A psychological study of a soldier's state of mind during the Gulf War. Told through the eyes of a U.S. Marine sniper who struggles to cope with boredom, a sense of isolation, and other issues back home.
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
Both Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Foxx went on to play Spider-man villains. Jamie Foxx played Electro in 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' and Jake Gyllenhaal went on to play Mysterio in 'Spider-Man: Far From Home'. See more »
When Swoff walks into a command and communications tent, a few of the Marines are using personal computers with flat panel consumer brand LCD monitors. These would not have been available in 1991 during the first Gulf War. See more »
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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The title of the movie is the only opening credit at the beginning of the movie. See more »
Military theatrical versions of the film remove some footage, including the scene where a soldier dies during training. See more »
I was privileged to see a screening of Jarhead recently and fully concur with the posted review. I think it is one of the finer films of the year. The film will surely be a very controversial piece of cinema especially in these divisive post 9/11, "America love it or love it times". It's a shame because the film has less to do with the politics of war then the unique personalities that made up a specific platoon of Marines in the first Gulf War. The title of the film derives from Anthony Swofford's very compelling novel about his adventures, a book that in no way demeans the heroism of the young men (and now young women) who live and die in the military. Thankfully, the director, Sam Mendes works for a very even-handed screenplay by William Broyles Jr. Thankfully, Jarhead lacks the jingoist simplicity of earlier offerings like The Sands of Iwo Jima and is not another display of sincere but ultimately faux patriotism like a John Wayne offering. It simply tells it like it was. It is a very fine film that will assure Sam Mendes' position as one of the great directors working in films. Broyle's screenplay is excellent and the ensemble of young actors led by Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx and Peter Sargaard is wondrous. Now the wait is on for an equally compelling work on the current military campaign in Iraq.
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