Apocalypse Now movie review - Aussieboyreviews


When it comes to maximum levels of intensity in films relating to war, horror and insanity, Apocalypse Now is definitely one up there. This war-drama is violent, dark, disturbing and extremely horrific. “The horror… the horror…”.


During the Vietnam war, American army officer Captain Benjamin Willard is tasked with searching and executing a renegade colonel who has gone insane and sees himself as a god.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Cast: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Frederic Forrest, Sam Bottoms, Laurence Fishburne, Albert Hall, Robert Duvall, Harrison Ford
Writer: John Milius, Francis Ford Coppola
Release Date (Australia): 15 November 1979
Runtime: 153 minutes/2h 33m
Genre: War, Drama, Mystery
Country: USA
Language: English, French, Vietnamese

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (R18+)

The film features explicit war themes and includes multiple battle sequences. Thematic content includes assassination, insanity, depictions of corpses and a scene in which a water buffalo is killed.

Violence (R18+)

The film contains depictions of war violence in the form of shootings, impalement and decapitations that are accompanied by large amounts of blood, injury detail and large sprays of blood.

Coarse Language (MA15+)

The film features frequent and often aggressive use of “f**k” and its derivatives, as well as the words “s**t”, “**shole”, “prick”, “son of a bitch” and “bastards”.

Drug Use (M)

The film contains depictions of marijuana smoking and a scene in which a man is implied to be under the influence of LSD. There are also verbal references to “smoking dope” and “dropping acid”.

Nudity (M)

The film features scenes of brief male frontal and buttocks nudity, as well as brief images of female breasts nudity.

Sex (M)

The film contains crude reference to sex.

mpaa rating

R (for disturbing violent images, language, sexual content and some drug use)

Aussie boy's thoughts

Francis Ford Coppola’s war epic is a film about the madness of war and how it can affect a man’s mental sanity. It’s just that the dialogue between people who loved and hated the film could be much easier if he had just stuck with one official cut to impress audiences worldwide. He released a theatrical version, a redux version, the 5-hour workprint and a final cut, which is a few too many.

Already running longer than 2 hours, Apocalypse Now is certainly a lengthy film with several chunky areas throughout where the interest in some viewers are undoubtedly going to detach. However, it’s usually very watchable, with a dark atmosphere and outstanding performances to keep you planted in your seat. In plenty of cases, you’re likely to find the movie’s pacing a lot more suitable after a second watch.

Martin Sheen outruns the rest of the cast by miles with his very convincing performance as a captain tasked with searching for and assassinating a renegade colonel who has gone mad and sees himself as a God. During his scenes of narration, it very much feels like the film is dissolving into a psychological character study as the character’s mind slowly becomes unsound and he begins to understand the ways of the man he’s trying to kill.

Francis Ford Coppola’s direction is equally as much of a highlight as the performances, as he creates an unpleasant, cold and disturbing tone whilst the film’s events continue to progress. But Apocalypse Now just simply isn’t a movie for everyone to engage in, especially depending on which cut you’re watching. A second viewing is definitely recommended.

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