A psychological study of operations desert shield and desert storm during the gulf war; through the eyes of a U.S marine sniper who struggles to cope with the possibility his girlfriend may be cheating on him back home.

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(screenplay) (as William D. Broyles Jr.), (book)
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Cast

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Storyline

Anthony "Swoff" Swofford, a Camus-reading kid from Sacramento, enlists in the Marines in the late 1980s. He malingers during boot camp, but makes it through as a sniper, paired with the usually-reliable Troy. The Gulf War breaks out, and his unit goes to Saudi Arabia for Desert Shield. After 175 days of boredom, adrenaline, heat, worry about his girlfriend finding someone else, losing it and nearly killing a mate, demotion, latrine cleaning, faulty gas masks, and desert football, Desert Storm begins. In less than five days, it's over, but not before Swoff sees burned bodies, flaming oil derricks, an oil-drenched horse, and maybe a chance at killing. Where does all the testosterone go? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every man fights his own war. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, some violent images and strong sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

4 November 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Soldado anónimo  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$27,726,210 (USA) (4 November 2005)

Gross:

$2,340,121 (Australia) (24 February 2006)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jake Gyllenhaal and Chris Cooper first worked together on October Sky (1999), although they only share one scene in this film. See more »

Goofs

Flipped shot: As Swofford says, "My war experience has begun," and sand is falling in his face, the two moles on his face appear both as he is shown in right and left profile. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Anthony 'Swoff' Swofford: A story: A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands, love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper; his hands remember the rifle.
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Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits, Sykes can be heard calling out the following military cadence, with his platoon responding: 'All my life it was my dream/ To be a bad motherfucking U.S. Marine.' See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cleanflix (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Cavatina
Written by Stanley Myers
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

a worthy effort but seems to be lacking
19 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

Gritty story based on the true life experiences of Marine recruit Anthony Swofford, a naive teenager who gets more than he bargained for beginning in basic training, then a long and hellish nightmare of combat after he's shipped off to Kuwait during Operation Desert Shield. Well-crafted, strongly acted, and extremely political the film certainly holds your interest, but the script is unfocused, the subject matter never truly compelling, and the momentum slows more and more as it goes along. Gyllenhaal is respectable as the reluctant Marine who finds himself in over his head, while Foxx is a powerhouse as his gung-ho sergeant. Starts off strongly, but gradually becomes conventional and loses its way. **½


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