3. 'Platoon' (1986)
The first of Stone's trilogy about Vietnam (The others are 1989's Born on the Fourth of July and 1993's Heaven & Earth), Platoon remains one of Stone's strongest movies and his most flagrantly personal. Starring a pre-bonkers Charlie Sheen as Stone's sort-of analogue, Platoon stunned and divided audiences with its brutality, but it racked up awards, including Best Picture and Best Director Oscars for Stone. It ushered in a new era of post-Vietnam pop culture. (It's impossible to imagine anything from Full Metal Jacket – admittedly well into production at the time – to the TV show Tour of Duty to the comic book The 'Nam without the influence of Platoon. Also, it was a Christmas movie!