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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.

Director:

Sam Mendes

Writers:

William Broyles Jr. (screenplay) (as William D. Broyles Jr.), Anthony Swofford (book)
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Popularity
2,597 ( 547)
6 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jake Gyllenhaal ... Anthony Swofford
Scott MacDonald ... D.I. Fitch
Peter Sarsgaard ... Alan Troy
Jamie Foxx ... Staff Sgt. Sykes
Ming Lo ... Bored Gunny
Lucas Black ... Chris Kruger
Kevin Foster ... Branded Marine
Brian Geraghty ... Fergus O'Donnell
Damion Poitier ... Poitier
Riad Galayini Riad Galayini ... Nurse
Craig Coyne Craig Coyne ... Young Mr. Swofford
Katherine Randolph ... Young Mrs. Swofford
Rini Bell ... Swoff's Sister
Dendrie Taylor ... Mrs. Swofford
James Morrison ... Mr. Swofford
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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:

Welcome To The Suck See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, some violent images and strong sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Universal [United States]

Country:

USA | UK | Germany

Language:

English | Spanish | Arabic | Latin

Release Date:

4 November 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Soldado anónimo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$72,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:

$62,658,220

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$96,889,998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After hearing how effectively "Jesus Walks" by Kanye West played over the trailer, Sam Mendes was very keen to include the track in the film as well. See more »

Goofs

When the new Marines first meet SSGT Sykes, the water tower in the background has a USAF Tactical Air Command or USAF Air Combat Command emblem on it, which new Marines would never see at Camp Pendleton. This scene was filmed at George AFB in Victorville CA. 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title of the movie is the only opening credit at the beginning of the movie. See more »

Alternate Versions

Military theatrical versions of the film remove some footage, including the scene where a soldier dies during training. See more »

Connections

Referenced in True Blood: The First Taste (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Bang a Gong (Get It On)
Written by Marc Bolan
Performed by T. Rex
Courtesy of Muscadet Productions, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
From a Marine from that era
6 November 2005 | by bobhendrySee all my reviews

At last - a movie that simply shows it like it is... No "Rambo" superhero-idiotic-nonsense; no overdone, melancholy, attempt at cinematic artistry at the cost of authenticity - such as is found in "Platoon", "FMJ", "Apocalipse Now" and "Deerhunter" - to name a few overrated war movies.

Finally a movie which captures the FEEL of being a Marine in the eighties... the sights, the sounds, the events - all brought back vivid memories. As the scenes unfolded, I found myself thinking "... I remember when that happened..." over and over, because my service somewhat paralleled Swofford's own, and I was aware of - if not a witness to - certain events that took place. A movie which portrays the Marine grunt for what he is... certainly no angel, but the absolute backbone of American military toughness. The barracks and field life portrayed in this movie is perhaps the most accurate portrait Hollywood has produced.

With only a few realtively minor technical inaccuracies, this is a movie whose full richness can probably only be experienced by those who were in the Corps at that time. And for that degree of accuracy, I am grateful to the author and those who produced the film. Too often producers and directors overlook the details that make a military film credible to veterans - such as the details of the uniform, the sounds and function of weapons, the behavior of the characters. Not so in "Jarhead". And the dialogue was right on.

Having read several of the other comments, it is clear to me that there are events depicted in the movie which may not be clearly understood or properly contextualized by someone who has not served in the Marine Corps infantry. Do not let that stop you from seeing the film - it is an excellent view into a world most people will never see. I left the theater feeling proud of my service, and although I miss the daily life of an active duty Marine, "Jarhead" left me feeling strangely happy to be able to look back on it - and to sleep in my own home, my own bed, tonight. Yet, for many Marine veterans, the hope remains in the back of our minds that the phone will ring tomorrow with an opportunity to go back and lead men once again - and yes, for those who might wonder, even in Iraq or anywhere else - as the line in the move so eloquently put it "Forget the politics. We're here now." Such is the fidelity of a rough-hewn few who are ready to fight when called upon. Grunts really don't expect most people to love us or understand us, but we hope there are some folks out there who might appreciate the fact that we are there. I think the movie captures that notion commendably.


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