Jarhead

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Released 2005

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Movie Summary

Director:
Sam Mendes
Released:
2005
Rating:
R
Jarhead is a 2005 film starring Jake Gyllenhaal based on a Gulf War memoir written by Anthony Swofford while he was in the Marines. The film was directed by Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road, American Beauty, Road to Perdition) and the screenplay was written by William Broyles, Jr. (Cast Away, Unfaithful) Jarhead follows the life on Anthony Swofford as he travels to Iraq to fight as part of Operation Desert Shield. LCpl/PFC Anthony Swofford and friend Cpl. Alan Troy (Peter Sarsgaard) receive rigorous training for a war that requires very little from them physically. The training and dedication to war has them both desperately wanting to make a kill while they were mostly faced with boredom. The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Roger Ebert awarded it three-and-a-half out of four stars. A.O. Scott perceived the film differently stating the film was "a minor movie about a minor war, and a film that feels, at the moment, remarkably irrelevant."

Metacritic Score

  • 60

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Part absurdist drama, part personal observational commentary and part hormonal explosion, all seen through the filter of previous war pics, Sam Mendes' third feature has numerous a...

  • 50

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    Mr. Swofford's book has earned a place alongside the classics of military literature, but Mr. Mendes's film is more like a footnote - a minor movie about a minor war, and a film th...

  • 50

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    As much as we intellectually admire Jarhead, it's a cold film that only sporadically makes the kind of emotional connection it's after.

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Themes

buddies and gal pals, Military & War, in heat of battle, foreign worlds, facing danger