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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 193 Ratings

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  • 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: 75 out of 101
  2. Negative: 21 out of 101
  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. Dec 14, 2012
    One of my favorite movies but not for everyone. I was expecting a war film such as the classic Saving Private Ryan or even We Were Soldiers but this film is not like that at all. This film focuses on the psyche of a soldier. It focuses on the relationships and all the rubbish they have to go through for an ultimately disappointing and unfulfilled life. Watch this expecting a classic war film, hate it. Watch this expecting something else and you might just enjoy it. Easily in my top 10. 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. CJ
    Feb 26, 2006
    A reasonable film, but by no means anything spectacular. Some unnecessary and unexplained scenes were partly at fault for it being a tad weak, coupled with its huge, long-winded build up, and hugely disappointing anti-climax. 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 101 User Reviews