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Jarhead (2005)

R  |   |  Drama, War  |  4 November 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 136,402 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 655 user | 258 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

Based on former Marine Anthony Swofford's best-selling 2003 book about his pre-Desert Storm experiences in Saudi Arabia and about his experiences fighting in Kuwait.



(screenplay) (as William D. Broyles Jr.) , (book)
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6 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Riad Galayini ...
Craig Coyne ...


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


Welcome To The Suck See more »


Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




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Release Date:

4 November 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Soldado anónimo  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Chris Cooper and Jamie Foxx; and one Oscar nominee: Jake Gyllenhaal. See more »


When SSgt. Sykes takes the platoon on a run after failing the gas drill, the platoon is in full MOPP gear, but SSgt. Sykes is not. This is a big no-no in the USMC because leaders are expected to lead from the front, so he should have been in full MOPP gear as well. See more »


[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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title of the movie is the only opening credit at the beginning of the movie. See more »


References Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) See more »


Bang a Gong (Get It On)
Written by Marc Bolan
Performed by T. Rex
Courtesy of Muscadet Productions, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Every War Movie is Different. Every War Movie is the Same.
2 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

More than anyone, I would imagine that U.S. Soldiers would have a more specific opinion of this film than anyone else. They were there, they were in it, no one knows better than they.

And there are two kinds of soldiers: those who loved it, who took great pride and honor in serving their country... and those who saw it as just a job, got out, and got on with their lives. "Jarhead" is based on a book, written by a U.S. Marine, who falls squarely into the second category.

He does not judge, he does not come out as for or against the war. This is not a political movie, yet will still make some people uncomfortable, and it should. "Jarhead" lays out the experience of one particular Marine from boot camp, to (suddenly) Operation Desert Shield, to Operation Desert Storm. What happens here is not always pretty, but it is the truth, and the truth should be all we can ask for.

The screenplay was adapted by William Broyles Jr., who in addition to some TV work, adapted the recent "Planet of the Apes" remake, and "Cast Away." Personally, I didn't think either of these films were anything special, which is why "Jarhead" is such a surprise. Not a lot blows up, there's no huge siege like in your typical Vietnam movie... it's a surprisingly affecting study of this one man, the experiences he had, the people he knew. It's about the Corps, and it's about brotherhood. Our main character, Swof, never judges, never mentions politics, is only the best Marine that he knows how to be.

As Swof's friend Troy says at one point, "F*** politics. We're here. All the rest is bull****." Which is all the movie is about, really. This is what happened. Take it or leave it.

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