Films featuring
Charlie Sheen

Wall Street

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Oliver Stone’s reputation as a wide-eyed provocateur of the left is mostly founded around one movie, the unfortunate JFK, and those who only see him through the prism of that one movie might expect Wall Street to be nothing less than a lacerating indictment of the entire capitalist system. The director’s target is more specific than that, however. His father was a stockbroker, so Stone isn’t about to trash the entire profession, but he does take aim at some of the more egregious excesses of the mid-eighties.

Keep in mind that this was before day trading and the days of CNBC and cable news channels with a full time stock ticker running across the bottom of the screen, so elements that seem familiar to us in 2007 were actually somewhat revelatory in 1987. Thus, Stone’s insider’s look at the world of corporate raiders and leveraged buyouts was pretty eye-opening at the time.

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Red Dawn

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Ah, the Eighties. They were a time, weren’t they? We had MTV, big hair, narrow ties, Ronald Reagan and a commie behind every rock. John Milius’ tale of teenage insurgents fighting a communist invasion of the United States is violent, at times goofily operatic and it’s probably a better movie than you’ve heard. That violence earned it the distinction of being the first PG-13-rated movie ever released.

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Platoon

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Oliver Stone’s Platoon remains the pinnacle of his directorial career and with good reason. Presenting the grunt’s eye view of the Vietnam War, this is definitely a movie that could only have been made by someone who had been there. Even if you disagree with Stone’s politics and find fault with his later work, it’s hard to dispute the sincerity and brutal honesty he brings to this film.

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Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

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This movie may be just a little bit of the curse of my generation. I have many memories from approximately five, six years ago, sitting in a conference call at my job. I worked for Gateway Computers at the time and the rest of my team was in South Dakota, poor bastards. Anyway, on these conference calls, any and every awkward silence would be greeted with someone parodying Ben Stein‘s economics teacher. “Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?”

Along with Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Ferris Bueller has become sort of an “official” movie for people who went to high school during the eighties. It is, quite simply, the perfect high school fantasy where the clever adolescent ditches school and puts one over on the entire adult world.

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