A pigmy of a 'Nam movie among the giants of the type. Too slow, predictable and unlikely to make anyone want to enlist or even bother to frag their sarg. Redemptive ending probably cleared by the FBI, CIA and Mother's Union. Next time you see a weird guy on the Tube, worry...a lot.
Like being trapped in the nightmare of determinism - where all anyone can ever ask is "how could it be any different?" - this is a rousing if suspicious war drama. Rousing aesthetically, but morally dubious, with emphasis on Fox as a good guy trapped in bad circumstances, another victim of determinism. It's harrowing but not as effective as 'Redacted', which strips the story of stylistic sheen to hone viscerality.
I rewatch this film yesterday and i slightly change my opinion. I still think this is one of the worst films of de Palma, but is almost the opposite of Kubrick's work. The thing that i hate so much is Kubrick show power for itself and de Palma show how to affront this power. Nevertheless, "Casualties of War" seems to me a system film where all the good elements are suffocated.
Michael J. Fox is terrific in this role, I'm not sure what the reviewer below me was thinking. Sean Penn, on the other hand- was not yet the actor he is today. Throughout the entire film it seems like his voice is overdubbed. De Palma is however, De Palma- and therefore the usual nonsense occurs- way overdramatic scenes, strange camera angles at inappropriate times, and an overuse/reliance on a Morricone score.
One of the most painfully visceral war movies ever made. Not perfect, but a very underrated De Palma-opera (although it was one of Pauline Kaels favourite films) - makes a perfect double bill with the equally underappreciated, almost forgotten "Redacted". B+
This has been called underrated and powerful on all of the internet boards I've read about it, but dear god. It's like someone told de Palma to use all of his worst habits on one film. The cheesy slow-mo, the terrible dialog, the incredibly silly "powerful" moments…oh, and the acting's awful. The only one that's decent is Fox, and that's because he just looks kind of traumatised at how terrible Sean Penn is.