Oliver Stone is a legendary American filmmaker who has made a significant contribution to cinema with his bold and controversial films. Here are some of his best films:
Platoon (1986): Set during the Vietnam War, Platoon is a raw and gritty depiction of the conflict and its impact on the soldiers who fought in it.
The film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and is widely regarded as one of the best war films ever made.
JFK (1991): JFK is a political thriller that explores the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the conspiracy theories surrounding it.
The film features a star-studded cast and a groundbreaking editing style, and is one of Stone’s most critically acclaimed works.
Born on the Fourth of July (1989): Based on the memoir of Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic, Born on the Fourth of July tells the story of Kovic’s journey from idealistic young man to paralyzed anti-war activist.
The film earned Stone an Academy Award for Best Director and helped to cement his reputation as a filmmaker who tackles important social and political issues.
Wall Street (1987): Wall Street is a drama about the excesses and corruption of the financial world, and features a memorable performance by Michael Douglas as the ruthless financier Gordon Gekko.
Best Oliver Stone Movies
Let’s take a look at the top Oliver Stone films.
1. Platoon (1986)
Platoon is a war film directed by Oliver Stone and released in 1986. The film is based on Stone’s experiences as a soldier during the Vietnam War and follows a young soldier named Chris Taylor, played by Charlie Sheen, as he joins a platoon of soldiers fighting in the jungles of Vietnam.
The film is a raw and gritty depiction of the Vietnam War, and shows the psychological and physical toll that combat takes on the soldiers.
The platoon is divided into two factions, one led by the noble Sergeant Elias, played by Willem Dafoe, and the other by the cruel and sadistic Sergeant Barnes, played by Tom Berenger.
Chris finds himself caught in the middle of this conflict, trying to make sense of the war and his place in it.
Platoon is known for its powerful performances, especially those of Dafoe and Berenger, as well as its unflinching portrayal of the horrors of war.
The film features intense battle scenes, including the climactic battle that sees Chris and his fellow soldiers facing off against the Viet Cong in a brutal and chaotic confrontation.
2. JFK (1991)
“JFK” is a 1991 American political thriller film directed by Oliver Stone, based on the investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
The film features an ensemble cast, including Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, and Joe Pesci, among others.
The film follows New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison (played by Kevin Costner) as he investigates the assassination of President Kennedy.
Garrison is initially skeptical of the Warren Commission’s official conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy, and begins to uncover evidence of a conspiracy involving the CIA, organized crime, and other powerful groups.
As Garrison delves deeper into the case, he encounters resistance and obstruction from the government and the media, as well as personal and professional obstacles that put him and his family in danger.
The film features flashbacks and reenactments of the events leading up to and following the assassination, as well as interviews with witnesses and experts.
“JFK” is notable for its complex and controversial portrayal of the assassination, as well as its use of different film stocks, camera techniques, and editing styles to create a sense of visual and narrative disorientation.
3. Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
Born on the Fourth of July is a biographical war drama film directed by Oliver Stone and released in 1989.
The film is based on the autobiography of Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic, played by Tom Cruise, and tells the story of Kovic’s life from his childhood in the 1950s to his time as a Marine in Vietnam and his struggles after being paralyzed in combat.
The film is a powerful and emotional exploration of the physical and psychological trauma of war, as well as the political and social issues surrounding the Vietnam War.
Kovic’s journey from an idealistic young man to an anti-war activist and advocate for disabled veterans is a compelling and heart-wrenching story that highlights the human cost of war.
Cruise’s performance as Kovic is widely regarded as one of his best, and the film also features memorable supporting performances from Willem Dafoe and Kyra Sedgwick.
The film was a critical and commercial success, and was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning two for Best Director and Best Film Editing.
Born on the Fourth of July is an important film that has been praised for its honest and unflinching portrayal of the Vietnam War and its impact on the soldiers who fought in it.
4. The Doors (1991)
The Doors is a biographical drama film directed by Oliver Stone and released in 1991. The film tells the story of the iconic rock band The Doors, led by frontman Jim Morrison, played by Val Kilmer, and their rise to fame in the late 1960s.
The film captures the spirit of the 1960s counterculture movement and the wild, rebellious energy of Morrison and his bandmates.
Kilmer’s performance as Morrison is a standout, capturing the singer’s charisma, intensity, and self-destructive tendencies.
The film also features strong supporting performances from Kyle MacLachlan, Meg Ryan, and Frank Whaley.
The Doors is known for its vivid and psychedelic visual style, as well as its use of the band’s music to drive the narrative.
The film features some of The Doors’ most iconic songs, including “Light My Fire,” “Break on Through,” and “The End.” Stone’s direction creates a dreamlike atmosphere that captures the freewheeling, drug-fueled energy of the era.
The film was a critical and commercial success, and is considered one of Stone’s best films. It was nominated for numerous awards, including an Academy Award for Best Cinematography, and has become a cult classic among fans of The Doors and fans of 1960s counterculture.
The Doors is a must-see for music fans and anyone interested in the cultural and political upheavals of the 1960s.
5. Wall Street (1987)
Wall Street is a drama film directed by Oliver Stone and released in 1987. The film follows young and ambitious stockbroker Bud Fox, played by Charlie Sheen, as he becomes involved with the ruthless and unscrupulous corporate raider Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas.
The film is a scathing critique of the excesses and greed of the 1980s Wall Street culture, and is known for its iconic quotes and memorable scenes.
Michael Douglas won an Academy Award for his performance as Gekko, delivering one of the most famous lines in movie history: “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”
The film explores themes of ambition, morality, and the corrupting influence of power, and offers a sharp commentary on the financial industry and American capitalism.
It was a critical and commercial success, and has become a cultural touchstone, with many of its themes and characters still relevant in today’s society.
Wall Street has had a lasting impact on popular culture and is widely regarded as one of Oliver Stone’s best films.
It is a must-see for anyone interested in the politics and economics of the 1980s and the ways in which Wall Street culture continues to shape our society today.
6. Nixon (1995)
Nixon is a biographical drama film directed by Oliver Stone and released in 1995. The film tells the story of Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, and his rise to power, his turbulent time in office, and his eventual downfall.
Anthony Hopkins delivers a powerhouse performance as Nixon, capturing the complexity and contradictions of the controversial President.
The film explores the many facets of Nixon’s personality, from his paranoia and insecurity to his cunning and intelligence, and offers a nuanced and compassionate portrayal of a complex historical figure.
The film is also notable for its historical accuracy and attention to detail, with Stone and his team conducting extensive research and consulting with former members of the Nixon administration to ensure the film’s accuracy.
The film is a compelling and thought-provoking exploration of the human cost of political power and the often brutal nature of American politics.
Nixon was a critical success and was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Hopkins. The film is widely regarded as one of Stone’s best films, and is a must-see for anyone interested in American politics and history.
7. Any Given Sunday (1999)
“Any Given Sunday” is a sports drama film directed by Oliver Stone and released in 1999. The film depicts a fictional professional American football team and the struggles of the players, coaches, and team management on and off the field.
The film features an ensemble cast including Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Jamie Foxx, Dennis Quaid, LL Cool J, and James Woods.
The story centers around the aging head coach of the Miami Sharks, Tony D’Amato (played by Al Pacino), as he deals with the pressures of trying to win games while dealing with the egos and personal issues of his players.
The film also explores themes of aging, personal sacrifice, and the harsh realities of professional sports.
“Any Given Sunday” received mixed reviews from critics but was a moderate box office success. It has since become a cult classic among fans of sports films.
8. Natural Born Killers (1994)
Natural Born Killers is a crime film directed by Oliver Stone and released in 1994. The film tells the story of Mickey and Mallory Knox, played by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis, a young couple who embark on a killing spree across the American Southwest.
The film is known for its frenetic and violent style, with Stone using a variety of techniques to create a hallucinatory and often disturbing atmosphere.
The film is a scathing commentary on American media and celebrity culture, and explores themes of violence, sex, and the dark underbelly of American society.
Harrelson and Lewis deliver powerful performances as the twisted and charismatic killers, and the film features memorable supporting performances from Robert Downey Jr. and Tommy Lee Jones.
The film’s use of pop culture references and satirical humor is both biting and hilarious, creating a surreal and unsettling experience for the viewer.
Natural Born Killers was a controversial film upon its release, and is still considered one of the most divisive films of the 1990s. It is a must-see for fans of Oliver Stone and anyone interested in exploring the dark side of American culture.
9. Talk Radio (1988)
“Talk Radio” is a drama film released in 1988, directed by Oliver Stone and based on the play by Eric Bogosian. The film follows the story of Barry Champlain (played by Bogosian), a controversial and confrontational radio talk show host based in Dallas, Texas.
The film explores the themes of free speech, media ethics, and the impact of fame on an individual.
The film begins with Barry Champlain on the air, engaging in his usual controversial and confrontational style with his listeners.
As the film progresses, we see the various personal and professional struggles Champlain faces as a result of his fame and controversial opinions.
These struggles include conflicts with his producer and his ex-wife, as well as encounters with callers who challenge his beliefs and ultimately lead him to question his own values and motives.
One of the central themes of the film is the tension between free speech and responsibility in the media.
Champlain’s show attracts a wide audience due to his provocative and confrontational style, but he also receives backlash from those who believe he is promoting hate speech and encouraging violence.
Throughout the film, we see Champlain struggling with this tension, and the consequences of his actions.
10. Salvador (1986)
Salvador is a war drama film directed by Oliver Stone and released in 1986. The film tells the story of Richard Boyle, played by James Woods, an American journalist who travels to El Salvador to cover the civil war in the 1980s.
The film explores themes of political corruption, human rights abuses, and the role of the United States in Central America.
Stone’s powerful direction and Woods’ intense performance create a harrowing and unflinching portrayal of the violence and chaos of the conflict, and the film’s depiction of the brutality of the Salvadoran government and its military forces is both haunting and unforgettable.
Salvador is notable for its realism and authenticity, with Stone and his team conducting extensive research and working closely with real-life journalists and activists who had experienced the war firsthand.
The film is a searing indictment of American foreign policy and the tragic consequences of U.S. intervention in Central America.
Salvador was a critical and commercial success, and is widely regarded as one of Oliver Stone’s best films.
It is a must-see for anyone interested in the history and politics of Central America, and for those who want to see a powerful and thought-provoking exploration of the human cost of war.
3 Characteristics of Oliver Stone Films
Oliver Stone is a filmmaker known for his distinctive style, subject matter, and themes. Here are three characteristics that are commonly found in his films:
Political and Social Commentary: Stone’s films often explore political and social issues, with a focus on controversial and provocative topics.
He is known for his critiques of American foreign policy, as well as his examination of topics such as media, celebrity culture, and the American Dream.
Intense and Provocative Style: Stone’s films are known for their intense and provocative style, which often includes rapid editing, jarring camera movements, and unconventional visual techniques.
His films are designed to provoke strong emotional responses from the audience and to challenge conventional ways of thinking.
Historical Accuracy and Research: Stone is known for his meticulous research and attention to historical accuracy.
Many of his films are based on real-life events, and he often consults with experts and former participants to ensure that his films are as accurate as possible. This commitment to accuracy and research has earned him praise from critics and audiences alike
3 Reasons Why You Should Watch Oliver Stone Films
Oliver Stone is a highly acclaimed filmmaker who has made some of the most provocative and thought-provoking films of the past few decades. Here are three reasons why you should watch his films:
He tackles complex social and political issues: Many of Oliver Stone’s films deal with important social and political issues, including war, corruption, and power dynamics.
He often takes a critical look at the government, the media, and other institutions, and isn’t afraid to push boundaries or challenge conventional wisdom.
His films offer a unique perspective on these issues and can inspire viewers to think more deeply about them.
His films are visually striking and well-crafted: Oliver Stone is known for his bold, visually striking filmmaking style. His films are often characterized by fast-paced editing, inventive camera work, and a willingness to experiment with unconventional techniques.
His films are also well-crafted and meticulously researched, with attention paid to historical accuracy and detail.
He has a diverse range of films: Oliver Stone has made films in a variety of genres, from political dramas to historical epics to biopics. His films include Platoon, Wall Street, Natural Born Killers, JFK, Nixon, and many more.
This means that there is likely a film in his filmography that will appeal to almost any moviegoer, and his diverse range of work makes him an important and influential figure in the film industry.
Best Oliver Stone Films – Wrapping Up
Oliver Stone has directed many memorable films over the years, and his work has earned critical acclaim and a devoted fan base. Here are five of his best films:
Natural Born Killers (1994)
Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
Wall Street (1987)
Each of these films showcases Stone’s unique voice and style, as well as his commitment to exploring complex and controversial subject matter. Whether you’re a fan of political dramas, war films, or crime thrillers, there’s something for everyone in Stone’s filmography.
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