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An excellent movie if you can take wanting more when it's over.
brauner13 June 2005
I just finished the movie and it really is a great piece of work. No futuristic crap mixed up though you might expect it. Miss Knightley really does a great job playing the part, though her role seems to have been kept a bit too far in the background.

The whole idea of changing the future has been brought up before, but this time instead of changing the future by altering the past it brings new perspective by altering the present by adding new info from the future. At first it reminded me very much of Butterfly Effect. If you like that one, you'll love this one.

It also shines new light on the subject whether or not you can change your own destiny which hasn't been brought up in a while.

It surely is a "must-see".
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Artsy Twilight Zone
brenttraft5 March 2005
"The Jacket" has gotten some bad press because the plot has a lot of holes in it, but if you suspend belief and just enjoy the movie, it is a lot of fun.

Any film that involves time travel requires that you suspend belief, and "The Jacket" is no different. What makes "The Jacket" better than most sci-fi thrillers is the production quality. The scenes in the hospital are done in muted colors which look like hand painted black and white. The scenes in the future are done in super saturated colors. I thought the super close-ups added to the disorientation and claustrophobia of the protagonist.

The acting is first rate. Adrien Brody is convincingly haunted. Kiera Knightly does an acceptable American accent.

Fans of "The Twilight Zone" should like this one. It is rated "R" for language, nudity, sex, violence, and disturbing images in a mental hospital; so you are getting your money's worth. If you like good production quality and want to go for a thrill ride, check this one out.
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Jacob's Ladder meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
BrandtSponseller6 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Jack Starks (Adrien Brody) is pronounced dead during the Gulf War. Moments later, he shows signs of life again. He's discharged and tries to get back to his normal life in Vermont. But he had a severe head injury, he had amnesia for awhile, and he has periodic blackouts and maybe hallucinations. When he winds up being blamed for a serious crime, he is sent to a psychiatric prison. While there, he is subjected to a bizarre treatment involving a straightjacket. Starks begins to learn dark secrets about the hospital and surprising truths about his life. Can he emerge from his predicament unscathed?

This is a high concept film--it's basically Jacob's Ladder (1990) meets One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975), with touches of similar "rubber reality" and mental institution flicks thrown in for good measure--a dash of Donnie Darko (2001), a touch of 12 Monkeys (1995), and so on. That it resembles a high concept amalgamation of modern films may be more surprising in light of the fact that the basic idea is adapted from a 1915 Jack London novel, The Star Rover, which was published as The Jacket in the UK.

It might also be surprising to some readers that I'm giving a film that is so strongly derivative a 10. But I don't rate higher or lower based on originality or a lack of the same. To me, what matters is how well the film works, how well it is constructed for its ambitions. The Jacket is a fine piece of art.

The performances are excellent. Adrien Brody in particular is amazing. His turns in what amounts to an "isolation chamber" are breathtaking. All of the principal actors, including Keira Knightley, Kris Kristofferson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Laura Marano and Kelly Lynch, produce finely nuanced work. The characterizations are demanding, as The Jacket requires them to play multiple realities, with different knowledge, relationships and attitudes to each other in most of the major scenes.

But as good as the performances are, what really stands out is the direction. This is the first John Maybury film I've seen, and if it's any indication of his other work, I can't wait to see more. His direction is constantly inventive and challenging. For example, The Jacket begins with grainy war footage like the typical CNN almost "real-time" footage that was so popular during Operation Desert Storm. Maybury cuts it to enhance the chaos of war. When he moves to a more "normal" technique, he still exhibits a strong but subtle and unique touch.

He is fond of unusual close-ups, frequently filling the screen with a character's mouth, eye, one side of their face from the cheek up, and so on. He also employs a lot of intriguing and bizarre inserts, and frequently constructs scenes with unusual pacing, often slower than other modern directors, or at least pulled like taffy on certain beats. But it's always right for a particular scene. The Jacket has a complex timeline structure that could easily fall apart in lesser hands; Maybury keeps the film easily coherent, and provides just the right amount of clues to the rubber reality aspects at just the right time. Echoing the unusual, contemplative, directorial temporal manipulations is a fine score (as if we could expect anything else) from Brian Eno.

As a rubber reality film, it's important to not watch The Jacket expecting a neat, linear, tightly-wrapped and transparent plot. As is typical for the genre, multiple interpretations are encouraged, with little pushes and prods to help along audiences who might be reluctant to embrace hermeneutics. For example, in one scene, a character says, "We're all dead". And for less overt subtexts, it's worthwhile to note how Jack often tends to be handled throughout the film more like a slab of meat. But whatever your interpretation, an important and relatively clear subtext is that of using one's life from this point forward to the best of one's ability to effect the kind of world one would like to see. Maybury makes sure to convey a disbelief in strong determinism, although freedom from fate in the film comes at a cost, and it may not be able to completely circumvent destiny.

Like Renny Harlin's version of The Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), The Jacket is really a "difficult" film that is likely to be approached with inappropriately philistine expectations that lead to complaints that it is boring or in some other way inadequate, pointless or non-entertaining. It deserves a more serious look than that. This is an excellent film.
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Difficult to categorize but, for all its faults, still quite a gripping roller-coaster of a movie
Chris_Docker28 May 2005
Every so often there's a movie that's so hard to describe that it's to picture whether it's your type of movie or not. The Jacket melds about five different genres without falling firmly into any of them. Even to describe it as an 'alternative reality' movie could put off those who think, "Oh, no, not another sci-fi". I wouldn't describe it as sci-fi. There is a love story, but I wouldn't call it that. There's some pretty disturbing shots and dizzying camera work but it's not really a horror film. What can you rely on? A stellar cast for starters: Adrien Brody, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Keira Knightley, Kris Kristofferson. All needed as the story is not exactly flawless, but the combined characterisations and sheer ingenuity keep you in suspense and mostly make you want to forgive any shortcomings in this rather ambitious project.

If you like stories nice and simple, stay away. If you like a challenge, The Jacket might fill the bill. It's not quite such a headbanging puzzle as Mulholland Drive, and it doesn't have the cutesiness of Donnie Darko, but it is in the realm of dark, weird and ultimately rather moving experimental film.

Brody is Mr quite nice guy Jack Starks, apparently shot dead at point blank range in the Gulf War - but hang on a minute, his eyelids blink before they pronounce him dead and he recovers - with amnesia but otherwise OK - then he gets committed to an asylum for the criminally insane fro a murder he didn't do, and we're talking 1990s when some pretty strange experimental psychotherapy went on behind closed doors. Enter the old doctor, played by Kris Kristofferson, who looks like he's had one too many acid trips and survived and believes he can think up new treatments for nutters like Jack Starks. During some pretty unconventional (not say unethical by today's standards) solitary 'treatment', Starks sees himself in 2007. The treatment is a combination of drugs and sensory deprivation - a sort of Neanderthal NLP the hard way. Each time he is locked up in 'The Jacket', Starks' projected timeline lets him interact with other characters in his dilemma. It gets continuingly creepier and the tension builds to an ending that leaves you shocked, horrified and filled with warmth at the same time.
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Profound Performance!
spiccinino27 June 2005
Adrian Brody deserves at least, an academy award nomination for his performance in this film. Sadly I fear this film won't be recognized because of it improper marketing and poor performance in the theaters. This film was promoted as a horror film, just look at the tag- line, "Terror has a new name!" What kind of crap is that? Anyway I don't think he will be recognized for this role even though I believe he should. Also, Kiera did a stunning job! I was totally surprised by her performance as well. I mean she hasn't been terrible in her past films, just no where near as deep or real as her role in this film. All in all I really enjoyed this film. The direction, cinematography, compositing (effects in his eyes) and Editing were superb. I will watch this one again and I would recommend it any day.
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Trippy Yet Still Intelligent
marntfield10 August 2005
First off, this film is not for everyone. It does, however, seem to delineate an emerging and exciting trend in contemporary film making whereby directors are becoming increasingly enamored with these sorts of dark, brooding, almost dreamscape-like and melodramatic thrillers which defy archetypal and conventional narrative formats. Think of the "The Machinist" and work your way backwards to "Vanilla Sky", or even as far back as 1990's "Jacob's Ladder" as one other reviewer accurately suggested.

To this end, "The Jacket" represents the apotheosis of this rising genre, and is both an artistic psychological thriller, as well as what you might call a metaphysical tragedy, and easily envelopes the viewer into its morose and sterile world replete with dreary snow scapes, perpetual grey skies and faces, muted and washed out colours, institutional isolation, and the angst of working class loners. The film's imagery and the pace of the story and script immediately command one's attention from the outset and the film is unrelenting in both its tension and gumption. Because of this, despite the story's meandering timeline and lack of feasible explanations for the protagonist's "visions", the viewer is still to an extent able to believe what they're seeing. Because the film takes itself so seriously, and actually pulls it off, the viewer then buying into the fantasy of the story becomes far more palatable than it does in other misguided attempts at this same sort of risky and artsy storytelling ie: "The Butterfly Effect".

This is an ambitious film which taps into both the romanticism and pain of our dreams and our memories, and how they both act upon us, and cause us to act upon them. It examines what is real versus perceived, the fragility of life, how each persons's life effects others, even passing strangers, and the sovereignty of the self and the mind. The film features outstanding performances from just about everyone on screen, particularly Brody as the hapless and tortured Jack Starks, and Kristofferson as the morally ambiguous and equally tortured Dr. Becker.

Despite the big names on the marquee, however, this, as previously mentioned, is not a cut and dry "popcorn flick" and will leave many people bewildered. It is for these people that the "Butterfly Effect" was made first, and now with them out of the way, the timing for a film of this caliber which deals with these issues properly is appropriate. "The Jacket" is a trippy and entertaining yet still very intelligent film which asks only that you check your preconceptions and logical rectitude at the door. By doing so, you'll find the imagination of this film is fact more real than you might have expected.
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Best movie I have seen in a long time
rejectswithdefects24 July 2005
Rented this movie, and I have to say, its one of the best films I have seen in along time. It's a complex story line, where paying attention is key, probably makes even more sense the second time around. I almost teared up at the end, not 'cause it was sad, but because it was beautiful, and compelling, a must see movie. You may think this movie won't be good, but don't brush it off, 'cause it's officially on my top 5 favorite movies list.

Adrien Brody delivers a awesome performance worthy of an Emmy. If there is one movie you should rent this year, it's The Jacket.

Great movie!
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chillami25 January 2005
I was fortunate enough to see this at Sundance on opening night and I thought it was absolutely BRILLIANT. Adrian Brody was incredible and I thought it was directed almost flawlessly. I highly recommend it.

The film really makes you think and I was disappointed not to be able to ask questions I had during the Q&A which followed the premiere. I think there are loads of things hidden in this film which you would have to see several times to catch. That is my idea of outstanding film making.

I could have done without the nudity which I saw no reason for. I think a love scene is much more erotic when you don't see anything. Body parts don't need to be shown. Most of us have decent imaginations. :-)

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rauh-georg26 March 2010
Awesome movie with interesting plot and outstanding actors.

Reading the plot description one could make the mistake and expect some rather low quality B "action" flick.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Out comes an outstanding movie which will capture you from the beginning to the end, guaranteed.

Its not your typical action-flick or cheaply made horror movie by any means.

Adrien Brody again proves he is probably one of the best actors we have currently, in my opinion he is just phenomenal. He gives the story depth and credibility. Kira's performance was "ok", not much too say here (sexy as always of course) and Daniel Craig and Kris Kristofferson did a great job also.

I watched the movie and it immediately became one of my favorites.

Highly recommended! G.

Kira's performance was "ok"
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Based on a Jack London Book, The Star Rover
ddtac3 March 2005
Just saw this at an advance screening. I liked it. Adrien Brody and Keira Knightley carry this film well. Although I have to admit that i was in the front row and watching a cinemascope film like that has one turning their head from left to right a lot. I recommend the star rover novel to read to anyone who likes this film. It was published in 1913, one of londons last books. it dealt with how the prison system at the time would strap people in straitjackets so tight that it would cause damage. The hero of the book comes to desire the tightening of the straps to the point where the guards have not seen, in order for him to more spiritually transcend his mind and soul into another life. He jaunts into other existences, all past, ie napoleon battle, viking conquest, to free his mind from the pain. The Jacket takes this idea in a way where the hero goes to a place that is involved in the plot running in the present.
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Time Out of Bound
nycritic1 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A clever sci-fi thriller directed by John Maybury that pays homage to both 12 MONKEYS and JACOB'S LADDER. Jack Starks is a soldier fighting in the Persian Gulf who gets shot in the head by a young, frightened kid. He returns to life as he's about to be pronounced dead only and resumes his life in the States after the was is over. One day, he has two fateful encounters that will mark his life from then on: a drunken mother and her young daughter whose car he fixes, and a man who picks him up only to be later stopped by a state trooper. Caught and sent to a state mental facility, he gets an abusive form of shock treatment with an experimental drug that allows him to re-visit his past, his future, and enable to change and re-shape his own life.

THE JACKET may not have the much of the whimsical imagery and multiple, confusing story lines of 12 MONKEYS and the sense of impending horror present in JACOB'S LADDER, but its sparse images and the sense of cold, realistic despair sets it aside in its own right and allow for the more sci-fi elements to come through believably. This mental facility is a little closer to the one in ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, with Kris Kristofferson playing a male counterpart to Louise Fletcher's Nurse Ratched. Daniel Craig has a small part as a lunatic who may or not have murdered his own wife and knows about this "jacket" where patients are sent to face their own "corrective reassignment". Keira Knightley plays a dual role, in which for the most of the movie, her character comes off as harsh, bitter, but once a warning is taken into consideration, she reintroduces herself to Brody as a compassionate, friendly person. Hers is the type of role that Jennifer Jason Leigh would have had a field day with, but Jason Leigh comes off well as a well-meaning doctor who wants to help Brody.

THE JACKET is a pretty good entry in the time-traveling genre, but in essence, all it is is a murder mystery with sci-fi overtones. The problem with the movie is that the issue of did-he/didn't he never gets resolved the way it should be; hence, the character of Jack Starks remains positioned in this Kafkaesque place where he is perpetually the victim of a crime he did not commit. Other minor points, such as a comeuppance for Dr. Becker, do not happen in a satisfactory way, but even then it still is an entertaining watch, especially when there aren't many movies today that can tackle the issue of time-bending without insulting the audience or selling out.
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Perfect, Amazing, GREAT, Sexy, Artst and Lovely!
StrengthToCarryOn4923 June 2005
Literlly a TEN! 2 thumbs WAY up! This was an uplifting, thoughtful, mind thriller! It makes you really think. This is not scary though. The romance and chemistry between "Jack Starks"(Adrien Brody) and "Jackie Price" (Kiera Knightly) was perfectly amazing! Adrian Brody has a way of drawing you in through his eyes and actions in all his films. I nearly cried at the end (Not saying if it's happy or sad) and I was just amazed at how it basically showed that life has meaning, and second chances ARE possible. Like he says in the movie: "I think we live through certain things, just to say that we actually did live through them. Not anyone else, but you." Amazing and lovely! I URGE you to see it and I was angry that it wasn't int heaters for long. By the way, I'm gonna marry that man! Hehe. --Natalie R.L.
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markovd1115 January 2019
Reviewing this kind of movie is pointless... It's a subjective experience. That's why I gave it 10/10... Somebody might not get it at all and give it less stars and that's OK. As for the movie itself, I can only say it was a cathartic experience. Not a lot of movies make me smile with the characters, not because it's funny, but because I'm happy for them. Not a lot of movies make me cry, and this one did it. It's beautiful, it reminds you that our every action is noticed and means something to someone, and what's most important, it reminds us that we are not immortal, so we don't waste our given time. If I could recommend any movie for all people to watch, it would be this one. Watch it... Not because it needs to be more popular ( that's also true), not because of the movie itself... No... Because of you... Because of you...
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A different take
jpschapira23 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Where does this movie come from? A story by someone who had never done anything before, a script by a someone who'd only written one thing before it, a director who had made nothing noticeable but a fictional biography of a British painter… "The Jacket" deserves credit already for coming from somekind of darkness, and that's what gives the film an extra point. The film is an unexpected surprise; a flawed tale about the deepest fears of the human mind.

It's flawed because it could have known better and had all the elements for it. We meet Sergeant Jack Starks (Adrien Brody) when he tells us he has died, but we see him alive again. He walks through the snow and finds a little girl named Jackie and her mother Jane with their car stopped in the road. He helps them, then he asks for a lift and gets into a guy's car; a policeman stops them. Next thing we know, Jack is being accused of murder and charged innocent because of 'mental problems'. He's sent to a clinic, an institution, a hospital, call it whatever you want.

Maybe it's too much to take for a few minutes, but this is the way it happens. Later in the clinic one could think that Jack will go crazy, like Rambo crazy, because he's been in the war and all that. But this doesn't happen, and if you try to figure "The Jacket" out leaving its simplicity aside, you may arrive to a lot of different conclusions. I've seen crazy, you've seen crazy: the patients of "One flew over the cuckoo's nest", the girls in "Girl Interrupted". It's different here: craziness is rarely seen (specifically in a character played scarily by Daniel Craig) and in one point director John Maybury uses it merely as an instrument to get to a crucial part of the movie.

There's a jacket, and it will take Jack to the future so he can try to figure out what happened to him. If I have to be honest, this 'time-travel' approach seems to be the film's main preoccupation, and it works. But what's the problem? It's too easy, too convenient, too planned. Jack meets two fundamental individuals at the hospital: Dr. Becker (Kris Kristofferson…he's great) and Dr. Beth Lorenson (the infallible Jennifer Jason Leigh); and he'll meet them again in the future, and they'll be surprised and you can try to guess what happens.

If you watch "The Jacket" taking only this approach into consideration, you will be entertained but you should be disappointed. That's why I looked at some other things and other movies came to mind. "The I Inside", with its intensive use of resources to leave the viewer clear that a man was going nuts and an also intensive dramatic feeling that sometimes was laughable; "The Butterfly Effect", daring and unstoppable, but more measured and truly worried about characters.

In both of those movies, the main characters travel through time, and everything seems quite frenetic. Not here: Maybury makes sure there's not an excessive use of the score or the musical supervision that may have introduced unnecessary songs; he respects silence and doesn't abuse of 'time-traveling' resources. The other key is Brody's performance: his humane composition of Jack never indicates someone about to explode. This guy stares, speaks quietly and with long pauses, seems confused and down to earth about the sort of gift he's been given.

I haven't even mentioned that while going back and forth in time, he falls in love with the same little girl (now older) he helped on the road before, Jackie, played by a stupendous Keira Knightley that grows slowly into love, delivering a performance that starts from a very deep bottom, morally speaking, and culminates between the clouds.

As I see it and said it (because the movie deserves the detailed analysis), "The Jacket" is a flawed tale about the deepest fears of the human mind, like death. Flawed because it wastes a tremendous ensemble that gives their best, flawed because it misleads the viewer with a story that's simpler than it appears to be. But its flaws contain a bid deal of optimism. "The Jacket" believes in love and is sure that death may not be so bad and scary. There's a moment during which the darkness the movie came from and took place, turns to light. It may make you smile.
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You can't beat a good time-travel movie
houndtang754 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I'm surprised by the large number of negative reviews of 'The Jacket', I thought it was a interesting, clever and enjoyable film which at least tries to be different from the usual formulaic dross. There are some similarities with the also under-rated 'The Butterfly Effect', especially in the hero's efforts to change the future for the better, but generally this was an original effort, at least in cinematic terms.

Adrien Brody was excellent in the lead role, his unconventional looks perfectly suiting the bewildered but determined Jack Starks. Keira Knightley proved she can act as well as look beautiful, and the supporting cast was unusually strong.

I thought the ending worked, although it could be seen as slightly ambiguous - my friend read it differently to how I did.
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Good, if you can just sit back and not ask too many questions
gregsrants6 March 2005
Being trapped in a confined space, it would seem, gives one clarity. Uma Thurman's character in Kill Bill Vol. 2 was buried alive and was able to recall the days of her training. Jason Schwartzman was zipped up in a large bag to help him reflect on his life in I Heart Huckabee's. But the claustrophobia that these two films tried to inject in a simple scene is exploited into a full-length film in the new Adrien Brody thriller, The Jacket. Brody plays Jack Starks, a name said so often during the film that I didn't have to look it up again days later when preparing this review. Jack is the opposite of lucky. In 1991, he goes to Iraq only to be shot in the head by a child trying to protect his family. As the voice-over quickly points out, he is 26 and that was the first time he died. Flashing forward 12 months, Jack is trying to hitch a ride on a cold winters morning when he is picked up by a tense and anxious young driver (played by bad boy Brad Renfro). When a police officer pulls over the duo shots are fired leaving the officer dead and Jack with yet another bullet hole. When he awakes, Jack finds himself with temporary amnesia and the lack of his recollection of the incident allows leaves him as the only suspect to the murder. Jack is then sentenced to a mental institution where under the care of Dr. Becker (Kris Kristofferson) he finds himself being strapped in a straight jacket and thrown into a morgue locker as part of an experimental treatment. For reasons that never become overtly clear, this process allows Jack to travel into the future where he befriends Jackie (Keira Knightley) whom he had met as a young girl the day of the murder years previous. Together, they try and piece together the years between his incarceration and the present date, Christmas Eve 2007 while Jack uses his knowledge of the future to impact the lives of the present. The Jacket jumps around in time so frequently that it takes you about half way through the film to understand what exactly is going on; and even then, I wasn't exactly sure how it all pieced together. Was he real? Is he a ghost who haunts those that lead to his death? Neither of these questions come clean with acceptable answers, but for a movie of this genre, I guess we can expect to cut it some slack and do some piecing of assumptions together ourselves. There are so many things about this film that just don't work well. The chemistry between the two leads is so non-existent that it is completely unbelievable that Jackie would befriend the eerily gawky Starks and their love scene was nothing more than an attempt to throw Knightly's first screen nudity at a confused and somewhat bored audience. And although The Butterfly Effect was no Gone With The Wind, it at least appreciated the fact if you change something in the past, it should have drastic effects on how the future unfolds. But there are things that do work wonderfully. The color scheme of using only blues and greys in the Mental Institution give it a CSI: NY feel that fits well within the sterile setting. Also used to good effect is the claustrophobia of the locker. Much like Uma in Kill Bill Vol. 2, the screen goes dark and you feel as if you are squiggling along with the character trying to gasp for air while fending off insanity. Director John Maybury (you are excused if you have not yet heard of him), does an ample job of keeping the movie moving even if we don't quite understand exactly what it is moving towards. Based on a screenplay by Massy Tadjedin (again, you are excused), the movie doesn't allow you to have many popcorn refill breaks and be able to understand exactly where these characters are headed. Whether you like The Jacket or not will depend on whether you are someone who can sit back and enjoy a film or whether you think you are smart enough and try to jump ahead to try and figure things out before the characters do. I was in the latter category upon first viewing, but enjoyed it enough for a recommendation upon a revisit.
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Jacked up and fabulous
MissDev25 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is truly a film of horror and disturbance. It is all about interpretation and nothing about preconception.

It is about a Gulf War Veteran who loses his memory after a gun shot to the head in Iraq. He is accused of murder and sent to a mental institution where he is "treated" by being confined to a whole-body straight jacket and placed into a morgue drawer. He travels forwards in time.

It is a trip through memory and what could have been or still could be.

Although there are still a few kinks (this was the world premiere, so I'm assuming that there is still editing to do) but the disjointed nature of the film adds to the affect. The CGI is great and non-obtrusive.

This is a disturbing and moving film. It interlaces love and revenge in an original, fantastic trip of a film.
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A psychological thriller minus the psychological
ncbrian24 March 2005
If you ask too many questions about this movie, you'll just start to hate it more. More or less this is a thriller that's thrilling in theory, but tries to be a psychological thriller and fails. You just can't ask questions, just go with it. For those of you who just can't see though the major holes in the story will not enjoy this movie, but leave frustrated.

The film does have some things that make it worth watching if you're in the right mood. The film is mesmerizing. In fact, it's so mesmerizing that I didn't actually start to think about the film's major problems until long after I left the theater. This is partly due to the interesting subject matter, but even more so due to the great filming style. Also, for the most part, the movie is well acted. Adrien Brody is decent, but overacts too much. Keira Knightly, who is said to be a huge talent ready to burst, also does a decent job although I don't see the huge talent. The best acting is with the supporting characters, like Daniel Craig and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Generally, the movie seems to try and please everyone. It has elements of thriller, sci-fi, romance, drama, murder mystery, and even fantasy. It's too bad that it never settles into anything, and the romance is extremely unnecessary and awkward. Within all these genres, the huge problem lies in the time-travel. I won't spoil anything, but it's not at all thought through. In conclusion, this may be a fun ride that's might be worth it if you're in the right mood. Just don't expect to be psychologically challenged.
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Uninspired, Mildly Entertaining.
jacobteixeira5 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
(potential spoilers)

The theater was filled with people expecting what this picture could have potentially been if given more time to develop the story. Instead the audience got another story filled with quick cutaways and bass designed to give you a scare in that moment, but after leaving you with an emptiness where the story should have filled.

I will say this though, this movie didn't suck because of Adrien Brody. He was fun to watch and his subtleties didn't go unnoticed. A part that comes to mind is when he asks Kiera Knightly what year it is, she says 2007 and he gives his unbelieving, "wha." Unfortunately the rest of the scene took place in bizarre 2007. What attractive 20 something female is going to bring to her apartment (where she lives alone) a mysterious Adrien Brody standing outside freezing. Her reason for letting him stay is that she called all the homeless shelters and none are open, so she'd feel guilty if she sent this guy she met 1 min ago away. "You can sleep on my couch." Trusting aren't we. I didn't buy it. Also watching her vast array of facial expressions in this scene also brought a tear to my eye... from laughter.

I don't know about you but I'm so sick of films that use static and weird sound effects with shooting images to get the audience on edge. Ever since the Ring I haven't been able to appreciate them anymore and it looks more and more like a cheap thrill device. I was sitting in the theater waiting for those parts to be over.

All in all, the Jacket was a decent, unfinished story that had so much more potential. If it wasn't for Brody and a character named Mckenzie, this film would be a lot harder to watch. They tried to do something different, but didn't follow up.

4 (for effort) out of 10.
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Top notch story telling
CAMACHO-44 August 2005
In "The Jacket" a lone drifter named Jack Satrks who has gotten discharged from the military after the gulf war helps a mother and daughter with their car trouble. The plot then takes a fast jump to Starks in a mental institution for the criminally insane. During a cruel experiment conducted by the Doctors in the facility he's forced to wear a straight jacket and is locked into a closet. He soon begins to fight to distinguish between the real world and the world in which his mind has created for him.

Adrien Brody gives a fantastic performance as a tortured war vet who just wants to find happiness. Brody manages to keep the audience wanting more all the way to the end. Kiera Knightly and Jennifer Jason Leigh use their great acting abilities to smooth the story along and make this movie a must see.
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Jack and Jackie just missed
ferguson-66 March 2005
Greetings again from the darkness. Another of my favorite genre, the psychological thriller, "The Jacket" just misses being one to remember. Despite a terrific cast lead by Oscar winner Adrien Brody ("The Pianist"), director John Maybury seems unable to seize the crucial moments and really explore the human drama in this story line.

Keira Knightley ("Bend it like Beckham") shows that she is more than a soccer player or archer and can draw upon her dark side very nicely. We will undoubtedly see more from her. Great to see Jennifer Jason Leigh in a "normal" role. In the past, she would have been one of the patients, not one of the doctors, at the asylum. Rounding out the cast are Kris Kristofferson (his understated droning work fine here), Kelly Lynch as a strung out mom, a grown-up Brad Renfro (he was the boy in "The Client"), Daniel Craig (Paul Newman's gutless son in "Road to Perdition") and a torn up, but still alive Mackenzie Phillips. For those too young to remember, Ms. Phillips is the daughter of John Phillips from Mama's and the Pappa's fame, was a child star of "American Graffiti" and "One Life to Live", and may be best known in Hollywood for all of drug problems.

The movie does a nice job of capturing the hell that would be the combination of a straight jacket and morgue drawer; however, never quite makes the connection between the Brody's current situation and his future world. Much more could have been made of the Brody and Kristofferson relationship and the final 15 segment is pure made-for-TV material. Brody is masterful at posing and strutting and often appears to be straight from an Abercrombie and Fitch ad. He does emote very well, but Mr. Marbury seems more interested in having his star look cool rather than act. If you have seen "The Butterfly Effect", you have seen this movie. If you have not seen "Jacob's Ladder", you should - it is much more representative of a quality thriller.
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A tired thriller that fails to emotionally connect.
movieprodman10 February 2005
As with most movies made in this genre "The Jacket" is ,if you can believe it, a second rate "Butterfly Effect". It's a time sequence movie that leaps back and forth between the present and the past,the real and the unreal.I saw both the "Butterfly Effect" and "The Jacket" at it's opening night Sundance premiere and enjoyed the "Butterfly Effect" much more. Do not be fooled. The Jacket is a mediocre film with limited emotional connection that is masquerading as a deep psychological thriller with a serious and important message. It's best performance is wrung out by Keira Knightly as Adrien Brody's love interest and connection to the past and future. While Adrian Brody does indeed have a strong screen presence his acting seems almost lost and dominated by the heavy handed ham fisted overwrought direction of John Marbury. In the Q and A after the movie Marbury answers were bloated with his own self importance and his arrogance was palpable.Brody on the other hand gave intelligent,well thought out and truly thoughtful articulate answers to his Q and questions and he demonstarted why he is truly is a world class actor and human.I sensed that he knew that Marbury was way over the top and needed to step infor the Q and A and cool the hostility that Marbury was projecting.I also sensed a strong dislike for the director from all of the cast members including Keira Knightley and maybe this is why the movie did not connect in a convincing and personal way.Too bad the direction of this movie compromised Brody's world class ability to emote to the full extension of his psychological abilities. Most of the cast move about like an animated paint by numbers picture saying paint me paint me!Marbury did not paint his characters enough. There is no reason to see this picture. Wait for the rental. It is obvious to me that the director had no feel for the human side of this movie and he must have a problem expressing his own emotions in real lifesince this movie had several moments that could have made it great. The Jacket fails because it cannot connect with that human side of the story.With the CG and the quick cuts this looks like the director simply did not know where to go. See Jacobs Ladder or Altered States for a well directed story and great characters coupled with a superb representation of what the human mind can do under fantastic duress.
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Promoted correctly?
editor-9224 February 2005
When I saw the trailer for this film, I thought it was going to be psychologically intense. It was for about 10 minutes, then it goes into "Somewhere in Time" territory. This film could have said something about what we do to soldiers, what we do in war, but it becomes like a Hallmark card at the end, which I didn't buy in the slightest. I won't give anything away, but people don't change like that. Especially not under those circumstances.

And one more thing, Keira Knightley may be pretty but she cannot act. I actually found her performance during one of the scenes intensely distracting. (Enough of the lip pulling and glass gobbing Lolita!)

Adrien Brody is a fine actor. And even though I don't usually like Daniel Craig, he's about the only reason to sit through this dross.

What a disappointment!
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Amazing Movie, Absolutely Amazing
elmoeleven23 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
There are certain films that you just don't want to end, and i promise you after watching this movie, you will definitely want more. The movie is wonderfully shot, really places you into the world of The Jacket, the score is good but really the aspect that makes the movie one of the best I've seen is the acting. The acting is truly moving, i don't think i have seen two actors with more on-screen chemistry than Ardrien Brody and Keira Knightely. At the end of the movie you will be left wanting more of the story, wanting more of them. The Jacket is a wonderful film which i would recommend to anyone interested in fantasy, love and really good acting.
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Don't waste your money
denhun1 March 2005
This was a poorly executed film that takes itself far too seriously, and breaks the fundamental rule of good film-making - you have to care for the central character, and Jack Starks is not even remotely likable. I didn't know anything about this guy to care what happened to him, and what was revealed about him was a smart ass, cynical jerk. About an hour into the film, I just thought "so what - throw him in the jacket, shut the drawer, leave him there and run the credits so I can go home."

The film also makes the huge mistake of relying on what we've seen before - the mental patient who won't cooperate with the asylum, the alcoholic loser played by Keira Knightley who turns her life around because of "love" and suddenly can find a computer and the internet to help "save her man", the misunderstood doctor who's means justifies the end, the side-kick mental patient who is whacky but has a good heart even though he tried to kill his wife, blah, blah, blah.

Also, the film takes too many liberties with driving the story forward by forcing characters to act against their own frame of reasoning. Why would a jaded, alcoholic woman suddenly fall for this guy and believe his story, after she had lived a lifetime of trusting no one? Why would the druggie, alcoholic mother read the letter and decide that the message of "stop smoking and save your daughter's life" be believable? This film reminded me of a student thesis with some tricky artsy-fartsy effects thrown in.

My impression was that the director had A.D.D. - he tried to address too many issues and couldn't stick to a central theme, leaving the viewer confused and unsatisfied because nothing gets resolved.

I saw this at a special screening, and half way through - people started to walk out. I stayed for the end, and found myself wondering, "why didn't I just get up half way through? I really don't care how this ended."

The only good point to this film - the titles were fantastic.
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