Oliver Stone is a fantastic director and screenwriter. He's usually great. As I've said in past reviews, his material has dropped off a lot recently. I just watched his most recent film, Savages, and it had one of the worst endings I've seen in a long while. Yet, this is the guy who directed Platoon. He wrote Scarface! The guy's got talent, or at least he had talent. Born on the Fourth of July is a reminder of how great Stone once was. Born on the Fourth is emotional, gritty, well acted, and truly a great movie. Roger Ebert gave this film four out of four stars. Every one deserved. The plot of the movie is that Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise) is a naive high school student who signs up for the Marines to fight in Vietnam. After getting shot and loosing his legs, Kovic's views about war begin to change. First off let me say that Tom Cruise is absolutely terrific here. A lot of people hate Tom Cruise for being in Scientology and jumping on Oprah's couch . I don't care about any of that. He's a very fine actor who is always able to surprise me, as he did in Magnolia and Tropic Thunder. People who hate Tom Cruise, WATCH THIS MOVIE! You won't be disappointed. This may be Cruise's best performance, if not it's certainly one of them. He did get his first Oscar nomination for it. Though recently Cruise has been mostly doing action movies and things like that, you can't forget what a capable actor he is. Certain scenes really showcase Cruise's ability. For example, one scene in particular where Ron gets home from a bar all drunk and riled up. He then proceeds to yell at his devoutly religious parents about how the Marines recruiters lied, and how Vietnam was useless, and how fed up he is. It really made me respect Tom Cruise. Raymond J. Barry and Caroline Kava are good in the supporting roles too as his parents. Willem Dafoe showed us in Stone's Platoon that he can convincingly play a Vietnam soldier. He does that again here except taking up the role of a disabled veteran. Dafoe is a great underrated actor. I don't know what's happened to Oliver Stone but he needs to step it up and go back to making fantastic pictures like this one. It's no wonder it got Oliver Stone a Best Director Oscar! I highly recommend Born on the Fourth of July. It's an all around good flick. Happy Throwback Thursday and Happy Viewing! You can follow me on Twitter @WhitsMovies and like me on Facebook at Facebook.com/WhitsMovies!