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The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for.
Born on the Fourth of July hit me like a goddamn freight train.
I'm writing this having finished the film only moments before, so I apologize in advance if this comes out unstructured and messy.
My mother's father—my grandpa—is a Vietnam War veteran. For as long as I've known the man, I've always had a very specific image of him in my head. He's tall, like me, and thin—very thin, stemming from health problems caused by his time in Vietnam. In my head, I picture him with a beard, though through my life he's alternated between being clean-shaved, mustachioed, and bearded. It just seems to fit him the best. He's also had shoulder-length hair for a long time now—probably since…
In Chuck Klosterman's new book (But What If We're Wrong), he talks about how films inevitably reveal more about when they were made as opposed to the time they were made about. So true with this one. In 1989, Vietnam was still The Last War; and as the Cold War, too, was coming to and end, audiences at the time could be forgiven for believing that Vietnam might just be the LAST war. Because lessons were learned. And there is no better illustration of that belief than the final minutes of this film - a celebration of the anti-war movement's taking part in the 1976 Democratic convention. 17 years and a couple of wars later it seems a confoundingly anti-climactic…
Happy Fourth of July everyone!!
So, why not watch Born On The Fourth of July?
This is a really well-done film from Tom Cruise's EXCELLENT performance to the beautiful direction and cinematography.
This is a really emotional piece of filmmaking that captures what war does to people, and how it can affect everyone they love.
Such an important movie.
Seduced and abandoned by myth.
Born on the Fourth of July tells the fascinating life story of Ron Kovic, a Vietnam veteran who becomes paralyzed during his second tour of duty and is wracked with guilt over the accidental death of a young soldier on his own side. At times it is difficult to watch him descend into darkness, but that's attributable to fantastic writing that provides insight into who Ron Kovic was as a person, not just a historical figure. When he becomes a political activist and speaks out against the US government, he seems to come into his own and the film draws parallels to his childhood and the potential the people around him felt he had all along.
It's a bit myopic…
"I had a mother; I had a father, things - things that made sense. Do you remember things that made sense? Things you could count on? Before we all got so lost?"- Ron Kovic
Now this is a powerful film right here. Forget Platoon, this is the real Oliver Stone Vietnam War film. Born on the Fourth of July has many great themes, a wonderful John Williams score, splendid cinematography, and great direction. What really makes it special is Tom Cruise's mesmerizing performance as Ron Kovic. He starts off as a High School kid and by the end he is a political activist. The changes his character goes through during the film are all portrayed brilliantly by Mr. Cruise who…
I really liked this one, but it's another Stone film that is so in your face and maximal that it's genuinely difficult to watch with 2016 eyes (a time when narrative subtlety, slowness, and ambiguity are the watch words). The narrative really hits the viewer over the head with obvious points, sometimes even spoken in dialogue.
My interest in Stone is primarily visual - I just love his style of filmmaking and his intuitive sense of how to best dramatize a point through composition and camera movement. Also, Cruise is at his best, hitting emotional notes I'd somehow forgot he had in him. Stone clearly uses Dafoe as his literal casting wildcard, much as he did in Platoon. He certainly stirs things up, but it still feels like Dafoe is in different movie.
Some scenes in Born on the Fourth of July were a bit too on the nose for me. Overall though, it's a darn good flick. One of Tom's best performances and his scene with William Dafoe on the empty, desert road was worth the price of admission alone. Don't know why I didn't see this movie sooner. Worth a watch.
A powerful war film that shows us the horrors of war.
Didn't know or notice it was a biopic until the rushed ending, which is a compliment for biopics. It starts with a music cue that's really similar to THE TERMINATOR, which was distracting but also kinda fits the themes?
An anti-war epic, it's like one of those commemorative issues of Life.
This one covers 1956 to 1976, and the counterculture is presented in a nostalgic, aesthetically reactionary way: it's made part of our certified public memories. The director, Oliver Stone, plays bumper cars with the camera and uses cutting to jam you into the action, and you can't even enjoy his uncouthness, because it's put at the service of sanctimony. The pure of heart, Catholic, and patriotic hero Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise) thinks war is how he'll prove himself a man. He joins the Marine Corps and is sent to Vietnam; in 1968, his spine is severed, and he's left in a wheelchair, impotent, paralyzed from the chest down.…
The best Vietnam War movie there is, exceedingly accurate.
A strong performance from Cruise - possible his best overall.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…