferior to the discs' lossless soundtracks. There are no supplements. Fans of the film would probably want this in addition to the 25th anniversary Blu Ray because of that.

Ultimately, at like $7, this is a no-brainer. If it'd been $20+, it would have felt like a bit of a ripoff. It's just too bad there's no 4K disc, as UHD Blu Ray continues to be in a class of its own.
4 people found this helpful
John P. Jones IIIReviewed in the United States on January 9, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
“I can’t even remember when I was 332…”
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The Counterpoint. The realism shines through. I first saw “Platoon” not long after it was released in 1986. The vast majority of Vietnam War movies I thoroughly detest, commencing with “The Deerhunter,” the only movie I have ever rated 0-stars. “Platoon” though is vastly different. And for a good reason. It was the first Hollywood Vietnam war movie that was directed by a veteran of that war. And not just any veteran, who slaps the yellow, red and green tri-color decal on the back of his car. Oliver Stone was 11-Bravo. Infantry. Bizarrely, because he asked to be. For eight months, September 1967 to April 1968 he was with the 25th Infantry Division, based in Tay Ninh province, which is immediately adjacent to a long Cambodian border, including what the press dubbed “the Parrot’s beak.” Stone is also my coeval, with only a month separating our births. There was precisely one year between the commencement of our tours in Vietnam.

Race, religion, sexual orientation, age, and now vaccination status, these are some of the ways we slice and dice humanity into different compartments. In Vietnam, there were yet more categories that defined one’s identity: “RA” and “US.” Those who enlisted and those who were drafted. Charlie Sheen plays Chris Taylor, the semi-autobiographical character who represents Oliver Stone himself. One of the great bits of dialogue from the movie is when a black soldier, obviously a draftee, finds out that Taylor VOLUNTEERED for the infantry: “…what we have here is a crusader…” and when Taylor responds meekly about duty et al. the draftee retorts: “you got to be rich in the first place to think like that.” Another slice and dice was the difference between the “short-timers” and the “FNG’s”, the soldiers who recently arrived, captured by the subject line, which was so true. If one had only 20 days left, it truly was impossible to remember back when one was facing the impossible, seemingly infinite “332.” Another scene that strongly resonated was when one soldier with only a few days left was spared going out on one more patrol and allowed to depart by helicopter for the rear.

Only 5%, maybe 10% at most, of the American soldiers who are authorized to wear that red, green and yellow tricolor experienced what is depicted in this movie. And Stone depicted it brilliantly: it starts with Taylor arriving and seeing the body bags, and then segues into the heat, humidity, insects, snakes, rain, falling asleep on guard duty, carrying too much stuff, FNG screw-ups, worthless lieutenants circumvented, calling in artillery on one’s own position, the “M” on the forehead, written with the soldiers own blood, meaning morphine had been given, and that awful dread, which would sometimes turn into reality, of having one’s position overrun and in the chaos, not knowing who was who.

The essential slice and dice, the very core of this excellent movie that deals with a haunting matter so few others do: the psychopaths and those who tried to retain a shred of human decency. “You just can’t rape her… she is a **** human being.” “What are you, homosexual?” It’s the “332” problem, writ large. It was in all our movies: those (wonderful) French women lining the roads, throwing flowers, as the Americans raced to liberate Paris (and yes, cherie, we had the bubble gum). That was the way it was going to be in Vietnam as we helped the heroic and freedom-loving South Vietnamese… And the reality was, every Vietnamese was the enemy and there were no flowers.

Stone captures that terrible conundrum. Days and days of bugs and humidity, a couple buddies blown up by booby traps, a village with a “rice cache,” but more importantly, actual arms hidden. Only women, children and old men. “Waste it.” For the Vietnamese never to say: “no bic” to a GI, because it is infuriating. After enough rain and mosquitoes, it was understood that ALL the Vietnamese understood English, if you just spoke it loud enough. Tom Berenger does such an excellent job of playing Sergeant Barnes, the psychopath and William Defoe does an equal job playing Sergeant Elias, hardly a bleeding-heart liberal, just someone who somehow has retain an internal moral gyroscope. The platoon is split in two, between the factions. The two sergeants literally get into a fistfight and later, despite (or because of?) Elias’ gyroscope, he and his faction talk of killing Barnes.

More than half a century later, that civil war between the two factions of that particular slice and dice continues, not (fortunately) with violence but by refusing to recognize the validity and honor of those who served and said NO when their time came.

Père Lachaise, France’s most famous cemetery. There are so many threads and themes to this movie, and one involved that cemetery. Stone originally offered the role that Sheen would play to Jim Morrison, of the Doors, who is buried in that cemetery, a site of pilgrimage for many a young woman who was not even alive when Morrison O.D.

In 2018 actor Paul Sanchez, who played Doc in the movie, made a documentary about the making of film, entitled “Platoon: Brothers in Arms.” I definitely intend to watch it, having found the movie on the making of “The Battle of Algiers” utterly fascinating.

Finally, there is: “Happy men don’t enlist.” So proclaimed Alec Guinness, who played the character of Yevgraf, in Dr. Zhivago, as he saw the euphoria and the hats tossed in the air when the Great War commenced. So, why did Stone do it? Maybe the first “mistake” was understandable: a sense of duty, or more likely, to be where the big story was, and like Norman Mailer, already having decided to depict it. But having survived 8 months in the infantry, wounded twice (which the rules said were enough to get you permanently out of the field and perhaps home)… why, oh why, (somehow) transferring to the First Air Cav to be a LRRP? Again, why, oh why, extend beyond the required 365 days? There is still more to this story; hopefully it will be told.

But for what Stone has done in “Platoon,” a perfect antidote to John Wayne’s “The Green Berets,” as Stone intended, 5-stars, plus.
One person found this helpful
joel wingReviewed in the United States on March 27, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
"We were really fighting ourselves"
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Platoon was Oliver Stone’s opus on the Vietnam War. The opening shows what the story will be about. Charlie Sheen is arriving to Vietnam and as soon as he gets off the plane he sees body bags and soldiers leaving who look like they’ve gone through hell. The movie compares two squads in the same company against each other one led by Willem Dafoe and the other by Tom Berenger. One embraces his men the other uses fear and intimidation. As Sheen says at the end “We were really fighting ourselves”. Like a lot of Vietnam flicks it shows how the U.S. soldiers lost their humanity and didn’t see the Vietnamese as people. There’s plenty of combat as well. It’s definitely one of Stone’s better movies.
3 people found this helpful
lily t.Reviewed in the United States on May 26, 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars
Stunning characterizations
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I don't know how normal it is for a woman who wears bows on her shoes to have watched a movie as many times as I have Platoon, but since its premier it has remained one of my favorites.

Setting aside all real life moral and political considerations, and perhaps the veracity of minor details, I find none of the other artistic forays into the Vietnam War as realistic or forceful as Platoon, since unlike the other filmmakers, director Oliver Stone actually served in the war [with distinction ]from 1967-68 with the 25th infantry and then with the First Cavalry. The other reviewers have summarized the plot well, so I'll just add some observations.

The first time I saw it, I was blown away by the visceral impact of the action—not only in the battle sequences, but in terms of actually being incountry. Suffering from lack of sleep, eating crap rations, marching while humping heavy loads in the heat, humidity, rains; dealing with insects and snakes- compounded by the frustration of always being so close to an unseen enemy but often unable to engage him are simply mind boggling. Then of course there was the fear: of the unknown, of booby traps, collateral fire, villagers who may have been innocents or sympathizers—and the terror of being wounded or killed.

The attention to detail, despite some criticism from other reviewers is remarkable. Is all here: the forest, the village and its people, guys jerking off in full view, misdirected friendly fire, the underground tunnels of the Viet Cong, and in one stunning sequence, as the men get ready to walk out into the field at dusk after they get the order to lock and load, a black man raising his voice in an almost spiritual rendition of O Susanna. There are also self inflicted wounds, racism, cruelty, a lieutenant who is unable to lead, ideological schisms about how to win the war or even if the war is worth fighting, along with malice and murder.

What impressed me, and it is rare in American cinema, was to finally see black men portrayed as regular people -not comic relief, kindly helpers, martyrs, victims, criminals or elegant supermen ala Sidney Poitier. The characterizations are stunning in their ordinariness: fast talking black power supporter Junior, young and frightened Francis, bodybuilding party guy Manny, sweet talking Big Hal, heroin addicted Warren, ready to turn a blind eye to moral issues just to survive, – and for me always at the heart of the movie-the wonderful Keith David as the uneducated but incredibly wise and generous King, who, delineating the chasm between black and white, rich and poor, tells the narrator, 'Who ever said we counted for anything? All you have to do is get out of here alive, and the rest of your life will be gravy.'

The white guys are no less wonderfully drawn: pragmatic Rhah, brown nosing O'Neill, easy going surfer Crawford, psychotic Bunny, the completely inept Lieutenant Wolfe, the translator, Lerner, the kindly medic who is appalled by violence, and the young man who narrates the story, Chris, a college kid from a well-to -do family who has volunteered for duty. But make no mistake-these aren't types like we saw in most WWII Hollywood fare—but multifaceted and surprising human beings.

In a sense the story revolves around Chris [ Charlie Sheen] and the two pivotal characters who will influence and define his maturity: the humane, thoughtful and individualistic Sergeant Elias [ Willem Dafoe] and Sergeant Barnes [ Tom Berenger], the brutal realist who effectively runs the platoon and knows what it takes to keep the men alive and functioning as a unit. In the course of the story, Chris will choose his side, though he will also for better or worse incorporate the characteristics of both men.

Berenger and Dafoe give outstanding performances as does Keith David—and I think the then young Charlie Sheen was a wonderful choice for Chris. Not only does he look like a stand in for Oliver Stone but the casting nods to his father, Martin Sheen, who was the lead in Apocalypse Now. And if you are impressed at all with Dafoe, watch Stone's Born on the 4th of July where Dafoe gives one of his greatest performances as the embittered and disabled veteran, Charlie from Chicago.
37 people found this helpful
AtlantanReviewed in the United States on October 7, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Price humans pay for war
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Charlie Sheen the boy, grows into a 'man' before our eyes. What a briilant performance. Also William Dafoe and Tom Bergener. Johnny Depp in one single scene. Oliver Stone wrote and directed this movie with that one infamous incident that took place in the village, which lot of reviewers have problem with, has been toned down really really low from the actual thing that happened and people still have issues with the scene. The movie is less about Nam and more about what war does to men. In my opinion it is not a political film at all.
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