Apocalypse Now Reviews | RateItAll

Apocalypse Now

1979 American epic war film produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola Website

Approval Rate: 72%

72%Approval ratio

Reviews 45

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    Sun Jun 21 2009

    A film that takes some persistence and stamina to sit through with Coppola's masterpiece lengthened, unnecessarily in my opinion, to make the point of what was happening with America during the Vietnam conflict. Martin Sheen's character has been sent by his superiors to take out Col. Kurtz (Brando) who has gone mad. Martin at the start is a bit out of it himself -- unable to confront life on the home front, wants to stay in Vietnam -- we find him drunk, nude and out of it when the Army picks him up. So he's no perfect soldier himself. The Captain goes up the river through to Cambodia territory and there we find that the Americans seem to want more rock 'n roll, sex and beer than wanting to win the fight. Kurtz points this out as well. The Playboy girls were being pimped out to soldiers in exchange for fuel; this was a pitiful scene, you almost felt sorry for these girls. The confrontation with Kurtz, the naked bodies strung up on trees, heads lying around a courtya... Read more

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    Sat Jun 13 2009

    Good movie. Too far fetched for this Viet Nam vet, but I guess it was primarily a slightly mixed up mixture of the classic book Heart of Darkness and the frustration of the Viet Nam war. I did not think it was a great a movie as many do. But it was well made and engrossing. I wasn't wild about Brando's performance either - contrary to popular perceptions.

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    Wed Jun 10 2009

    When I saw this movie when it first came out, I was truly blown away. When it was over all I could do was shake my head and exhale over & over. My girlfriend at the time ask me what was wrong, when we got in the car I could not speak. This movie made me want to become a film director. When I moved to L.A. a couple of years later I went to film school, but needless to say that didn't happen. The opening scene is one of the best, it really set the tone for the rest of the movie. I have NEVER had that experience again. A fantanstic movie.

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    Wed May 27 2009

    "Never get out of the boat. Absolutely goddamn right. Unless you were going all the way. Kurtz got off the boat. He split from the whole program."

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    Thu May 07 2009

    I prefer the original over the updated version but with all the extras on the discs you really get your money's worth. A fun look back in time to us old guys who were there "back in the day"

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    Fri May 23 2008

    A deep, disturbing movie about the deep emotional and psychological wounds of the war in South Asia in the 60's. Beautiful and convincing locations and very well carried out production.

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    Sat Apr 26 2008

    A stunning movie when seed on the big screen in a theater with a good sound system. A lot of the actors in the picture were relatively un-known at the time and that added a bit of authenticity. Most of those actors are well known today which make reduce the sense of realism somewhat. Fine cinematography, excellent use of popular music with the visuals. Quite a lot of silly Hollywood looks at military behavior but about as good as we can expect from them in the post WWII era of film-making.

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    Sat Mar 29 2008

    Kilgore: Smell that? You smell that? Lance: What? Kilgore: Napalm, son. Nothing in the world smells like that. Kilgore: I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

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    Thu Jul 19 2007

    I'm really suprised that there are actualy people who don't like this movie. In my opinion it is one of the all time greatest films there is. Especialy a war flick. Who hasn't said the phrase "I love the smell of naypalm in the morning"

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    Tue May 22 2007

    The Air Cav assault is a thing of legend.

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    Tue May 22 2007

    A masterpiece of movie making!

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    Sat Apr 28 2007

    I’ve seen some truly unenjoyable movies in my time: the shockingly mean-spirited Anchorman, the completely revolting American Pie, the insanely-depressing House of Sand and Fog, the laughably bad The Blair Witch Project, and movies where the ending destroyed all sense of goodwill such as My Fair Lady and Pay it Forward. Francis Ford Coppola’s “war epic,” scrapes the bottom of the barrel where most of the aforementioned films lie. I’ve seen four movies on the Vietnam War, each of them equally tepid and boring cinema. One would think that combat, strategy, and the politics of war could be made into an enjoyable movie, but it appears that is not the case. A big of flaw of them (Platoon, We Were Soldiers, and Apocalypse Now) is that there is not a protagonist to root for. Apparently, there were no heroes in Vietnam. Now, I’m not going to deny there were some bad seeds, but there were undoubtedly good ones too. And, a mess of complete moral relativism does not equate with enjoyable escapism... Read more

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    Thu Feb 15 2007

    A movie so good, so well done, that the political message behind it can be easily set aside. I loved the overall theme, as I saw it, of engulfing madness.

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    Sat Feb 10 2007

    The Redux version fills in some holes and makes more sense. Please correct the spelling.

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    Sat Nov 11 2006

    A lot more cerebral than many films on this list,Apocalypse now is a dark feast for the mind as well as the eyes.It's loosly based on the Joseph Conrad novel "Heart of Darkness".The cinematography was stunning,the story compelling and the use of the popular songs of the era lent it an authentic flavor.Much of the soundtrack was done by the Rythym Devils,aka Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzman of Grateful Dead fame.The entire cast deserves huge kudos,too.

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    Thu Sep 14 2006

    i just did not find this film entertaining, it is boring, poorly scripted and all round a bit crap

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    Fri Apr 21 2006

    If you are going to watch this movie for the first time, please watch the original first, and stay away from Redux. Redux is slower and less effective then the original, and some of those added scenes take away a little from the brilliance of Brando. A great adaptation of Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness', the movie is effective and a good Vietnam piece about the war itself and the ugly situations (and people) it created. And some of those scenes with the Air Cavalry over coming in are simply amazing.

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    Sat Dec 31 2005

    Ah, Wagner's best-known tune accompanying the Air Cav on their way in. A brilliant piece of cinema.

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    Wed Oct 05 2005

    More than a movie. The sense of journey, of transformation for good to evil, sane to insane is both believable and surreal. Saw the redux version recently, loved the scene on the lost French plantation and the Frenchmans angry, passionate description of French paratroopers knowingly - willingly - jumping to certain death at Dien Bien Phu, the only way a jumper should die.

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    Fri Apr 29 2005

    Maybe not the greatest, but has to be seen in 70mm widescreen and full stereophonic sound to really appreciate this film. In a large theatre with at least a 65 foot screen.

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    Sun Jan 30 2005

    I like to show this movie at my Mary Kay parties.

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    Sun Jan 23 2005

    Great movie that lives up to the book it's based upon. Those that found it slow were probably expecting a typical Vietnam, action-packed movie, and not an intelligent, philosophical drama.

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    Sat Jan 01 2005

    Long slow awful movie, dfficult to figure out on times, including That overweight Marlon Brando sweating and mumbling his way through a load of bollocks in a cave....

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    Sat Jun 26 2004

    This low on the list? It should be in the Top 40!

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    Sat Jun 19 2004

    An intense cinematic experience. Not for the impatienct or the faint of heart, but great for those looking for memorable scenes, characters, and actors.

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    Sat Apr 03 2004

    Great performances by Sheen and Brando. Good adaptation Of Heart Of Darkness. i Liked the Viet Nam twist.

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    Sun Aug 17 2003

    I've only seen the redux, but since they added a nude scene I don't mind. Lots of carnage, lots of surealism, and Kilgore was hilarious.

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    Mon Jun 03 2002

    I was a little cynical about seeing this because of the mixed reviews I'd received of it. Now I only wonder who could dislike it. One critic described it as "one of the two most powerful films of all time, right up there with "The Godfather." Well, this guy pretty much hit the nail on the head. By the end of this movie, I was unable to get up from my seat, and I still had the word "horror" playing in my head for about three more hours. Colenol Kurtz is an outstanding representation of every single aspect of the hell of the Vietnam War. The scenes of walking through the island near Cambodia with bodies everywhere and heads scattered all over the ground were to say the least, shocking. What's worse is that things like this probably happened. Take care, everyone!

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    Wed May 22 2002

    There are many great war films out there, but "Apocalypse Now" is certainly the greatest of them all. Although, technically not a war film, it deals with thoughts and ideas that could only be conjurred in the act of war, thus I classify it as such. This film showcases Francis Ford Coppola's director skills, even more so than his "Godfather" films (although that is endlessly arguable).

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    Wed Apr 24 2002

    Francis Ford Coppola directed 3 of the greatest films of the 70s. "The Godfather", "The Godfather Part II", and of course "Apocalypse Now". Captain Willard (Martin Sheen), must track down and kill a man who has gone crazy and is running a mini-empire in the depths of Vietnam (I'm not sure the name of the guy, but Marlon Brando played him). A simple enough story. This movie is one of THE greatest films made ever. It's a haunting experience. From tigers to arrows, from Robert Duvall's "I love the smell of napalm in the morning...smells like victory", to a jungle-crazy Brando reciting T.S. Eliot around piles of severed heads, this is the ultimate trip. If you haven't seen this magnificent film, you're crazy. See it NOW. It's brilliant. Summary: THE BEST 'NAM WAR FILM EVER MADE, AND ONE OF THE TOP 50 GREATEST FILMS EVER MADE.

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    Sat Apr 20 2002

    The best war movie of all time! very smart. all around bad ass!

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    Tue Jan 15 2002

    GREAT first half, and IF they kept that up the intire movie, it would have posibaly been the best movie of all time. The second half stunck though.

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    Tue Jan 08 2002

    Words fail me. I saw this film for the first time, today and I cannot even begin to tell you how absolutely stunning it is. Francis Ford Coppola has gained my vote as one of cinema's greatest filmmakers. THE GODFATHER PART I and II are his greatest achievements, but APOCALYPSE NOW is a tour de force of a movie.

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    Sat Oct 20 2001

    "I love the smell of Napalm in the morning." Messed up movie! Not for the eyes of impressionable children. But is the best vietnam movie in creation.

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    Sat Apr 07 2001

    Talk about a trip through Hell! “Apocalypse Now” is both real and surreal and most definitely devastating. This movie captured the overall mood of the Viet Nam era with all its emotional turmoil, political insanity and feeling of emptiness more completely than any other film I have ever seen. I saw it when it was first released and sat there wondering for awhile why the theater seemed so odd. Then it suddenly occurred to me as I was leaving that nobody in the place had moved, spoken or even gone to the bathroom for the last hour of the show.

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    Tue Jan 30 2001

    A psychological film journeying through the mind of an ex-lieutenant (I forget exactly who the main character is). Journeying up the river and to a savage community of men, the film shows the viewer what happens to men in isolation.

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    Fri Jan 19 2001

    A brilliant film! Coppola's adaptation of Conrad's novel is beautiful. Apocalypse Now is cinematically excellent, and beautifully preformed. Martin Sheen is so convincing in that role, his lack of recognition for it is a crime.

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    Thu Jan 11 2001

    Francis Ford Coppola at his best. This is Coppola's rendition of the classic "Heart of Darkness," set in the Vietnam war. A glimpse into the primitive evil inherent within men-see it. The cinematography is awesome!

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    Thu Nov 16 2000

    This movie is an outright classic. Never has a Vietnam epic been depicted in such a psychotic, yet moving fashion. Apocalypse Now never gives you a moment to relax and just stare at the screen. You will constantly find yourself questioning the sanity of the characters and yourself. A definite must see.

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    Mon Oct 30 2000

    Man, this is a stunning, incredible movie. You should also check out the documentary about the making of this movie. It's called Hearts Of Darkness: A Film Maker's Apocalypse. You won't forget it.

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    Thu Jul 13 2000

    This made no sense whatsoever. At least the book it's based on is worse.

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    Sat Jun 24 2000

    Until last night, the only time I had seen this movie was in my 11th grade English so that we could write an essay comparing it to Conrad's Heart of Darkness. It's really difficult to get a sense of a movie in 45 minute pieces. Boy, am I glad I took a second look. This movie is wonderful. Narrated incredibly by Martin Sheen, the movie follows his character, Capt. Willard, as he goes further and further up the river into the jungles of Vietnam to "terminate with extreme prejudice" Kurtz a former military hero who has gone crazy. With tremendous performances by the entire cast, notably Sheen and Robert Duvall, Apocalypse Now allows us to see the many horrors of Vietnam and how the men who went there were changed forever. You definitely have to be in the right mood to watch this movie, but if you haven't seen it, make sure you rent it. The vivid pictures and wonderful camera shots created by Coppola and the great acting will make it worthwhile.

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    Wed Nov 24 1999

    This is my alltime favorite movie. I even liked it better than the book it is based on, Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad. The music fit the mood of the movie perfectly, especially "The End" by The Doors.

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    Sun Nov 14 1999

    A visual Masterpiece. Many of the actors smoked weed and dropped acid in order to really get into their roles. This movie has a gritty, surealistic feel that definitely benefits from the sacrifices and passion of Francis Ford Coppolla.

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    Mon Nov 01 1999

    Except for the brutal and memorable scene of a whole family getting shot up protecting a puppy, I think this film runs a poor second to the excellent Joseph Conrad book, Heart of Darkness, on which it was based.