The Vietnam War has been the subject of some of the most emotionally powerful, complex, and harrowing movies ever made. Heres a list of a few of my favorites.
1. "Apocalypse Now" (1979)
Loosely based on the novel "Heart of Darkness," Francis Ford Coppolas dizzyingly cinematic film brings the horror, chaos, and madness of war to vivid life. During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard (Martin Sheen) travels into the Cambodian jungle with orders to kill Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), a man who is believed to be insane. A director's cut is also available on DVD.
2. Platoon" (1986)
"Platoon" is a violent, dizzying, disorienting, brutally realistic depiction of the horror of war. The films narrator, Private Chris Taylor, is a patriotic young man who volunteered to fight in the Vietnamese War, but everything he knew and believed in before coming to Vietnam is challenged. I feel that this is Oliver Stones most personal and moving film.
3. "Full Metal Jacket" (1987)"Full Metal Jacket" first shows how a group of young Marines are dehumanized during basic training. The film then follows some of the Marines on to their combat experiences during the Vietnam War. This is a coolly harrowing movie throughout, and to my mind Vincent DOnofrios and R. Lee Ermeys performances make the first part of the film particularly powerful.