* AdaptationDisplacement: As usual, many people have not heard of the book.
* AwardSnub: The film received 7 UsefulNotes/AcademyAward nominations, and received '''''absolutely no wins'''''.
** Also, none of those nominations were for the actors, which can seem slightly egregious when one sees the performances of Creator//NickNolte and Elias Koteas.
** The Hollywood Foreign Press Association [[note]]who run the Golden Globes[[/note]] gave it no nominations, and neither did the [=BAFTAs=].
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: The entire [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TG9-j3eevL4#t=2m0s soundtrack]] by HansZimmer is a symphonic piece, probably his best work to date (and yes, that is saying something). Many people who haven't seen the film have heard the soundtrack in trailers for other, lesser war movies. Some people were even angry at ''Film/PearlHarbor'' when the beautiful trailer music taken from this film got them into theatres to see that film.
* DoNotDoThisCoolThing: Averted in general. The film is pretty brutal, warfare is not depicted as something overly glamorous and there's not a word about patriotism (or any other high ideals for that matter). The tone is pretty much very down-to-earth.
** TruthInTelevision: There are no RedShirts, no FiveManBand and few [[CharacterArchetype archetypal characters]], unlike most war films. All the soldiers have slightly different personalities but generally tend to absorb the personality of their unit. AnyoneCanDie, and new faces come in and go throughout the film, like they would in a real unit (the book was based on James Jones' real life experience) subverting the standard fictional narrative arc. Much of the film's narrative is experienced in the characters' heads, and the climactic battle that serves as a formative experience for the entire unit occurs in the first half of the film. In the rest of the film we observe the aftermath.
* SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments: The film's opening in the Melanesian village; the death of Pvt. Coombs (a very young Matt Doran) as his fellow soldiers try to comfort him.
** Staros refusing to send more of his men up the hill.
--> '''Staros''': I have lived with these men for two and a half years. I will not order them all to their deaths.
* JerkassWoobie: Even Col. Tall inspires some sympathy with his MotiveRant.
* StrawmanHasAPoint: Lt. Colonel Tall is presented as exactly the kind of commander no one would want to work for, a {{Jerkass}} who cares more about glory than about his soldiers' lives. But he may be right about a lot of things, too; men die in war, and Staros may be too compassionate to lead them into it. And when he has a full understanding of the tactical situation he comes up with plans that ultimately work.