Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Born on the Fourth of July
A story of innocence lost and courage found.
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…
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…
"People say that if you don't love America, then get the hell out. Well, I love America."
Despite a few instances of heavy-handed symbolism of Oliver Stone's part, Born On The Fourth Of July is a powerful and resonant experience, which drives home a message that is still important to this day and is held together by Tom Cruise's astounding performance.
However, despite being heavily moved by the film and the scene in which this happened, I couldn't help but let out an unintentional laugh when Tom Cruise shouts "Big fucking erect penis!".
Stone and Cruise have delivered some of the best work of their careers here and have given us a relevant and haunting film that will stay with me for a long time.
Oliver Stone is a director I never really got, other than his politics, his films tend to either come across as dull or bonkers, with little in between. I think the closest thing he's got to a film I like is Natural Born Killers, and that's a film so barmy that even I can't get behind it.
So I'm actually shocked that Born on the Fourth of July resonated so well with me. Pretty much the ground zero for crazy Vietnam veterans, Tom Cruise plays a naive soldier sent into Vietnam and comes out paralysed. And while you get the whole "You weren't there man, I've done stuff" he actually keeps the performance subdued, and the films strength of building…
The most frightening non-horror film I have ever seen. It's not easy viewing, but this is as confronting and striking as films get.
Oliver Stone's supreme lack of subtlety pays off in this delightfully earnest biopic. It tackles the war in Vietnam, Americanism, the changes of the 60s, and PTSD, all without any subtlety at all but with an unflinching determination to be as honest and forward as it possibly can. I have a lot of affection for Born on the Fourth of July despite Oliver Stone's almost self-sabotaging attempts to drive the point home (especially in the final moments of the film). Tom Cruise and the entire supporting cast act with an almost heartwarmingly earnest intensity, perfectly supporting the inflated but honest tone Oliver Stone attempts throughout.
Good movie, but Oliver Stone movies are always an hour longer than they need to be.
Tom Cruise was robbed of the Oscar to be fair
Director Oliver Stone's second of his so-called 'Vietnam Trilogy,' "Born on the Fourth of July" is an all-encompassing look at the Vietnam War in the American psyche as remembered by one of the disillusioned soldiers who fought it. Tom Cruise gives without question his best most powerful performace as Ron Kovic that captures the pre-war American idealism, the confusion and chaos of the battlefield, and the postwar disillusionment as a wounded Kovic comes home to a very different place in which he left. A great companion piece to "Platoon" and a great movie in its own right.
Great adaptation of a very powerful book. Really good direction by Stone, great performances, and beautiful a John Williams score.
It's an okay Vietnam film. Weaker Stone's Platoon (though the theme of it is different anyway) and goes on for a bit too long. Also probably one of Cruise's better/best performances.
Tom Cruise for president.
It's potent, it's honest, it's bloated, it's well worth your time.
Possibly TC's best acting performance. A great film about the life of a crippled veteran and his struggle to keep his honor and dignity. Must watch.
"On the 25th Anniversary of Born on the Fourth of July (1989)"
(This essay was originally published on cinemammoth on December 21, 2014.)
A central theme of the Great American Movie concerns a character’s struggle or inability to return home, as in lyrical classics like The Wizard of Oz (1939), Casablanca (1942), and It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), as well as blockbusters like Star Wars (1977), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and Back to the Future (1985). While these narratives—with regard to Americanism and the idea of the Great American Movie—could produce several dissertations, this essay celebrates just one such movie: Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Oliver Stone’s masterful adaptation of Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic’s best-selling memoir.
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Every film Roger Ebert has given a four-star rating. This is an ongoing project.