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Jarhead (2005)

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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)
2,670 ( 157)
6 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Branded Marine
Riad Galayini ...
Craig Coyne ...
Young Mr. Swofford
Young Mrs. Swofford
Swoff's Sister
Mrs. Swofford
Mr. Swofford


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 »


Biography | 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  »


Box Office


$72,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,726,210, 6 November 2005, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The original screenplay contained a more pointed political stance which Sam Mendes stripped out. See more »


The "M1A1 Abrams" tanks we see in one of the scenes are fake: the number of road wheels is incorrect (6 instead of 7). These are British Chieftain tanks mocked up to resemble Abrams tanks. 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

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 »


References The Day After Tomorrow (2004) See more »


Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)
Written by Robert Clivillés, Freedom Williams
Performed by C+C Music Factory (as C & C Music Factory)
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

Every War Movie is Different. Every War Movie is the Same.
2 November 2005 | by 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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