peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2021 08 27 BornOnTheFourthOfJuly

Born on the Fourth of July

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Second time around with this, the second of Oliver Stone's Việt Nam war movies. I don't think it's his finest outing, though perhaps this was the story closest to his heart of the three. Tom Cruise has a few scenes where he's quite good, and a few more where he's not; his best efforts felt like a dry run for his turn in Magnolia. Other actors, such as Frank Whaley as a childhood buddy, put in more natural performances. Stone got an Oscar for this direction, and the editors won too. I'm a little surprised as it didn't seem like the smoothest of rides; Cruise's speech to the cameras at the RNC towards the end doesn't square to well with the inchoate war vet we were getting to know to that point.

Four stars from Roger Ebert. Here he is, on the record, talking about an anti-war movie made by the losing side. Vincent Canby more critically endorsed it.