Born on the Fourth of July

Released 1989


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Movie Summary

Oliver Stone (I)
Born on the Fourth of July is the 1989 film adaptation of an autobiography of the same name by Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic. After hearing an inspirational lecture about the Marine Corps, Kovic (Tom Cruise) decides to enlist. He is sent to Vietnam where he witnesses the death of many of his friends and is critically wounded himself. He is sent to the Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital and lives there amongst the hazardous conditions for several months before being sent home. Kovic is now permanently in a wheelchair and struggles with everyday life in a world that is at war. When many of his friends become anti-war protesters, Kovic denounces them and takes a vacation to Mexico to a village filled with American veterans. After a tumultuous and eye opening vacation, Kovic returns home and begins protesting along with his friends. Kovic famously enters the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami and interrupts a speech by Richard Nixon to share his story of the Vietnam War. Also starring Kyra Sedgwick, Vivica A. Fox, Raymond J. Barry, Josh Evans, and Frank Whaley, Born on the Fourth of July was both a box office and critical success.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 100

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    It is a film of enormous visceral power with, in the central role, a performance by Tom Cruise that defines everything that is best about the movie.

  • 100


    Oliver Stone again shows America to itself in a way it won't forget. His collaboration with Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic to depict Kovic's odyssey from teenage true believer to wheel-...

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    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 state...

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Thrillers, Historical