The Jacket


Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 35
  2. Negative: 6 out of 35

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Critic Reviews

  1. The first great film of 2005.
  2. Admittedly, The Jacket is not likely to be everyone's cup of tea, but filmmaker John Maybury has forged a mesmerizing mindblower.
  3. A gripping drama that will leave thoughtful cinemagoers wrestling with basic Big Questions.
  4. The result is what you might call a mass-audience art film. It doesn't entirely succeed, but it's certainly a change from today's standard mysteries and horror movies.
  5. 75
    This movie probably falls within the purview of a "love it/hate it" subgenre of the psychological thriller.
  6. Director John Maybury has a feel for shock rhythms, and he's skillful at keeping you guessing, but after a while you want your questions to cohere into compelling answers, and in The Jacket they don't, quite.
  7. Adrien Brody is cornering the market on roles where he's hunted, haunted and under-nourished.
  8. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The Jacket is a confused attempt at headiness that feels like a poor man's "Memento."
  9. 60
    The director's work is suitably unnerving, but leaves one feeling beaten senseless by reel two. When the hero's well-earned moment of clarity finally arrives, most will likely be too numbed out to care, despite the best efforts of Brody, an actor too vividly alive to be wasting his time playing dead.
  10. Intermittently compelling but unavoidably improbable.
  11. This kind of gloomy razzle-dazzle isn't everyone's cup of mind-altering tea, but strong performances make it worth the effort to keep the time-tripping shenanigans straight until the surprisingly satisfying payoff.
  12. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    A gripping, affecting, strange movie -- but oddly, it's just like too many other gripping, affecting, strange movies we've seen recently.
  13. Maybury's attempt at a more mainstream movie is really just a simple love story cloaked in a lot of metaphysical mumbo-jumbo.
  14. 50
    You'll either walk away with a headache,or praising filmmaker John Maybury for his unique narrative...and it is unique, but in my eyes, it's also a big giant mess.
  15. 50
    Though shot for maximum moodiness by the gifted Peter Deming ("Mulholland Drive"), the movie straps you in for a head trip that promises hallucinatory wonders but delivers the same old Hollywood formula with sugar on top.
  16. It draws you into its grim and mysterious world through the first half of the movie, then falls apart like a house of cards in a hurricane.
  17. 50
    It's pretty stupid, although it's never exactly boring.
  18. The Jacket is both a genre movie and a symptom, a gothic treatment of Gulf War syndrome.
  19. 50
    You can sense an impulse toward a better film, and Adrien Brody and Keira Knightley certainly take it seriously, but the time-travel whiplash effect sets in, and it becomes, as so many time travel movies do, an exercise in early entrances, late exits, futile regrets.
  20. Memo to screenwriters cranking out murky existential thrillers: Do not have various characters repeat on several occasions: "I know this doesn't make any sense."
  21. Doesn't really go anywhere or amount to anything - a fatal flaw in a time-travel movie designed not only to keep you guessing, but to build genuine suspense as well.
  22. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    The acting makes the difference, and in Jacket it rises above the needs of the material.
  23. 40
    Still, the central mystery remains effective and compelling for most of the film, until it becomes clear that it's all image and no intent.
  24. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    A movie as lacking in personality as its amnesiac protagonist.
  25. 40
    A disappointing nosedive into the mainstream for John Maybury, the Derek Jarman acolyte who transitioned successfully from experimental work to features with 1998's hallucinatory Francis Bacon biopic "Love Is the Devil."
  26. This movie is terribly silly, but it's not completely terrible.
  27. Visually, The Jacket has a lot of flash, but it hardly compensates for the fuzzy story.
  28. Maybury's art-world talents don't include storytelling, and his visceral bursts of fast editing and extreme close-ups don't yield any full-blown characters, narrative, or political vision.
  29. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Begins too cruelly and ends too sappily but holds you somewhere between the two extremes until the semisweet finale.
  30. 38
    The characters are so flat and the dialogue so dull you expect it to be one of those movies whose existence is justified by a big final twist. But it's three days after the screening, and still no twist. Maybe it's coming in the mail?
  31. The Jacket is doing nothing but sampling elements of "Jacob's Ladder," "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Memento" without offering more than hackneyed solutions, including a rather cheesy conclusion.
  32. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    If claustrophobia's your style, The Jacket is a perfect fit.
  33. [Brody's] mannered performance helps downgrade this picture from a middling sci-fi film to a bad, borderline-camp sci-fi film.
  34. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    As bad movies go, The Jacket belongs to a relatively rare but extremely intriguing/irritating genus.
  35. 20
    In this case, the adage would go something like "material, material, material," also known as the Nicolas Cage Rule: Good acting can't overcome bad taste.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 177 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 34
  2. Negative: 4 out of 34
  1. Jul 12, 2014
    The Jacket has an interesting concept, atmosphere and acting from Brody and Knightley. The movie has
    multiple themes rolled into one and they
    The Jacket has an interesting concept, atmosphere and acting from Brody and Knightley. The movie has
    multiple themes rolled into one and they all work. The movie is Brody's best movie and it is well made.
    Full Review »
  2. AdamM.
    Mar 30, 2007
    A surprisingly intelligent and well-executed film!
  3. Oct 16, 2013
    A good thriller with thick and depressive atmosphere with elements of science fiction, I'd say the atmosphere is the main advantage of theA good thriller with thick and depressive atmosphere with elements of science fiction, I'd say the atmosphere is the main advantage of the movie. The story is decent too, also the actors made a good job. Full Review »