- Adaptation Displacement: As usual, many people have not heard of the book.
- Award Snub: The film received 7 Academy Award nominations, and received absolutely no wins.
- Awesome Music: The entire soundtrack by Hans Zimmer 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 Pearl Harbor when the beautiful trailer music taken from this film got them into theatres to see that film.
- Ending Fatigue: At the end of the arduous, bloody, exhausting mission to capture the heights and secure the airfield, it feels like the story has come full circle. The characters have a chance to reflect on the meaning of what they've just been through, and some talk about what they intend to do in the future. Charlie Company gets back on the ship, the island recedes in their wake, the screen slowly fades to black... and then the movie keeps going! Because of the sheer length, emotional investment, and distinct climax and denouement of that one mission, the episode that follows ends up feeling like an overly drawn-out epilogue instead of a proper climax/conclusion.
- Jerkass Woobie: Fife in the book. He's Innocently Insensitive and horrible to poor Bead, but his self-hatred, the constant abuse he takes from Welsh, and life itself having it out for him makes him a pitiable figure nevertheless.
- Narm: There are moments in certain characters' death scenes that seem cliche or unintentionally funny, which is an occupational hazard whenever you're trying to portray a drawn-out death with great emotion and horrible pain.
- Narm Charm: On the other hand, there are times when the acting really works. Nick Nolte deserves credit for being able to chew the scenery so hard as Ltc. Tall while still keeping his character believable.
- Jerkass Woobie: Even Ltc. Tall inspires some sympathy with his Motive Rant.
- Strawman Has a Point: 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.
YMMV / The Thin Red Line