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Casualties of War (Unrated Extended Cut)

126 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Hailed by critics as a masterpiece, CASUALTIES OF WAR is based on the true story of a squad of soldiers caught in the moral quagmire of wartime Vietnam. Witness to a vile crime, Private Eriksson (Michael J. Fox, TV's, Spin City) is forced to stand alone against his fellow soldiers and commanding officer Sergeant Meserve (Sean Penn, Dead Man Walking), a powerful and charismatic man pushed over theedge of barbarism by the terror and brutality of combat. With sweeping scope, action and raw power,master filmmaker Brian DePalma (The Untouchables) creates a devastating and unforgettable tale of one man's quest for sanity and justice amidst the chaos of war.

Special Features

  • Includes footage added back into the film
  • "Eriksson's War" - A conversation with Michael J. Fox
  • "The Making of Casualties of War" featurette

Product Details

  • Actors: Michael J. Fox, Sean Penn, Don Harvey, John C. Reilly, John Leguizamo
  • Directors: Brian De Palma
  • Writers: Daniel Lang, David Rabe
  • Producers: Art Linson, Fred C. Caruso
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 25, 2006
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ELL1R6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,007 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Casualties of War (Unrated Extended Cut)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 63 people found the following review helpful By D. W. MacKenzie on April 29, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Casualties of War is a unique film. There are many films that depict wartime atrocities. This one stands above the rest because of it's character development. We get to know the guilty parties, and they are not purely evil, but are in many ways quite ordinary. They seem like regular US GI's at first, just trying to survive day by day.
Sean Penn's character (Sgt Meserve) leads them into an abyss, and only one of them (Eriksson, played by Micheal J Fox) refuses to enter. The others commit murder and rape, while Eriksson cringes. The separate perpetrators display trepidation, anxiousness, remorse and the lack thereof. Other characters exhibit cynicism and callousness. Their victim shows her fear alone.
This film is effective because it shows all but one of the soldiers as having different and human sides. Eriksson and Diaz (John Leguizamo) know that what is happening is wrong, but one fails to stop it, and the other participates. Meserve comes up with absurd lies to try to justify what they are doing, not only for Eriksson, but for the others, and it seems even for himself. Only one character in this film (Clark) is completely inhuman. His sadistic fervor and amoral smugness makes him appear as a monster, plain and simple.
This film is effective because it shows seemingly normal men in a descent into utter barbarism. Thuy Thu Le sets the mood for this by portraying the terror of their victim so well. Sympathy for the victim will surely make anyone cringe. But, it is by showing that the perpetrators, except Clark, are like most anyone that this film has its' strongest affect. How would we each fare if faced by such a situation? Who among us would stand against it? Who would succumb to it? This film strikes deeper than any horror film, with obviously inhuman monsters. It shows real people who become monsters, and is therefore vastly more effective- even more so because it all really happened.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Joseph E. Loudon on March 8, 2003
Format: DVD
Director Brian DePalma explained during the excellent "Marking Of" feature that he had wanted to make this film for nearly two decades. Why do so many truly great stories take soooooo long to reach the screen? Is it because studio executives believe everything must be dummy-downed or that American audiences can't bear to watch a real horror story like "Casualties of War"?
And this is a truly gut-wrenching story. You don't just watch this movie, turn the "off" switch and that's it. This story stays with you. It should.
"Casualties of War" depicts, painfully and directly, the dehumanizing nature of war. Yet, through Michael J. Fox's character (Eriksson), we see that even under these extreme circumstances, the most courageous people cling to their humanity. They don't completely resign from the human race.
Personally, I consider this film far superior to any other made about the Vietnam war -- better than the much overrated "Platoon" and even "Apocalypse Now."
For "Casualties of War" puts a very real human face on its story. While much has been said about Sean Penn's menacing and Michael J. Fox's tormented performances -- both are excellent -- I won't soon forget Thuy Thu Le, the actress who portrayed the innocent girl raped and butchered.
I'm flabbergasted that one critic called this film "unbearable" because the victim was given so little to say and was so passive. Just how aggressive was this tiny "girl" supposed to be when confronted by an armed squad? She spoke but no one could understand her. They didn't care what she had to say. She wasn't human to them. And that's the whole point.
What will haunt me when I recall this movie is the expressions on Thuy Thu Le's face. Horrified. Frighted. Confused. Innocent.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Photoscribe on January 11, 2004
Format: DVD
This is easily the most true-to-life of all the Vietnam war movies. Much more believable than "Platoon", which relegated many of its characters to cartoonish caricatures, such as Junior and Bunny. In THIS film, the personalities are very recognizable as the very sort of young men who either enlisted or were drafted into that war. The characters of Meserve, Clark, Diaz, Hill and others are clearly drawn on real people and are recognizable as post war personalities, peculiar to the sixties especially, of not particularly high character.
After repeated frustrations in battle, and spurred by the death of one of their number at the hands of the VC, Meserve, CO of the platoon, decides to abduct and gang rape a Vietnamese girl as revenge for the death, something most of the rest of the platoon thinks is a good idea. Ericksson, the new guy with the moral standards, opts out of the gang rape, and he thinks he has an ally in Diaz, a hispanic private of peripheral importance to the story, but when pressed by Meserve to join in, he quickly abandons Ericksson, who is left alone to report the incident to the brass of the company.
He's met with stonewalling and sympathy for the PERPETRATORS, rather than cooperation, and he readily feels like HE is being cast as the villain, trying to spoil the "fun" of the others. Throughout all this, he has but ONE ally, a fella from another company who seems to think just like he does. Someone along the chain of command, though, also must have been in his corner, because after the girl is shot and killed by Meserve, he and the rest are all brought up on charges for the rape and murder of a civilian.
Ericksson also has to endure Cpl.
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Casualties of War (Unrated Extended Cut)
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