William Oliver Stone (born September 15, 1946) is an American film director, producer, and writer. He won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay as writer of Alan Parker’s Midnight Express (1978), Brad Davis, Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins, Paolo Bonacelli, Paul L. Smith, Randy Quaid, Norbert Weisser, Peter Jeffrey, and John Hurt; and wrote the gangster movie Scarface (1983), directed by Brian De Palma and starring Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robert Loggia, and F. Murray Abraham; He achieved prominence as writer and director with the war drama Platoon (1986), with Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen, Keith David, Kevin Dillon, John C. McGinley, Forest Whitaker, and Johnny Depp; which won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture. Platoon was the first in a trilogy of films based on the Vietnam War, in which Stone served as an infantry soldier. He continued the series with Born on the Fourth of July (1989), with Tom Cruise, Kyra Sedgwick, Raymond J. Barry, Jerry Levine, Frank Whaley, and Dafoe —for which Stone won his second Best Director Oscar—and Heaven & Earth (1993), with Tommy Lee Jones, Haing S. Ngor, Joan Chen, and Hiep Thi Le.
Stone’s other works include horror film The Hand (1981), with Michael Caine; the Salvadoran Civil War-based drama Salvador (1986); the financial drama Wall Street (1987), with Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, Daryl Hannah, and Martin Sheen; and its sequel Money Never Sleeps (2010), with Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan, Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon and Eli Wallach; the Jim Morrison biographical film The Doors (1991), with Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Kevin Dillon, Kyle MacLachlan, Frank Whaley, Michael Madsen, Billy Idol, and Kathleen Quinlan; the satirical black comedy crime film Natural Born Killers (1994), with Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Sizemore, Jones, and Rodney Dangerfield; a trilogy of films based on the American Presidency: JFK (1991), with Kevin Costner, Kevin Bacon, Jones, Gary Oldman, Sissy Spacek, Vincent D’Onofrio, and John Candy; Nixon (1995), with Anthony Hopkins, Joan Allen, Annabeth Gish, Marley Shelton, Powers Boothe, J.T. Walsh, E.G. Marshall, James Woods, Paul Sorvino, Bob Hoskins, Larry Hagman, Ed Harris, Madeline Kahn, and David Hyde Pierce; and W. (2008), with Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, James Cromwell, Ellen Burstyn, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Scott Glenn, and Richard Dreyfuss.
Other films include U Turn (1997), with Sean Penn, Billy Bob Thornton, Jennifer Lopez, Jon Voight, Boothe, Joaquin Phoenix, Claire Danes, and Nick Nolte; Any Given Sunday (1999), with Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx, James Woods, LL Cool J, Ann-Margret, Lauren Holly, Matthew Modine, McGinley, Charlton Heston, Bill Bellamy, Lela Rochon, Aaron Eckhart, Elizabeth Berkley, Marty Wright, Jim Brown and Lawrence Taylor; Alexander (2004), with Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Jared Leto, Rosario Dawson, and Hopkins; World Trade Center (2006), with Nicolas Cage, Maria Bello, Michael Peña, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Stephen Dorff, and Michael Shannon; Savages (2012), with Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Benicio del Toro, Demián Bichir, Salma Hayek, and John Travolta; and Snowden (2016), with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Scott Eastwood, Logan Marshall-Green, Timothy Olyphant, Ben Schnetzer, LaKeith Lee Stanfield, Rhys Ifans and Cage.
Many of his films focus on controversial American political issues during the late 20th century, and as such were considered contentious at the times of their releases. They often combine different camera and film formats within a single scene, as demonstrated in JFK, Natural Born Killers, and Nixon. Like his subject matter, Stone has become a controversial figure in American filmmaking, with critics accusing him of promoting unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, and of misrepresenting real-world events and figures in his works.
Each review will be linked to the title below.
(*seen originally in theaters)
(**seen rereleased in theaters)
- Seizure (1974) – director, co-writer
- Midnight Express (1978) – writer
- The Hand (1981) – director, writer
- Conan the Barbarian (1982) – co-writer; directed by John Milius
- Scarface (1983) – writer
- Year of the Dragon (1985) – co-writer; directed by Michael Cimino
- Salvador (1986) – director, co-writer
- 8 Million Ways to Die (1986) – co-writer; directed by Hal Ashby
- Platoon (1986) – director, writer
- Wall Street (1987) – director, co-writer
- Talk Radio (1988) – director, co-writer
- Born on the Fourth of July (1989) – director, co-writer
- The Doors (1991) – director, co-writer
- JFK (1991) – director, co-writer
- Heaven & Earth (1993) – director, writer
- Natural Born Killers (1994) – director, co-writer
- Nixon (1995) – director, co-writer
- Evita (1996) – co-writer
- U Turn (1997) – director, co-writer
- Any Given Sunday (1999) – director, co-writer
- Alexander (2004)* – director, co-writer
- World Trade Center (2006) – director
- W. (2008) – director
- Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) – director
- Savages (2012) – director, co-writer
- Snowden (2016) – director, co-writer
- White Lies (TBA) – director, writer