Finding a consensus on great Vietnam War movies is a little like finding a consensus on Vietnam. USA TODAY film writer Scott Bowles takes a look at some of the notable pictures.
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Apocalypse stands at 28 on the American Film Institute list of top 100 American movies. The story, by John Milius and Francis Ford Coppola, follows the story of a soldier (Martin Sheen) sent to kill a superior (Marlon Brando).
The Deer Hunter (1978)
No. 79 on the AFI list is this drama starring Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken about blue collar workers who experience harrowing tours in Vietnam, then struggle to adjust to normal life afterwards.
Platoon is the final Vietnam soldier in the AFI's top 100, standing at 83. This story focuses on a grunt (Charlie Sheen) searching for his moral compass between warring commanders (Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe).
Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
The true story of screenwriter Ron Kovic, played by Tom Cruise, as an all-American patriot who signs up for Vietnam and returns scarred and in a wheelchair.
Coming Home (1978)
The story of a soldier's wife (Jane Fonda) who falls for a paraplegic just returned from battle (Jon Voight) while her husband (Bruce Dern) suffers a tough tour of duty.
Return of the Secaucus 7 (1980)
Director John Sayles' low-budget drama became a classic, telling the story of seven college buddies who reunite for a weekend to recall their protests of the war.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Stanley Kubrick's dual-layered film begins with a harrowing boot camp and then follows a pragmatic U.S. Marine through the dehumanizing effects of war.
Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
Robin Williams was nominated for a best acting Oscar for his turn as an irreverent and unorthodox disc jockey hoping to keep up troop morale in Vietnam.
Hamburger Hill (1987)
This ensemble cast, which includes Don Cheadle and Dylan McDermott, drew strong reviews for their authentic portrayal of the brutal 10-day battle for Hill 937 in Vietnam in 1969.
Casualties of War (1989)
Director Brian De Palma led a young, A-list cast that included Sean Penn and Michael J. Fox in this drama about a girl taken during the Vietnam War by five American soldiers.