Directed by Peter Farrelly (‘Green Book’), ‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever’ is a war drama on Apple TV+. It is based on the 2017 autobiographical book ‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty, and War by the real-life John Donohue and JT Molloy. It tells the incredible story of John Chickie Donohue’s (Zac Efron) journey through war-torn Vietnam to deliver beer to the boys in his neighborhood. Along the way, he encounters the horrors of war and undergoes drastic changes. If you watched The Greatest Beer Run Ever and liked it, here’s a list of recommendations that might work for you. You can watch most of these movies like ‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever’ on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
7. First They Killed My Father (2017)
Based on Loung Ung’s eponymous memoir, ‘First They Killed My Father’ is a Cambodian-American Khmer-language war drama, which offers the perspective of victims of the Vietnam War. The film was directed by Loung Ung and Angelina Jolie. After fighting in Vietnam spills over into neighboring Cambodia, a civil war ensues. Thousands of families in the capital suddenly become refugees, including the Ung family. The film documents their struggle to survive and the bitter losses they suffer. Like ‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever’, ‘First They Killed My Father’ draws on shocking imagery to tell a candid story about war.
6. Platoon (1986)
Oliver Stone’s film Platoon features an ensemble cast and is the first installment of Stone’s Vietnam trilogy (the other two being Born on the Fourth of July and Heaven & Earth (1993)). Told from the perspective of US Army volunteer Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen), Platoon explores the morale of the men who serve alongside Taylor and the morality of war itself. Like ‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever’, ‘Platoon’ offers a unique perspective on warfare, not least because it’s inspired by Stone’s own experiences in the Southeast Asian country.
5. Born on July 4 (1989)
Oliver Stone’s second Vietnam film on the list, ‘Born on the Fourth of July’ is an anti-war film, which explores the widespread devastation war brought to an entire generation. The movie The Greatest Beer Run Ever touches on this subject, although it is limited in scope. The 1989 film follows Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise), a Vietnam veteran who must use a wheelchair for the rest of his life due to injuries he sustained during the war. After returning to the United States, he grew increasingly disillusioned and resorted to alcohol to cope. Over time, he became a prominent critic of the war. As with The Greatest Beer Run Ever, Born on the Fourth of July is based on the protagonist’s autobiography.
4. Forrest Gump (1994)
Based on the eponymous 1986 novel, Forrest Gump is cinema at its finest. The film chronicles the epic journey of its unlikely titular protagonist as he navigates the United States of the 20th century. Forrest (Tom Hanks), who has an IQ of 75, embarks on a journey that puts him close to many significant events in recent American history. Over the course of the film, we see Forrest rise to fame and fortune, despite his distance from it all. Chickie’s background may not be as extensive as Forrest’s, but their experiences in Vietnam mirror each other. Neither is out of place in the war zone and they are forced to accept their situation with a certain numbness.
3. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
Like The Greatest Beer Race of All Time, The Motorcycle Diaries chronicles an extraordinary, life-changing journey, though whoever embarks on it is slightly better known than the humble (but still awe-inspiring) Chickie Donohue. Ernesto Che Guevara is a controversial figure in the annals of history – revered by some, reviled by others. However, The Motorcycle Diaries, based on the eponymous 1952 memoir, is set in a time when Ernesto had not yet become Che. The film documents the expedition of Ernesto and his friend Alberto Granado across South America in 1952, which exposes the first to the condition of the people of his continent and greatly influences his actions in the future.
2. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
1987 was an exceptional year for cinema. ‘Full Metal Jacket’ and the number one entry on this list were both released that year, along with other fine films. Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, ‘Full Metal Jacket’ tells the story of two Marines – JT ‘Joker’ Davis and Leonard ‘Gomer Pyle’ – following them from boot camp to the Vietnam War. ‘The Greatest Beer Run Ever’ attempts and has limited success in deconstructing the capitalist patriarchy that served as the basis for the Vietnam War, while ‘Full Metal Jacket’ delves into it in depth, offering an uncompromising depiction of the washing of brains recruits face in boot camps and the inhumanity they are asked to embrace once they arrive in the war zone.
1. Hello, Vietnam (1987)
There are arguably better movies on this list, but none of them come thematically close to The Greatest Beer Run Ever like Good Morning, Vietnam. Set in Saigon in 1965 and loosely based on a true story, the latter’s plot revolves around Airman Second Class Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams), who arrives in Vietnam to serve as a DJ for the forces’ radio service. armies. He quickly becomes popular among the soldiers, but earns the ire of his superiors due to his unconventional approach to his job. Like Chickie in The Greatest Beer Run Ever, Adrian is inspired by a real person. Moreover, both of these characters are imbued with an inherent optimism, which inevitably influences those around them.