Watch This: Tom Cruise delivers his best performance in Born On The Fourth Of July

Every day, Watch This offers staff recommendations inspired by a new movie coming out that week. This week: The biopics American Sniper and Unbroken have us thinking back on other true stories about soldiers.

Born On The Fourth Of July (1989)

Tom Cruise’s finest big-screen hour remains Born On The Fourth Of July, the heartbreaking—and ultimately heartening—true story of Ronnie Kovic (Cruise), a kid from Massapequa, Long Island, who joins the Marines to fight in Vietnam and, after being paralyzed during combat, returns home to a country he barely recognizes. Writer-director Oliver Stone’s early passages of Kovic’s youth in small-town USA, replete with parades on Independence Day (Kovic’s birthday) and teenage experiences with friends and love interests, poignantly capture the mixture of religion, patriotism, and history—as well as Kovic’s personal desire to be something more than ordinary—that compels his protagonist to …

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