Jarhead (2005)

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Director: Sam Mendes
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Dennis Haysbert


Memoirs of a Marine Scout Sniper encompassing training, a prolonged period of readiness in Kuwait and participation in the four day ground assault of Desert Storm.

The Review

Perhaps the soberest of the films to be based on either Gulf War, Mendes survives uneasy similarities to Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket during its early phases to become something else altogether: not a baptism of fire, an experience of the hell of war for which training can never fully prepare a soldier, but rather a frustrating non-conflict in which all the mayhem is perpetrated by others and the troops merely behold the result (a column of civilian vehicles blasted by the USAF). Casualties there are still, however, as 'Swoff' sees on returning home, among his fellow recruits and himself, still at a fever pitch of readiness, lost without his rifle.