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The Best Vietnam War Movies

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The Vietnam War was not a righteous war, like World War II; there was no concrete answer for American troops fighting in southeast Asia that would appease the American people. It was a war of unknowns that embodied the soldiers’ old adage, “caught in the fog of war.”

The Vietnam War had all the makings of a great war movie: psychological warfare, social and political unrest, misunderstood heroes, and, not to mention, it took place in two of the most progressive and memorable decades in American history: the 60’s and 70’s. With guns ablaze and killer soundtracks to boot, here are the three best Vietnam War movies:

1) Apocalypse Now (1979): Immediately after the war, came the best Vietnam War film ever, if not one of the best films ever. Written and directed by the legendary Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather), and starring Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, and Robert Duvall, this flick is all killer, no filler. Massive amounts of internal turmoil, brutal reality, and lethal jungle make this a movie for the ages. The movie’s final minutes are some of the finest to ever reach the big screen.

2) Platoon (1986): Another great movie, with another great producer: Oliver Stone. Starring Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, and William Dafoe, Platoon boasts several classic action scenes, some against the Viet Cong, others against themselves. The reality is far from glorious, but it makes for two plus hours of non-stop entertainment.

3) Full Metal Jacket (1987): This flick strays from the beaten path, as far as war movies go. The first half is bootcamp, the second half is ‘Nam. But, surprisingly, bootcamp is the highlight of the film thanks to R. Lee Ermey, the film’s tyrannical drill sergeant. Ermey spews insult after insult, rendering every green recruit to dirt before bootcamp’s end. The wit and ferocity of his comments are terrifying and comical, and the one-liners are endless. Definitely a must see.