Born on the Fourth of July

Release Date: 1989

DVD Release Date: February 5th, 2002

R |2 hr 24 min

Plot Summary

In the mid 1960s, suburban New York teenager Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise) enlists in the Marines, fulfilling what he sees as his patriotic duty. During his second tour in Vietnam, he accidentally kills a fellow soldier during a retreat and later becomes permanently paralyzed in battle. Returning home to an uncaring Veterans Administration bureaucracy and to people on both sides of the political divide who don't understand what he went through, Kovic becomes an impassioned critic of the war.

Cast: Tom Cruise, Willem Dafoe, Kyra Sedgwick, Raymond J. Barry, Caroline Kava, Bryan Larkin, Jerry Levine, Josh Evans

Director: Oliver Stone

Genres: Docudrama

Production Co: Ixtlan Corporation

Keywords: 1960s, 1970s, Growing up, Mother, Father, Girlfriend, Dark, Transformation

Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    Peter TraversRolling Stone

    But Stone has found in Cruise the ideal actor to anchor the movie with simplicity and strength. Together they do more than show what happened to Kovic. Their fervent, consistently gripping film shows why it still urgently matters. show more

  • 100
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    Nothing Cruise has done will prepare you for what he does in Born on the Fourth of July. His performance is so good that the movie lives through it. Stone is able to make his statement with Cruise's face and voice and doesn't need to put everything into the dialogue. show more

  • 40
    Wall Street Journal

    Born on the Fourth of July would be merely a hilariously inept gathering of Vietnam War movie cliches. Instead it is an unrelenting series of dramatic blows; almost every scene packs violence, sleaze, screamed rage and an ear-splitting music with headbutt force. For someone who despises the military, Mr. Stone is quite bellicose. [21 Dec 1989, p.1]

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Nominated Cinematography
Nominated Sound
Winner Best Director - Motion Picture
Winner Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Nominated Adapted Screenplay
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1991)
Winner Directing
Winner Best Motion Picture - Drama
Nominated Music (Original Score)
Nominated Best Original Score - Motion Picture
Nominated Writing (Screenplay - Based on Material From Another Medium)
Nominated Best Picture
Winner Film Editing