Watch Vietnam War Movies

Watch Vietnam War Movies

The Vietnam War was a time of hardship, sacrifice and bravery that forever changed the course of history. From The Deer Hunter’s haunting depiction of the war’s emotional toll on soldiers to the gritty realism of Hamburger Hill, Vietnam War movies have captured the essence of an era that transformed not only the battlefield but also the music, movies and culture of the time. 

The war in Vietnam was a complex and controversial conflict that deeply impacted the American psyche. It was a time of protest, political upheaval and social change that gave rise to some of the most iconic films in cinematic history. From Full Metal Jacket to Platoon, these movies have become synonymous with the era and continue to captivate audiences with their raw, unflinching portrayals of war. 

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in an era of American history, DIRECTV is home to the best Vietnam war movies. With their unforgettable performances, epic battles and haunting soundtracks, these movies offer a glimpse into a time that shaped a generation and progressed the art of filmmaking.  

Looking for more war movies? Watch the best WW1 movies or WW2 movies on DIRECTV.

The Best Vietnam War Movies

Oliver Stone. Stanley Kubrick. Francis Ford Coppola. Some of the greatest directors in film history have lent their incredible talents to Vietnam War movies. Here is a list of some of the most acclaimed and popular films about the war in Vietnam: 

‘The Deer Hunter’ (1978)

Starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and Meryl Streep, The Deer Hunter isn’t just considered one of the greatest war movies ever made; it’s also a dig into the emotional and psychological effects of combat. The three lead actors deliver powerful performances that make this film an absolute must-see. 

The Deer Hunter won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and a Best Actor win for Robert De Niro. The film follows three friends from small-town Pennsylvania who get drafted into the Vietnam War. After surviving a harrowing tour of duty, the men return home to grapple with the psychological trauma of war and its devastating effects on their lives.  

‘Platoon’ (1986)

Platoon is a gripping and unforgettable film that offers a visceral and immersive portrayal of the Vietnam War. Directed by Oliver Stone, who served in Vietnam himself, the movie follows young soldier Chris Taylor as he arrives in Vietnam hoping to find purpose in a war that is already well underway. But as he soon discovers, the realities of combat are brutal and unforgiving. 

The film captures the physical and emotional burden of war, as Chris and his fellow soldiers are subjected to unspeakable horrors, from brutal firefights to the senseless killing of civilians. Stone’s direction is masterful, bringing to life the chaos, confusion and disorientation of battle, as well as the psychological toll of war on the soldiers. 

Oliver Stone delivered a cinematic masterpiece that delves deep into the complexities of the Vietnam War and the individuals caught up in it. With its exceptional cast, gripping action sequences and powerful themes, the movie offers a haunting and unflinching portrayal of one of the most divisive conflicts in American history and is essential viewing for anyone interested in movies about Vietnam. 

Watch Platoon Full Movie with DIRECTV. 

‘Full Metal Jacket’ (1987)

Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket is a film that delves into the dehumanizing effects of war through the experiences of a group of Marines during the Vietnam War. The film is divided into two parts, with the first showcasing the brutal training of new recruits in a Marine Corps boot camp, while the second depicts their experiences in Vietnam. 

The first half of the film provides a raw and unflinching portrayal of the physical and psychological abuse inflicted upon the Marines in boot camp. The harsh and sadistic Sergeant Hartman, played by R. Lee Ermey, pushes the recruits to their limits, breaking them down to transform them into killing machines. Kubrick’s direction captures the brutality of the training, from the grueling physical exercises to the relentless verbal abuse. 

Part two follows the Marines after they’re sent to Vietnam, where they confront the harsh realities of war. The film explores the dehumanizing effects of combat, as the soldiers are forced to confront their mortality and the morality of their actions. The performances of Matthew Modine and Vincent D’Onofrio are noteworthy, as they represent two sides of the human experience of war.  

Full Metal Jacket is a cinematic masterpiece that immerses the viewer in the chaos and brutality of combat while also exploring the complex psychology of soldiers in the face of unspeakable violence. 

‘Good Morning, Vietnam’ (1987)

Despite the seriousness of the conflict, humor can still be found in the Vietnam War era. Good Morning, Vietnam is a 1987 comedy-drama directed by Barry Levinson. The film features a standout performance by Robin Williams as Adrian Cronauer, a radio DJ who is sent to Saigon to host a morning radio show for American troops during the Vietnam War. 

Good Morning, Vietnam balances humor and drama, with Williams’ improvisational talents providing much of the humor in the film. Exploring the darker aspects of the war, Good Morning, Vietnam portrays the experiences of soldiers through the lens of radio broadcasts and highlights the importance of entertainment and humor during times of conflict.  

The film’s memorable soundtrack, which features classic rock and soul music, adds to the film’s appeal and provides a nostalgic backdrop to the chaos of war. If you’re looking for a thought-provoking, dramatic comedy that explores the Vietnam era, then Good Morning, Vietnam is a must-watch.  

‘Hamburger Hill’ (1987)

The 1980s were an important decade for Vietnam War movies, and Hamburger Hill is one of the most memorable. Directed by John Irvin, the film is based on the true story of the Battle of Hamburger Hill that took place during the Vietnam War. The story follows the experiences of a group of American soldiers as they struggle to take control of Hill 937, a heavily fortified position held by North Vietnamese troops. 

The movie portrays the brutality and futility of war, highlighting the physical and psychological toll it takes on soldiers. The battle scenes are intense and realistic, depicting the chaos and confusion of combat, while the performances of the ensemble cast, including Dylan McDermott and Steven Weber, are outstanding. 

Hamburger Hill is a poignant and powerful portrayal of the Vietnam War, shedding light on the sacrifices made by soldiers and the realities of war. The film’s title is a metaphor for the senseless violence of war, as the soldiers fight and die for a hill that ultimately has no strategic value. Hamburger Hill is essential viewing for those seeking a sobering and honest depiction of the Vietnam War. 

‘Born on the Fourth of July’ (1989)

Another must-see Vietnam War movie, Born on the Fourth of July is the story of Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic, played by Tom Cruise in a career-defining performance. Directed by Oliver Stone, the film follows Kovic’s journey from an eager and patriotic young man to a disillusioned veteran struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Through this story, Stone paints a vivid portrait of the war’s effects on the individual and its impact on the greater American psyche. The film is an honest and gripping exploration of the pain and suffering inflicted by war, as well as a tribute to those who sacrificed so much for their country. 

For viewers interested in learning more about Vietnam War history and the effects of combat on soldiers, Born on the Fourth of July is a period piece that encapsulates the collective spirit of the era, and stands as one of the best movies about Vietnam.  

‘In Country’ (1989)

In Country is a 1989 drama directed by Norman Jewison, based on the novel of the same name by Bobbie Ann Mason. The movie tells the story of Samantha Hughes, a teenager who lives with her uncle in rural Kentucky and is fascinated by the stories of her father, who died in the Vietnam War. 

The film explores the impact of the war on the families of soldiers and American society as a whole. Bruce Willis delivers a standout performance as Emmett, Samantha’s uncle and a Vietnam War veteran who suffers from PTSD. The movie highlights the difficulties faced by returning soldiers, as well as the struggles of those left behind to cope with loss and grief. 

In Country is a moving and poignant film that provides a unique perspective on the Vietnam War, depicting the long-lasting effects of the war on soldiers and their families. The movie’s portrayal of the struggles of veterans and their loved ones is both heartfelt and thought-provoking, making it a must-see for anyone interested in exploring the human impact of war. 

‘Danger Close’ (2019)

Danger Close is a 2019 war drama directed by Kriv Stenders. It stars Travis Fimmel, Luke Bracey and Richard Roxburgh in a gripping story of courage and sacrifice. 

The film tells the true story of the Battle of Long Tan during the Vietnam War. A group of Australian soldiers must fight against overwhelming odds to survive an ambush by a Viet Cong division, in a battle that would become known as one of the most iconic fights in Australian military history. 

Danger Close is an intense and immersive film that captures the chaos and confusion of war. The performances from the cast are powerful, highlighting the strength and courage of those who fought in the Battle of Long Tan.  

This film is an inspiring and action-packed tribute to the men and women who sacrificed so much during the Vietnam War. It is a must-see for those who want to explore the stories of courage and heroism that emerged from this conflict.

‘The Last Full Measure’ (2019)

Directed by Todd Robinson, The Last Full Measure is a 2019 war drama film about the sacrifice and heroism of Vietnam War veterans. It stars Sebastian Stan, Samuel L. Jackson and Christopher Plummer in a heartwarming story about the power of friendship and loyalty.  

The film follows Scott Huffman (Stan) as he attempts to secure the Medal of Honor for William Pitsenbarger (Jeremy Irvine), an Air Force medic and Vietnam War veteran, who sacrificed his life to save the lives of others. 

The Last Full Measure is a powerful film that highlights the courage and bravery of those who served in the Vietnam War, touching on themes such as duty, loyalty and patriotism, while also exploring the bond between soldiers.  

This moving story is a must-watch for anyone interested in learning about the bravery and dedication of Vietnam War veterans. An inspiring tribute to their heroism, The Last Full Measure is sure to leave viewers with a greater appreciation for those who put their lives on the line for their country. 

More Movies About the Vietnam War 

Vietnam War movies provide a unique insight into the Vietnam War and its impact on those who served in the conflict. From action-packed battles to heartwarming stories of friendship, these films capture the human spirit and courage of those who fought during this tumultuous time in history.  

For even more movies inspired by the Vietnam War, check out:  

  • Apocalypse Now (1979): Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, this epic war drama follows a U.S. Army Captain on a mission to assassinate a renegade colonel during the Vietnam War. 
  • Bat*21 (1988): Starring Gene Hackman and Danny Glover, this film follows a pilot on a mission to rescue an intelligence officer from behind enemy lines during the Vietnam War. 
  • The Siege of Firebase Gloria (1989): This action-packed war film follows a group of Marine Corps soldiers as they battle to defend Firebase Gloria from the Viet Cong during the Tet Offensive in 1968. 
  • We Were Soldiers (2002): Mel Gibson stars as a U.S. Army lieutenant colonel leading his troops in battle against North Vietnamese forces during the Battle of Ia Drang in 1965.  
  • The Post (2017): Directed by Steven Spielberg, this historical drama follows The Washington Post’s coverage of the Pentagon Papers and the subsequent legal battle to publish them.  
  • Da 5 Bloods (2020): Directed by Spike Lee, this powerful war drama follows a group of African American Vietnam War veterans as they return to the country in search of a lost treasure. 

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