Oliver Stone's autobiographical Vietnam War film stars Charlie Sheen as Chris Taylor, a neophyte soldier who finds himself caught in a battle of wills between two sergeants, one good (Willem Dafoe) and the other evil (Tom Berenger).
Informed by director Oliver Stone's personal experiences in Vietnam, Platoon forgoes easy sermonizing in favor of a harrowing, ground-level view of war, bolstered by no-holds-barred performances from Charlie Sheen and Willem Dafoe.
New York Daily News
This film is an act of courage. Stone, the gutsy writer-director, records in a devastating barrage of images the relentless horror and the senseless carnage experienced by far too many Americans in Vietnam.
Precisely because Stone forces you to experience a grunt's tunnel vision and rage, Platoon is a film of inspiring empathy and awesome force. Curiously, that same tunnelvision in the end compromises Platoon.
Platoon is not the definitive Vietnam statement that Stone may have intended, or that others are already claiming it to be. But it is a powerful document about that sad war, and a riveting piece of moviemaking.
Platoon is filled with one fine performance after another, and one can only wish that every person who saw the cartoonish war fantasy that was Rambo would buy a ticket to Platoon and bear witness to something closer to the truth.