Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 186 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Laced with dark wit, honest inquisition and episodes that are at once surreal and poignant, tragic and absurd, Jarhead is the film adaptation of Marine Anthony Swofford's bracing memoir that took readers into his disorienting firsthand experience in the Gulf War. (Universal)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 40
  2. Negative: 2 out of 40
  1. The sum of the movie is devastating. One takes out of it a sense that the human cost of our endless adventure in Iraq is going to be incalculable, perhaps catastrophic -- a psychological time bomb that will be exploding for decades to come.
  2. The daring achievement of Jarhead is that it is not a film about war, about combat: it is about being a soldier.
  3. 75
    The result is typical Mendes: accomplished, calculated and uncommitted. Maybe it's because his talent comes to him too easily, but I've yet to sense his heart and soul in a film.
  4. What's so good about the movie is Gyllenhaal's refusal to show off; he doesn't seem jealous of the camera's attention when it goes to others and is content, for long stretches, to serve simply as a prism though which other young men can be observed.
  5. Jarhead refuses to engage in its own point of view toward events it depicts. So the film feels empty and tentative, uncertain of what if anything these events add up to.
  6. 50
    Mendes doesn't care about people -- he's too busy making his art. And with Jarhead he pulls off, effortlessly, what so many pro-and antiwar individuals since Vietnam have tried so conscientiously to avoid: His movie is antiwar and anti-soldier.
  7. Jarhead virtually begins with a rip-off of the basic-training sequence that opens Stanley Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket."

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 72 out of 98
  2. Negative: 21 out of 98
  1. JamesM.
    Nov 6, 2005
    I am surprised that this didn't recieve a better score than it did. A huge majority of the reviews that I've read say how 'terrible' the film is because it has no huge forward motion into action or anything. But, excuse me, but Isn't that the whole idea? I'm sorry, but I loved the fact that this was an actionless war film. Not all war veterns see action all the time like in some other war films, so it's a relief to see some change in the genre. I recommend this movie to anyone who doesnt have a problem with a near actionless story. If you come in to this film looking for a good action film, you're going to be bored. If you go in to it looking for a character driven story, then you'll enjoy it. Expand
  2. SamS.
    Nov 6, 2005
    Captures all aspects in perfect unicin of the Gulf War. Understands it is not a big was and captrues that in every scene. Brilliant, touching, and powerful interactions and preformences between all actors. Shows realistic and political aspects of the Gulf War. A slap in in face to military wives, that is true, but that is the only fault of this supurbley acted, incredibly beautifal film. Jamie Foxx and Jake Gylenhall are only two examples of wonderful actors. Peter Sarsgaard diserves a oscar. Expand
  3. Marine0621
    Feb 2, 2010
    Sorry America if your appalled. Yes we make dick jokes, yes most women don't make it and YES we do a lot of stupid shit when we are bored. More real than America was ready for. Expand
  4. MikeK.
    Nov 4, 2005
    Interesting to see the non combat side of a war. It was important to lace each of the soldiers with thier own personal background stories to make it more realistic. After seeing a lively film such as this, I understand how someone might oppose the war, but how can one not support the soldiers who fight it? Expand
  5. SteveW.
    Aug 15, 2007
    i clapped at the end of this movie - i thought it was interesting in not following a predictable script and faithful to the plethora of information that was in the book, i think those who read the book would appreciate the movie better. And yes the detailing of male sexuality in the military is not for everyone's delicate ears, but it happens and probably a lot more obscene than this. Expand
  6. AndrewK.
    Nov 7, 2005
    Boring. This movie has such a lack of a plot. Its one of those films where they try to pull off showing you just a bunch of stuff that happens, without any clear storyline to carry it along. Obviously, when it comes to real life, we don't have perfect little conclusions to different parts of our lives, but I think that that's a good reason not to turn some true stories into movies. I don't know about the actual book, because it might have had a much more clear plot. Or not a plot, really, but at least more of a sense of closure. A lot of people on here have been railing at the REAL critics for saying not enough happened during the film, and mistaking this to mean that the critics were expecting it to be an "action" film. Honestly, I don't really care for action films. And if I thought that that was all this movie was going to be, I might not have gone to see it (though I do like war films, as long as they have some kind of meaning; this film had neither action OR meaning). On the bright side, many of the actors did a tremendous job with a less than brilliant script. Its not to say that the movie isn't entertaining at times, but it just leaves you feeling empty at the end, and unsure of what you're supposed to take away from it. Yes, there is the argument that the whole idea is that a lot of these guys didn't actually get to do ANYthing in the Gulf War, but that's no excuse for a lack of a real story. There are a lot of loose threads that could have been made into something more to help better translate the feelings these soldiers felt about not really doing much. Every time an occasion like this comes up, it doesn't lead anywhere. David Denby, of The New Yorker, noted that the characters are mysteries. There is obviously something bothering each of them, but we never get to find out exactly what. The end of the film is extremely anticlimactic. The film didn't have a political statement to make, nor did it need to. When one soldier starts to bring up politics, another chastises him saying, "F*** politics. We're here now." I took this line to be like an aside from the writer, or maybe even Sam Mendes, as if to say, "That's not what this movie is about. This movie is about the soldiers." Except it Expand
  7. MarkS.
    Nov 7, 2005
    This is one of the WORST military movies, and a complete disgrace to the marine corps, and our government. Besides the fact it has no story line and a dumb ending, the film is useless. Don't waste your time, money or brain on this one---remember I told you so....not even worth seeing on video if they let you have it for free---SERIOUSLY!!! This is a stupid, liberal, hollywood jerk off film. Expand

See all 98 User Reviews