Born on the Fourth of July

Part of Stone's Vietnam 'trilogy' and one of Cruise's finest performances, further cementing the talent that emerged out of the little-boys-dream-job period of fighter pilots and cocktail bartenders. Relentlessly and inexcusably portrays America the way it was after the Vietnam war - torn down the middle by political differences and government hypocrisy.

Two brilliant scenes single-handedly do away with all the sexy, Rambo-esque, cartoonish depictions of war in American film before it - the line by Whaley ('I get these headaches') and Cruise responding to parade fireworks with a severe nervous twitch. A powerhouse portrayal by the actors and director of true life Vietnam veteran and activist Ron Kovic, who went to war an idealistic young man believing the ideals he was fed and returned after giving his physical and mental health for his country to find his government embarrassed and his countrymen disgusted by what he represented.

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