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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.



(screenplay) (as William D. Broyles Jr.), (book)
2,660 ( 81)
6 wins & 12 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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Every man fights his own war. See more »


Action | 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:




| | |

Release Date:

4 November 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Soldado anónimo  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$72,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$62,647,540 (USA) (13 January 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The sex-video breakup scene is actually a well-known urban legend that has been circulating the American military since the late 1980s and actually does happen. See more »


When they first arrive in Saudi they are in a tent when SSGT yells gas, and Swoffard tries to get his NBC Suit on first. All military are trained to put on their protective mask up first before before getting the rest of their MOPP gear on. 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 Taxi Driver (1976) See more »


Written by Stanley Myers
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A true and realistic story
4 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As someone who is in the military, I thought this movie was perfect. If you are looking for a message about war or politics you won't find it here. This movie is strictly a story told by the main character about his time serving in the Marine Corps and his tour in the Gulf. It is true to life. From the language, situations, to the way the characters interact, the film is right on with accuracy.

The film is shot with striking cinematography. Scenes in the desert, especially with the oil fires, are breathtaking. The shots are done perfectly and originally throughout while the score and soundtrack takes it to a powerful emotional level.

The film will receive bad reviews from a political standpoint. I read a couple before I saw the movie that all stated they didn't like the movie because it had no message or stance. To that I say good. It was refreshing to see a movie as a movie. I was glad that it was just a story, and there wasn't any motivation underneath it. That's not to say that the movie is one dimensional. There are many undertones, just none of which are attempting to reassert or defame the current war in the East.

See this film if you want to see a humorous, sad, psychotic, intense, and most importantly REAL story.

473 of 587 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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