In 1986, director Oliver Stone delivered a war film to counter all the John Wayne-esque, American:good/Foreign opponents:bad narratives of the past with Platoon. As a Vietnam War vet himself, he had a unique place within the industry to show the shades of grey within any fighting force, forcing a viewer to see all sides of the human psyche in a battlefield.

"This is a confronting movie and deserves the many accolades"

In his tale, Charlie Sheen plays greenhorn Chris Taylor, newly arrived at the war-torn jungles of Vietnam with delusions of glory and heroism. Those delusions are quickly eroded, when Chris is witness and participant to Barnes, his psychopathic commanding officer’s (Tom Berenger) methods. Chris reluctantly goes along as the new guy. That is until his platoon razes a simple village and murders innocent Vietnamese villagers. But there are soldiers, including Chris, that are vocally opposed to what has occurred and face the wrath of their evil commander for speaking out. Fearing court-martial or worse, Barnes starts taking out anyone that opposes him. Chris rides a torturous path through battle, trying to maintain his morals and save himself from the evil Barnes.

This is a confronting movie and deserves the many accolades, including Golden Globes and Academy Awards. Replete with a fantastic character arc for Sheen and a fearlessness to go ugly with the truth about the follies of war. It is never preachy, doesn’t take a side or a position. It allows its characters to be human beings of varying moral standings, choosing their own paths to decide what’s good or bad. It is consistently human in all its shades—imperfect, hostile, compassionate, you name it. There are some remarkable performances from a who’s who of Hollywood marquee names, particularly Willem Dafoe. There are also some hammy ones. Sheen is serviceable in his lead role, and his inexperience lends itself well to the character of Chris, but there are moments of heightened emotion, where he and others descend into melodramatic deliveries that undermine the scenes. Stone’s writing also shares equal blame in some of the exchanges.Platoon

The directing is phenomenal, (with Stone winning an Oscar): it’s visceral, energetic, claustrophobic and oppressive. The soldiers running through dense clusters of jungle with mortars exploding and bullets zinging around them are particularly impressive. George Delerue’s oppressive theme played copiously throughout the film is affecting and brilliant but overused to my taste.

This film is the very definition of breaking the mould. It was a welcome change to a tired genre, delivered with a verisimilitude only its director could had provided. Subjectively marred only by this reviewer’s own tastes. Of all the classic war movies now on lists about the world, this one gets my vote for the most honestly depicted.

4/5 stars


4k details divider

Collector's Edition / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- September 13, 2022
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English SDH
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 4K Ultra HD;  Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: 4K region-free; blu-ray locked to Region A


Oh dear. This picture is, well, pretty bloody awful. No efforts have been made to improve the litany of print issues from the past. This 2160p native scan heightens all of the poor DNR work, inconsistent grain and muddy presentation of the last blu-ray release. This should have been a complete new rescan, considering this is touted as a ‘Collector’s Edition’. Well, let me tell ya, “Collector’s” want some attention to detail, not this shitty hatch job, Shout Factory. This is beneath your usual standard by a county mile. Definitely not worth the upgrade.


Shout has re-ported over the blu-ray’s awesome 5.1 DTS-HD mix. It’s a richly layered mix. The battles deliver immersive explosions, with accurate directionality. The sounds of the jungles are nuanced and come from both fronts and rear. The sub channel gets a hefty workout with chopper scenes. It’s a golden mix that could only have been improved with an ATMOS 7.1 mix delivering overhead channels. Almost perfect.



  • With Oliver Stone
  • With Dale Dye

Special Features:

There is a director’s commentary on the 4K and the included blu-ray that’s nothing but re-use. The blu-ray includes all the features from the previous release as well. Nothing new here, folks.

  • Snapshot in Time: 1967–1968
  • Creating the 'Nam
  • Raw Wounds: The Legacy of Platoon
  • One Way, Many Stories
  • Preparing for the 'Nam
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes with Optional Commentary
  • Caputo and the 7th Fleet
  • Dye Training Method
  • Gordon Gecko
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots

4k rating divider

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  2/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

3.5/5 stars

Film Details


MPAA Rating: R.
120 mins
: Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
Charlie Sheen; Tom Berenger; Willem Dafoe
: War | Military
The First Casulaty of War is Innocence.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I love this place at night, the stars. There's no right or wrong in them. They're just there."
Theatrical Distributor:
Orion Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
February 6, 1987
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 13, 2022
Synopsis: nspired by his own experiences, Oliver Stone's anti-war epic tells the tale of PFC Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen, Wall Street), a young Army recruit sent to Vietnam, who witnesses the atrocities of war –many of which are carried out by those Chris calls "comrades."