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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6 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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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  »

Box Office

Budget:

$72,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of Swofford's "anecdotes" are based on urban legends of the Marine Corps. He has made his unit the basis for "Did you hear about that guy who..." for most USMC legends. See more »

Goofs

We see the Marines partying to Naughty By Nature's "OPP" during a Christmas party in 1990. However, that song was not released until 1991. 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

References Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

The U.S. Air Force
Written by Robert Crawford
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Full Metal Witch Project
27 October 2005 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Just saw an advanced screening of this tonight. While it isn't the film that has been so brilliantly advertised, it's a very solid film. It feels a lot like "Full Metal Jacket" early on, but with more humor. Then, it becomes an entirely new animal. More of a psychological study. I would actually call this the "Blair Witch Project" of war films in that you (and the characters) know the Boogeyman's "out there," you're just waiting for him to strike. And the longer you wait, the more stir-crazy you become within your own mind.

The acting is superb and the cinematography is stellar. It's an anti-war film without being distinctly liberal about it. It's a true story, and for the most part, Mendes tells it like it is. So, you can make your own judgment about it. But based off what you see, and all that happens, you have no choice but see the absurdity, not only in war, but perhaps in some of the USMC's tactics as well. It's heartbreaking to see what an experience like this can do to young men.

If you're looking for action, this is not the film you're looking for. No heroism, judgments, insight, or hope. Just the documentation and reflection of build up, the destruction of lives, psychological torment, boredom, camaraderie, and...waiting.


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