Critic Reviews



Based on 40 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
It is not often that a movie catches exactly what it was like to be this person in this place at this time, but Jarhead does.
Jarhead is about how the experience of being in the military fundamentally changes an individual. In this case, the focus isn't about the madness of slaughter in the jungle, but the madness of inaction in the desert.
Charlotte Observer
It's a unique vision of war from the point of view of a Marine who never pulled a trigger against a foe.
Entertainment Weekly
Jarhead isn't overtly political, yet by evoking the almost surreal futility of men whose lust for victory through action is dashed, at every turn, by the tactics, terrain, and morality of the war they're in, it sets up a powerfully resonant echo of the one we're in today.
Even when the script slips into sermonizing -- a Swoff voice-over informs us that we're all still "in the desert" -- Mendes keeps invading us with emotions. The jolt of Jarhead is undeniable, and it comes when you least expect it.
A harsh and thoroughly unromantic examination of the scarring effects of war.
What we're left with is solid if not exceptional, though it's good to see Mendes expanding as a filmmaker.
Philadelphia Inquirer
They're all dressed up to kill, with no place to go.
The Hollywood Reporter
Jarhead refuses to engage in its own point of view toward events it depicts. So the film feels empty and tentative, uncertain of what if anything these events add up to.
As much as we intellectually admire Jarhead, it's a cold film that only sporadically makes the kind of emotional connection it's after.
Wall Street Journal
An exercise in inertia about an exercise in futility.
New York Daily News
The movie has some of the washed-out look of David O. Russell's excellent "Three Kings," but none of the edge. That's part of the point - that nothing leads to anything, at least not in this particular war.

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