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MPAA Rated R for disturbing violent images, language, sexual content and some drug use

Sex & Nudity

  • Within the first few minutes of the film, a man is seen in his room in his underwear. A very quick glimpse of his penis can be seen before he sits down and the camera moves.
  • Towards the end of the film, a nude body is seen hanging from a tree. Male genitals are clearly seen and visible for a couple seconds.
  • A man opens a woman's shirt exposing her bear breasts.
  • A woman undress herself exposing her breasts to have sex with a man.
  • All instances of female nudity are not in the regular movie. Just the redux and final cut.
  • A soldier on a boat is bottomless and we see his buttocks
  • There are several posters of nude women wearing bikinis and exposing bare breasts.
  • There are some sexual references among the soldiers.
  • Three Playboy Bunnies entertain a group of soldiers and they dance suggestively in tiny costumes which expose cleavage. Not very long and not graphic.

Violence & Gore

  • A soldier's leg is blown off. We see a ton of blood around the wound and the soldier is screaming in pain.
  • Civilians and soldiers alike are brutally gunned down and killed.
  • A man punches a mirror and cuts his hand. Blood is shown on his torso as well as on the bed sheets. (this was actually real blood from sheen himself, seriously, search it up)
  • There are bloody dead bodies shown throughout.
  • Intense war violence throughout. The level of war violence and its effects on people are intense and psychologically distressing. Accurately depicts wartime during the late 60's
  • A real water buffalo is shown being beheaded (the film's crew were invited to record this ceremony). Blood, gore and meat is all visible.
  • A man is beheaded. It's all offscreen, but we briefly see his head after it is removed.
  • Contains several very intense battle sequences.


  • "Nigga" is used by black soldiers
  • "Fuck" is used 86 times. "Shit" is used a few time, as well as uses of words referring to the male genitals, a-words, and uses of God damn/God damnit, and other less swear words.
  • Jim Morrison's "The End" uses "fuck" multiple times in one part of it; this part can be heard in one scene of the film.

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking

  • Marijuana is smoked a couple of times.
  • Cigarettes are smoked consistently throughout the movie.
  • Alcohol is used both abusively and socially throughout the movie.
  • It is implied a soldier is on acid in one scene
  • Early in the movie, a soldier is seen drinking himself to limit while waiting for his assignment.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • Rated R for disturbing violent content, strong language, sexuality and some drug use.
  • Colonel Kurtz is an ex commando whose gone completely insane from seeing too much carnage and war violence and he creates his own little kingdom of savage villagers. He's developed a philosophy that savage killing is genius and necessary. Each scene with him is eerie and creepy
  • This film is very dark and disturbing.
  • Early in the film, the main character is shown drinking in one scene when waiting for a mission. He is also shown acting drunk in the scene and it is implied that he is in a drunken state. While this isn't explicitly stated, it is strongly implied in the scene, and becomes clear that he is drunk.
  • The entire film has a very psychological feel to it, as it deals with men who deal with stress over the disturbing vision of war.
  • The combat scenes may be intense to some, and the water buffalo being slaughtered is disturbing, especially for those people sensitive to animal abuse, because its death is real; this is not simulated.


The Parents Guide items below may give away important plot points.

Violence & Gore

  • Colonel Kurtz's kingdom is littered with bloody dead bodies of men, women and children that he ordered to be executed. The stairs to his palace have lots of blood and decapitated heads on each step.
  • Chefs decapitated head is dropped in Willard's lap. He screams in horror (Willard, that is.)
  • Captain Willard hacks Colonel Kurtz to death with a machete. There is some blood on the walls and on his body. This scene is extremely disturbing due to the tone of the scene and the disturbing music that is being played.
  • A young man is brutally gunned down by the Vietcong. His entire body is covered in blood and several soldiers cry at the sight of his death.
  • A chief is impaled by a spear. Blood pours out and soaks up his whole torso, he then tries to take a captain with him but he eventually dies. This scene is extremely disturbing.
  • A group of civilians are brutally gunned down by Americans, blood spurts are shown. A soldier shoots a critically wounded woman in the face without any remorse.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • The final killing scene is very intense, as we see a real buffalo's head being cut off, as the main character kills another man with a machete.

See also

Taglines | Plot Summary | Synopsis | Plot Keywords

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