Casualties of War [1989]

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Michael J. Fox, Sean Penn, Don Harvey, John C. Reilly, John Leguizamo
Genre: Drama, History, War
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 113 minutes

Based on a true story, this Brian De Palma film casts Michael J. Fox as a soldier in Vietnam in a squad led by Sean Penn. While on patrol, in the wake of an ambush that has left friends dead, they kidnap and rape a Vietnamese woman--then murder her. But Fox, one of the soldiers who refused to participate in the rape, is so appalled by the killing that he reports it--and finds himself being treated as the villain. Penn is scarily tough as the vindictive soldier and De Palma does a solid job of re-creating the crime, making it a thing of horror. Yet this film never quite connects, despite a strong performance by Fox and a supporting cast that includes John C. Reilly and John Leguizamo. --Marshall Fine

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