Casualties of War is a haunting and emotionally moving morality tale, involving the gang rape and murder of a young Vietnamese woman (Thuy Thu Le) by American soldiers during the Vietnam conflict.
Michael J. Fox is absolutely remarkable as a conscious-stricken G.I. who refuses to participate in the brutality wreaked by his unit, led by demonic father figure Sergeant Meserve (Sean Penn) – a thug who oversees the kidnap, rape, and murder.
The story is based on fact, adapted from a famous New Yorker article and, as if in deference to the material, De Palma resisted his usual trickery, diverting his stylistic impulses into masterful widescreen compositions.
This film should rank among the best attempts to define the Vietnam War and, in general, the moral complexities of military combat.
Michael J Fox
Sergeant Tony Meserve
Corporal Thomas E Clark
John C Reilly
Thuy Thu Le
Sergeant Frank Brown
Brian De Palma