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Charlie Sheen Movies: 6 Early Films That Won Critical Acclaim

Updated on June 9, 2013
American actor Charlie Sheen (2012).
American actor Charlie Sheen (2012). | Source

You know Charlie Sheen from his long-running CBS sitcom, Two and a Half Men. Or maybe from the barrage of news reports on his personal life and professional demise.

But prior to his television career and bizarre media blitz, the American actor had starring roles in several movies that won critical acclaim.

Born Carlos Estevez, Sheen caught the acting bug at a young age. When he was nine, he had a small part in his father's 1974 television movie, The Execution of Private Slovik. His father is the veteran actor Martin Sheen.

During his teenage years, Sheen and two of his friends, Rob Lowe and Sean Penn, produced and starred in several amateur Super-8 films. The 1984 teen war drama, Red Dawn, was his first major role.

Sheen caught his big break two years later when Oliver Stone gave him a leading role in Platoon, the award-winning Vietnam war drama. The success of Platoon catapulted Sheen into stardom, and his subsequent movies established him as a major box office draw through the early 1990s.

Here are six Charlie Sheen movies that won critical acclaim. Three of them -- Platoon, Wall Street and Major League -- received major Hollywood awards.

Somebody once wrote, "Hell is the impossibility of reason." That's what this place feels like. Hell. -- Charlie Sheen as Chris Taylor

1. Platoon (1986)

Charlie Sheen's breakthrough came in 1986, with a lead role in the Vietnam war drama Platoon. The movie is based on director Oliver Stone's infantry experience during the Vietnam conflict.

Sheen portrays Chris Taylor, a young soldier caught in the middle of a moral crisis. His character struggles daily to maintain "not only my strength but also my sanity."

Platoon received four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director. The ensemble cast includes Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Keith David, Forest Whitaker, and John C. McGinley.

There's no nobility in poverty. -- Charlie Sheen as Bud Fox

2. Wall Street (1987)

Wall Street
Wall Street

Movie: DVD Format


Following the success of Platoon, Stone cast Sheen in the 1987 crime drama Wall Street. The movie pays tribute to Stone's father, a Depression-era stockbroker.

Sheen stars as a man who is willing to do anything to succeed, including illegal trading. The movie represents the excess of the 1980s, which declared: "Greed is good."

Michael Douglas, Daryl Hannah, and Martin Sheen join Sheen in Wall Street. Douglas won the Oscar for Best Actor.

Lord, forgive us for our wrongdoings, for our misguidance by heathen religions. Thank you for keeping us alive. -- Charlie Sheen as Richard "Dick" Brewer

3. Young Guns (1988)

Sheen continued his winning streak with Young Guns, a blockbuster western from 1998. The movie follows the adventures of Billy the Kid and his legendary gang of gunmen.

Emilio Estevez, Sheen's real-life brother, stars as Billy the Kid. Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Dermot Mulroney, Casey Siemasko, and other veteran actors also appear in the film.

Estevez reprised his role in Young Guns II, but Sheen did not have a part in the sequel.

You may think I'm shit now, but someday you're gonna be sorry you cut me. -- Charlie Sheen as Rick Vaughn

4. Major League (1989)

Major League is "a comedy with bats and balls." A major hit for Sheen, Major League follows the exploits of a fictional Cleveland Indians baseball team.

The owner is an exotic dancer whose husband did not survive their honeymoon. She deliberately builds a bad team so they will lose their games and she can move the team. When the players uncover her plot, they start winning games to spite her.

Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen, and Wesley Snipes join Sheen in this award-winning sports satire. The movie spawned two sequels.

I could never find time for love. It's too heavy. It's an anchor that drowns a man. -- Charlie Sheen as Topper Harley

5. Hot Shots! (1991)

Hot Shots!
Hot Shots!

Movie: DVD Format


Hot Shots! is a comedy spoof of Top Gun, a 1980s action film starring Tom Cruise.

The parody stars Charlie Sheen as an unstable fighter pilot who must overcome his fears to save a sabotaged mission. His target? Saddam Hussein's nuclear plants.

The award-winning film spoofs Rocky, Superman, Gone with the Wind, Dances with Wolves, and other iconic movies. The cast includes Cary Elwes, Valeria Golino, Lloyd Bridges, and Jon Cryer.

We must pray for our sins. On second thought, God's often busy. -- Charlie Sheen as Aramis

6. Three Musketeers (1993)

"All for one and one for all" declare The Three Musketeers. The classic Alexandre Dumas novel inspired this 1993 comedy film starring Charlie Sheen.

The movie follows the adventures of young d'Artagnan on his quest to become a musketeer. It simplifies the original story, taking great liberties with French history.

Sheen plays Aramis, a religious man who is an expert swordsman and a libertine. Other cast members include Kiefer Sutherland, Oliver Platt, Chris O'Donnell, and Rebecca De Mornay.

Reference Sources / Further Reading

Copyright © 2011. Annette R. Smith. All rights reserved.

Published: March 14, 2011 / Modified: June 9, 2013.

"Wall Street" reproduction poster print featuring Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen.
"Wall Street" reproduction poster print featuring Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen. | Source

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    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 5 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hi, BLACKANDGOLDJACK. Thank you for reading my movie hub. I appreciate your feedback. Of the six Charlie Sheen movies featured here, "Platoon" is my favorite. But I also enjoyed watching him as Aramis in "The Three Musketeers."

    • BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

      Jack Hazen 5 years ago from Blitzburgh area

      Oh yeah, Charlie is one wild and crazy guy. And usually pretty dang funny.

      "Platoon" is terrific. "Young Guns" sucks in my opinion. I just didn't buy Charlie and Emilio as famous outlaws in the old west. I mean, we're not talking Redford and Newman (Butch and Sundance) here.

      These two brothers are more credible together as garbage collectors. I saw "Men at Work" the other day and it was so stupid it made me laugh.

    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 5 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Thank you, Larry. I appreciate the encouragement!

    • the Blue sun profile image

      Larry D. Hudson 5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA

      Like your hubs keep up the good work...............

    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 6 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Hi, Danette. Thank you for reading my hub. I appreciate the encouragement!

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

      Charlie Sheen had a small but memorable part in Ferris Bueller's Day Off as a stoned punk sitting in police station when Ferris's sister (played by Jennifer Gray of Dirty Dancing fame) is also brought into the station.

      Too bad it seemed to presage his life later on. Nice hub

    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 6 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Yes. After brokenness, people often experience some of God's greatest blessings...if they are open to Him and truly confront why He allows it. Thanks for stopping by, Hypenbird!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I am always saddened to see talented men and women destroy their life. From the continued battles at home and now this life style he is living, Mr. Sheen needs a close encounter with the King. I hope and pray he finds Jesus before his life ends.

    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 6 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Thanks, darski, for sharing your insights...and for rating up this hub. I appreciate the encouragement!

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      You know, I have a son born the same year as Sheen and I have noticed many similar qualities, I think it's the generation of the spoiled, the best, California decadence, as well as me me me me....I kind of feel sorry for him, is is brilliant and his emotions are all misplaced and he has NO idea how to handle the changes of life, of culture of ego,and pain. An internal pain that he carries, yet cannot understand. I was a hippie, well I still am just an old hippie now. Each generation has a cross to bare. Great hub, he is a great actor, however so are many other. rate up, love & peace darski

    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 6 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Thank you, crystolite!

    • crystolite profile image

      Emma 6 years ago from Houston TX

      Well organized pics of work that well elaborated.