Jarhead (film)

Jarhead (film)

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Encyclopedia
Jarhead is a 2005 biographical
Biography
A biography is a detailed description or account of someone's life. More than a list of basic facts , biography also portrays the subject's experience of those events...

 drama
Drama film
A drama film is a film genre that depends mostly on in-depth development of realistic characters dealing with emotional themes. Dramatic themes such as alcoholism, drug addiction, infidelity, moral dilemmas, racial prejudice, religious intolerance, poverty, class divisions, violence against women...

 war film
War film
War films are a film genre concerned with warfare, usually about naval, air or land battles, sometimes focusing instead on prisoners of war, covert operations, military training or other related subjects. At times war films focus on daily military or civilian life in wartime without depicting battles...

 based on U.S. Marine
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 Anthony Swofford
Anthony Swofford
Anthony Swofford is a writer and former United States Marine known for being the author of the book Jarhead, published in 2003, which is primarily based on his accounts of various situations encountered in the first Gulf War. This memoir was the basis of the 2005 movie of the same name, directed...

's 1991 Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 memoir of the same name
Jarhead (book)
Jarhead is a Gulf War memoir by author Anthony Swofford. After leaving military service, the author went on to college and earned a Masters Degree in Fine Arts at the University of Iowa.- Synopsis :...

, directed by Sam Mendes
Sam Mendes
Samuel Alexander "Sam" Mendes, CBE is an English stage and film director. He is best known for his Academy Award-winning work on his debut film American Beauty and his dark re-inventions of the stage musicals Cabaret , Oliver! , Company and Gypsy . He's currently working on the 23rd James Bond...

, starring Jake Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal
Jacob Benjamin "Jake" Gyllenhaal is an American actor. The son of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner, Gyllenhaal began acting at age ten...

 as Swofford with co-stars Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx
Eric Marlon Bishop , professionally known as Jamie Foxx, is an American actor, singer-songwriter, stand-up comedian, and talk radio host. As an actor, his work in the film Ray earned him the Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Actor as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a...

, Peter Sarsgaard
Peter Sarsgaard
John Peter Sarsgaard is an American film and stage actor. He landed his first feature role in the movie Dead Man Walking in 1995. He then appeared in the 1998 independent films Another Day in Paradise and Desert Blue. That same year, Sarsgaard received a substantial role in The Man in the Iron...

, and Chris Cooper
Chris Cooper (actor)
Christopher W. "Chris" Cooper is an American film actor. He became well known in the late 1990s. He has appeared in supporting performances in several major Hollywood films, including The Bourne Identity, American Beauty, Capote, The Town, The Kingdom, Syriana, October Sky, Seabiscuit, and...

. The title comes from the slang
Slang
Slang is the use of informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker's language or dialect but are considered more acceptable when used socially. Slang is often to be found in areas of the lexicon that refer to things considered taboo...

 term used to refer to U.S. Marines (sometimes by Marines themselves).

Plot



Anthony Swofford (Jake Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal
Jacob Benjamin "Jake" Gyllenhaal is an American actor. The son of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner, Gyllenhaal began acting at age ten...

) talks in a voice-over about a Marine whose hands forever remember the grip of a rifle, whatever else they do in life. Swofford is then shown in a U.S. Marine Corps boot camp, being taught by D.I. Fitch (Scott MacDonald
Scott MacDonald (actor)
Scott MacDonald is an American actor. He is best known for his recurring roles as Captain Manning on short-lived series Threshold, Burley from HBO series Carnivàle, and as Commander Dolim from Star Trek: Enterprise, and as the title character from 1996 horror film Jack Frost.He grew up in Libby,...

). When Swofford sarcastically answers back to the D.I., Fitch slams Swofford's head against the locker. After finishing boot camp, "Swoff" is dispatched to Camp Pendleton in 1989, where he is subjected to a prank played on him by the senior Marines. This involves throwing him to the floor, binding his wrists to the foot of his "rack", and making visible preparations for branding onto him the initials of the United States Marine Corps, USMC, with a hot iron. He faints upon sight of the iron. After regaining consciousness and freeing his wrists, and discovering that his leg has not been branded, he is greeted coolly from across the barracks-room by Troy (Peter Sarsgaard
Peter Sarsgaard
John Peter Sarsgaard is an American film and stage actor. He landed his first feature role in the movie Dead Man Walking in 1995. He then appeared in the 1998 independent films Another Day in Paradise and Desert Blue. That same year, Sarsgaard received a substantial role in The Man in the Iron...

), who tells him that the senior Marines had switched the hot iron with another room temperature iron, and tells Swofford he has to "earn" it. He then says, "Welcome to the Suck."

Swofford, in the latrine trying to be "sick" (by drinking a whole bottle of liquid laxative), is approached by the charismatic Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant
Staff sergeant is a rank of non-commissioned officer used in several countries.The origin of the name is that they were part of the staff of a British army regiment and paid at that level rather than as a member of a battalion or company.-Australia:...

 Sykes (Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx
Eric Marlon Bishop , professionally known as Jamie Foxx, is an American actor, singer-songwriter, stand-up comedian, and talk radio host. As an actor, his work in the film Ray earned him the Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Actor as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a...

), a Marine "lifer" who invites Swofford to his Scout Sniper
Scout Sniper
Scout Sniper is a secondary MOS designator of U.S. Marine Corps infantrymen and reconnaissance Marines that have successfully graduated from a USMC Scout Sniper School. Scout Snipers provide close reconnaissance and surveillance to the infantry battalion...

 (formally the Surveillance and Target Acquisition) course. Swofford declines. Sykes then offers him training as a trumpeter, and next day, in front of the men, when Swofford arrives late, Sykes tells him to stand and trumpet—without one—then informs him loudly that there are no Marine trumpeters. After arduous training sessions that claim the life of one candidate, Swofford is one of 8, out of an original group of 60, selected to be trained as a sniper and is paired with Troy, who becomes Swofford's spotter. Shortly after, Kuwait is invaded by Iraq and Swofford's unit is dispatched to the Persian Gulf as a part of Operation Desert Shield. Although the Marines are very eager to see some combat action, they are forced to hydrate, wait, patrol the nearby area and orient themselves to the arid environment. When some field reporters appear, Sykes forces his unit to demonstrate their MOPP suits in a game of football, even under the 112 °F (44 °C) heat. While the cameras roll, the game develops into a rowdy dogpile, with some Marines playfully mimicking sexual acts. Sykes, embarrassed by his platoon's rude manners and poor discipline, removed the cameras and crew from the area; the Marines are later punished by being forced to build and take down a massive pyramid of sandbags in a rainy night.

During the long wait, some of the Marines fear their wives and girlfriends at home will be unfaithful. A public board displays the photos of women who have ended their relationships with members of the unit. Swofford himself begins to suspect that his girlfriend (Brianne Davis
Brianne Davis
Brianne Davis is an American model and actress, most recognizable by her roles in Jarhead and Prom Night.- Filmography :* Dawson's Creek .... Ashley...

) is, or will soon be, unfaithful. The most public and humiliating of these befalls Dettman (Marty Papazian
Marty Papazian
Marty Papazian sometimes credited as Martin A. Papazian, is a television and film actor. He played CTU Interrogator Rick Burke in the television series 24. His last name was the inspiration for the name of the 24 character Miles Papazian.-External links:...

), who discovers an innocent looking copy of The Deer Hunter
The Deer Hunter
The Deer Hunter is a 1978 drama film co-written and directed by Michael Cimino about a trio of Russian American steel worker friends and their infantry service in the Vietnam War. The film stars Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep, John Savage, John Cazale, and George Dzundza...

on VHS sent from his wife, which the men are all seated to watch, is actually a homemade pornographic movie tape of her having sex with their neighbor, apparently made as revenge for an unspecified act.

During an impromptu Christmas party thrown by Swofford, who has obtained unauthorized alcohol, Fergus (Brian Geraghty
Brian Geraghty
Brian Timothy Geraghty is an American film and television actor, best known for his role in the Academy Award winning film The Hurt Locker.-Early life:Geraghty was born in Toms River Township, New Jersey, and is of Irish ancestry...

), a member of Swofford's unit, accidentally sets fire to a tent and a crate of flares. Swofford gets the blame because he was supposed to be on watch but had Fergus sit in for him. As a consequence, Swofford is demoted from Lance Corporal
Lance Corporal
Lance corporal is a military rank, used by many armed forces worldwide, and also by some police forces and other uniformed organizations. It is below the rank of corporal, and is typically the lowest non-commissioned officer, usually equivalent to the NATO Rank Grade OR-3.- Etymology :The presumed...

 (E-3) to Private
Private (rank)
A Private is a soldier of the lowest military rank .In modern military parlance, 'Private' is shortened to 'Pte' in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries and to 'Pvt.' in the United States.Notably both Sir Fitzroy MacLean and Enoch Powell are examples of, rare, rapid career...

 (E-1) and is forced to undertake the degrading task of burning "diesel fuel" (excrement). The punishments, the heat and the boredom, combined with suspicions of his girlfriend's infidelity and feelings of isolation, temporarily drive Swofford to the point of mental breakdown. He threatens and nearly shoots fellow Marine Fergus, then turns the weapon on himself and demands the traumatized Fergus to shoot him. When Fergus refuses, Swofford leaves the tent.

After the long stand in the desert, Operation Desert Storm, the coalition force's ground campaign, begins, and the Marines are dispatched to the Saudi-Kuwaiti border. Briefly before the action begins, Swofford learns from Sykes that Troy concealed his criminal record when enlisting and will be discharged after the end of hostilities. Troy begins to keep distant from his fellow Marines. Knowing that Troy will never be allowed to re-enlist, the Marines brand him with the hot USMC iron, marking him as one of their own. Following an accidental air attack from friendly forces, the Marines advance through the desert, facing no enemies on the ground. The troops march through the Highway of Death
Highway of Death
The Highway of Death refers to a six-lane highway between Kuwait and Iraq, officially known as Highway 80. It runs from Kuwait City to the border town of Safwan and then on to Basra....

, strewn with the burnt vehicles and charred bodies of retreating Iraqi soldiers, the aftermath of a U.S. bombing campaign. Later, the Marines suddenly catch sight of distant burning oil wells, lit only moments before by the retreating Iraqis, and they attempt to dig sleeping holes as a rain of crude oil falls from the sky. Before they can finish them, Sykes orders the squad to move to where the wind prevents the oil from raining on them. While digging new sleeping holes, Swoff discovers Fowler (Evan Jones) has defiled an Iraqi corpse which drives Swoff to the point of wanting to fight him. Troy breaks up the fight and orders Fowler to bury the body somewhere else.

Swofford and Troy are finally given a combat mission. Their order is to shoot two Iraqi officers, supposedly located in a control tower at a battle-damaged airport. The two take up positions in a deserted building at a distance from the tower, but moments after Swofford pinpoints one of the officers in his sights and receives authority to make the kill, another team of Marines appears led by Major Lincoln (Dennis Haysbert
Dennis Haysbert
Dennis Dexter Haysbert is an American film and television actor. He is known for portraying baseball player Pedro Cerrano in the Major League film trilogy, President David Palmer on the American television series 24, and Sergeant Major Jonas Blane on the drama series The Unit, as well as his work...

), the battalion executive officer, who cancels the kill and calls in an air strike. Troy, desperate to make a kill, pleads with Major Lincoln to let them take the shot. When his pleas are denied, Troy breaks down in a fit of despair and weeps. Moments later the airport is bombed by U.S. warplanes. Swofford and Troy linger at the site in a daze, losing track of time and missing their pick-up. With night falling, they try to navigate the desert but get lost. Distant cries in the darkness frighten them, and as they begin to sense that the sounds are coming from beyond a ridge, they ready their weapons and prepare to descend. They see an encampment in the distance, but on closer look they recognize it as their base camp, and the sounds as Marine voices. The war is over, they learn, and scores of Marines celebrate this amidst a bonfire. In a climactic scene Swofford tells Troy he never fired his rifle, getting a response of "You can do it now". He then fires a round in the air from his sniper rifle and the other Marines, who also never had a chance to fire their weapons, follow suit, emptying magazines into the night sky.

On returning home the troops parade through the towns in a jovial celebration of victory. The mood is disturbed when a disheveled Vietnam veteran, possibly suffering from the memories of the conflict, jumps into their bus, and congratulates them all. The veteran, still clearly disturbed by his experiences in Vietnam, asks the men if he can sit with them. Soon after their return home, Swofford and his comrades are discharged and go on with their separate lives. Swofford returns home to his family and girlfriend, but discovers her with a new boyfriend. Fowler is seen to be spending time with a girl at a bar, Kruger (Lucas Black
Lucas Black
Lucas York Black is an American film and television actor. He is known for his roles in the CBS television series American Gothic as well as roles in films such as Sling Blade, Jarhead, Friday Night Lights, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Legion, Get Low, and All the Pretty Horses.-Personal...

) in a corporate boardroom, Escobar (Laz Alonso
Laz Alonso
Lazaro "Laz" Alonso is an American film and television actor. He is best known for playing Tsu'tey in James Cameron's science fiction film Avatar. He is also well known for his role as Fenix "Rise" Calderon in the film Fast & Furious. Alonso has had roles in other films such as Jarhead, This...

) as a supermarket employee, Cortez (Jacob Vargas
Jacob Vargas
-Early life:Vargas was born in Michoacán, Mexico, and raised in Pacoima, Los Angeles, California, since 1971. He was raised in a devout Roman Catholic family.-Career:...

) as a father of three kids, and Sykes continuing his service as a First Sergeant
First Sergeant
First sergeant is the name of a military rank used in many countries, typically a senior non-commissioned officer.-Singapore:First Sergeant is a Specialist in the Singapore Armed Forces. First Sergeants are the most senior of the junior Specialists, ranking above Second Sergeants, and below Staff...

 in Operation Iraqi Freedom. An unspecified amount of time later, Swofford learns of Troy's death (the cause of which is never specified) during a surprise visit from Fergus. He attends the funeral, meets some of his old friends, and afterwards he reminisces about the effects of the war
War
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

.

Cast

  • Jake Gyllenhaal
    Jake Gyllenhaal
    Jacob Benjamin "Jake" Gyllenhaal is an American actor. The son of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner, Gyllenhaal began acting at age ten...

     as LCpl/PFC Anthony Swofford
    Anthony Swofford
    Anthony Swofford is a writer and former United States Marine known for being the author of the book Jarhead, published in 2003, which is primarily based on his accounts of various situations encountered in the first Gulf War. This memoir was the basis of the 2005 movie of the same name, directed...

     aka Swoff. He comes from a family of military men, his father and uncle having served in Vietnam. Swoff is from Sacramento, California
    Sacramento, California
    Sacramento is the capital city of the U.S. state of California and the county seat of Sacramento County. It is located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in the northern portion of California's expansive Central Valley. With a population of 466,488 at the 2010 census,...

    .
  • Peter Sarsgaard
    Peter Sarsgaard
    John Peter Sarsgaard is an American film and stage actor. He landed his first feature role in the movie Dead Man Walking in 1995. He then appeared in the 1998 independent films Another Day in Paradise and Desert Blue. That same year, Sarsgaard received a substantial role in The Man in the Iron...

     as Cpl Alan Troy. Troy is Swoff's friend and spotter. Troy enjoys being in the military. Troy is from Greenville, Michigan
    Greenville, Michigan
    Greenville is a city in Montcalm County of the U.S. state of Michigan. Portions of the county are associated with the Western region while others are more closely associated with the Central Michigan region. The population was 8,481 at the 2010 census...

    .
  • Jamie Foxx
    Jamie Foxx
    Eric Marlon Bishop , professionally known as Jamie Foxx, is an American actor, singer-songwriter, stand-up comedian, and talk radio host. As an actor, his work in the film Ray earned him the Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Actor as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a...

     as SSgt Sykes. Sykes is a Marine lifer. He is Swoff and Troy's training SNCO during Scout Sniper training at Camp Pendleton. Sykes is strict but fair. He states that he had an opportunity to have a dry wall business with his brother in Compton but chose not to saying he loves being in the Marine Corps too much.
  • Lucas Black
    Lucas Black
    Lucas York Black is an American film and television actor. He is known for his roles in the CBS television series American Gothic as well as roles in films such as Sling Blade, Jarhead, Friday Night Lights, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Legion, Get Low, and All the Pretty Horses.-Personal...

     as LCpl Chris Kruger. Kruger is the dissenter of the group.
  • Evan Jones as PFC Dave Fowler. Fowler is the most gung ho of the group. Fowler is from Framingham, Massachusetts
    Framingham, Massachusetts
    Framingham is a New England town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 68,318 as of the United States 2010 Census. -History:...

    .
  • Brian Geraghty
    Brian Geraghty
    Brian Timothy Geraghty is an American film and television actor, best known for his role in the Academy Award winning film The Hurt Locker.-Early life:Geraghty was born in Toms River Township, New Jersey, and is of Irish ancestry...

     as PFC Fergus O'Donnell. Fergus is the most naive of the group. Fergus is from Cottonwood Falls, Kansas
    Cottonwood Falls, Kansas
    Cottonwood Falls is the largest city and county seat of Chase County, Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 903.-History:-19th century:...

    .
  • Laz Alonso
    Laz Alonso
    Lazaro "Laz" Alonso is an American film and television actor. He is best known for playing Tsu'tey in James Cameron's science fiction film Avatar. He is also well known for his role as Fenix "Rise" Calderon in the film Fast & Furious. Alonso has had roles in other films such as Jarhead, This...

     as LCpl Ramon Escobar. A Cuban immigrant, Escobar is the group's radio operator. He takes much pride in being a Marine often saying how scout snipers are the best. Escobar is from Miami, Florida
    Miami, Florida
    Miami is a city located on the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida and the county seat of Miami-Dade County, the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States with a population of 2,500,625...

    .
  • Jacob Vargas
    Jacob Vargas
    -Early life:Vargas was born in Michoacán, Mexico, and raised in Pacoima, Los Angeles, California, since 1971. He was raised in a devout Roman Catholic family.-Career:...

     as LCpl Juan Cortez. Cortez carries the group's radio. Cortez has three children, one of whom is born while he's in Saudi Arabia. Cortez is from Delano, California
    Delano, California
    Delano's climate is characteristic of the San Joaquin Valley. The weather is hot and dry during the summer and cool and damp in winter. Frequent ground fog known regionally as "tule fog" can obscure vision. Record temperatures range between 115°F and 14°F...

    .
  • Chris Cooper
    Chris Cooper (actor)
    Christopher W. "Chris" Cooper is an American film actor. He became well known in the late 1990s. He has appeared in supporting performances in several major Hollywood films, including The Bourne Identity, American Beauty, Capote, The Town, The Kingdom, Syriana, October Sky, Seabiscuit, and...

     as LtCol Kazinski. Kazinski is the battalion
    Battalion
    A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

     commander
    Commander
    Commander is a naval rank which is also sometimes used as a military title depending on the individual customs of a given military service. Commander is also used as a rank or title in some organizations outside of the armed forces, particularly in police and law enforcement.-Commander as a naval...

    .
  • John Krasinski
    John Krasinski
    John Burke Krasinski is an American actor, film director, and writer. He is most widely known for playing Jim Halpert on the NBC sitcom The Office...

     as Cpl Harrigan. Harrigan is a Marine whose job it is to write letters to the major's wife.
  • Dennis Haysbert
    Dennis Haysbert
    Dennis Dexter Haysbert is an American film and television actor. He is known for portraying baseball player Pedro Cerrano in the Major League film trilogy, President David Palmer on the American television series 24, and Sergeant Major Jonas Blane on the drama series The Unit, as well as his work...

     as Major Lincoln, the battalion executive officer
    Executive officer
    An executive officer is generally a person responsible for running an organization, although the exact nature of the role varies depending on the organization.-Administrative law:...

    .
  • Iván Fenyő
    Iván Fenyo
    Iván Fenyő is a Hungarian actor.He made his studies at the University of Drama, Film and Television, Budapest.Fenyő made his feature film debut as a Hungarian soldier in Jarhead, directed by Sam Mendes. Although most of his scenes were cut from the movie, he went on to play the lead in the...

     as Pinko, a marine and Hungarian
    Hungarian
    Hungarian may refer to:* Hungary, a country in Central Europe* Kingdom of Hungary, state of Hungary, existing from 1000 to 1946* Hungarian people, the ethnic group primarily associated with Hungary...

     immigrant.
  • Scott MacDonald
    Scott MacDonald (actor)
    Scott MacDonald is an American actor. He is best known for his recurring roles as Captain Manning on short-lived series Threshold, Burley from HBO series Carnivàle, and as Commander Dolim from Star Trek: Enterprise, and as the title character from 1996 horror film Jack Frost.He grew up in Libby,...

     as D.I. Fitch
  • James Morrison
    James Morrison (actor)
    James Paige Morrison is an American actor. He was born in Bountiful, Utah, the son of an office manager, and was raised in Anchorage, Alaska.-Biography:...

     as Old Mr. Swafford
  • Brian Mahoney
    Brian Mahoney
    Brian Mahoney was a former professional footballer, who played for Huddersfield Town and Barnsley.-References:*99 Years & Counting - Stats & Stories - Huddersfield Town History...

     as Priest

Critical response


The film received mixed reviews from critics, registering a 61% rating (53% Cream of the Crop) on Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

. Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Roger Joseph Ebert is an American film critic and screenwriter. He is the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.Ebert is known for his film review column and for the television programs Sneak Previews, At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and Siskel and Ebert and The...

 gave the movie three-and-a-half out of four stars, crediting it for its unique portrayal of Gulf War Marines who battled boredom and a sense of isolation rather than enemy combatant
Enemy combatant
Enemy combatant is a term historically referring to members of the armed forces of the state with which another state is at war. Prior to 2008, the definition was: "Any person in an armed conflict who could be properly detained under the laws and customs of war." In the case of a civil war or an...

s. Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly is an American magazine, published by the Time division of Time Warner, that covers film, television, music, broadway theatre, books and popular culture...

magazine gave the film a "B+" rating and Owen Gleiberman
Owen Gleiberman
Owen Gleiberman is an American film critic for Entertainment Weekly, a position he has held since the magazine's launch in 1990. From 1981–89, he worked at the Boston Phoenix....

 wrote:
In his review for the Washington Post, Stephen Hunter praised Jake Gyllenhaal's performance: "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". Sight and Sound magazine's Leslie Felperin wrote, "If nothing else, Jarhead provides some kind of reportage of a war whose consequences we haven't yet begun to understand, a war now elbowed into history by its still-raging sequel". USA Today
USA Today
USA Today is a national American daily newspaper published by the Gannett Company. It was founded by Al Neuharth. The newspaper vies with The Wall Street Journal for the position of having the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States, something it previously held since 2003...

gave the film three out of four stars and wrote, "What we're left with is solid if not exceptional, though it's good to see Mendes expanding as a filmmaker". Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

magazine's Richard Schickel
Richard Schickel
Richard Warren Schickel is an American author, journalist, and documentary filmmaker. He is a film critic for Time magazine, having also written for Life magazine and the Los Angeles Times Book Review....

 wrote, "But the best war movies—and this one, despite its being overlong and repetitive, is among them—hold that men fight (or in this case, are ready to fight) not for causes, but to survive and to help their comrades do the same".

However, in his review for The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

, A. O. Scott
A. O. Scott
Anthony Oliver Scott, known as A. O. Scott , is an American journalist and critic. He is a chief film critic for The New York Times, along with Manohla Dargis.-Background and education:...

 felt that the film was "full of intensity with almost no real visceral impact", and called it "a minor movie about a minor war, and a film that feels, at the moment, remarkably irrelevant". Kenneth Turan
Kenneth Turan
Kenneth Turan is an American film critic and Lecturer in the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California.-Background:...

 in his review for the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

wrote:

In his review for the Village Voice, J. Hoberman
J. Hoberman
James Lewis Hoberman , also known as J. Hoberman, is an American film critic. He is currently the senior film critic for The Village Voice, a post he has held since 1988.-Education:...

 wrote, "A master of the monotone, Mendes prompts his performers to hit a note and sustain it. Although Jarhead is more visually accomplished and less empty than American Beauty
American Beauty (film)
American Beauty is a 1999 American drama film directed by Sam Mendes and written by Alan Ball. Kevin Spacey stars as Lester Burnham, a middle-aged magazine writer who has a midlife crisis when he becomes infatuated with his teenage daughter's best friend, Angela...

or Road to Perdition
Road to Perdition
Road to Perdition is a 2002 American crime film directed by Sam Mendes. The screenplay was adapted by David Self, from the graphic novel of the same name by Max Allan Collins. The film stars Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, and Daniel Craig...

, it still feels oppressively hermetic".

Nathaniel Fick
Nathaniel Fick
Nathaniel C. "Nate" Fick is a veteran United States Marine Corps officer and CEO of the Center for a New American Security, a national security think tank based in Washington, D.C. He came to public notice for his writing on military life and the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq...

, another author who is a Marine, gave the film a mixed review (and panned the book on which it is based) in Slate
Slate (magazine)
Slate is a US-based English language online current affairs and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley, initially under the ownership of Microsoft as part of MSN. On 21 December 2004 it was purchased by the Washington Post Company...

. He wrote, "Jarhead also presents wild scenes that probably could happen in combat units, but strips them of the context that might explain how they're more than sheer lunacy". James Meek, who reported from the battlefields of Iraq, reviewed the film in the pages of The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

. He wrote, "The key to a film about war is how it ends, and if the young man at the film's centre is lifted out of the battlefield uninjured and sane, if his family and home life before and after aren't prominent in the picture, the movie is diminished as a film which says something about war and becomes a simpler story of growing up, of jeopardy overcome".

Controversy


It has been suggested that parts of the Jarhead plot were taken from Joel Turnipseed's 2002 gulf war memoir, Baghdad Express without the author's consent. Jarhead screenwriter William Broyles Jr. has claimed that many likenesses arise from the retelling of common Marine experiences.

Wins

  • San Diego Film Critics Society
    San Diego Film Critics Society
    The San Diego Film Critics Society is an organization of film reviewers from San Diego-based publications.Each year the SDFCS meets to vote on their San Diego Film Critics Society Awards for films released in the same calendar year....

     Special Award for Body of Work (Jake Gyllenhaal
    Jake Gyllenhaal
    Jacob Benjamin "Jake" Gyllenhaal is an American actor. The son of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner, Gyllenhaal began acting at age ten...

    )

Nominations

  • Art Directors Guild
    Art Directors Guild
    The Art Directors Guild is an American labor union and branch of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees representing almost 2,000 motion picture and television professionals....

     Excellence in Production Design Award for Contemporary Feature Film
  • Black Movie Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Satellite Award
    Satellite Awards
    The Satellite Awards are an annual award given by the International Press Academy. The awards were originally known as the Golden Satellite Awards.- Film :*Best Actor – Drama*Best Actor – Musical or Comedy*Best Actress – Drama...

     for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
  • Satellite Award
    Satellite Awards
    The Satellite Awards are an annual award given by the International Press Academy. The awards were originally known as the Golden Satellite Awards.- Film :*Best Actor – Drama*Best Actor – Musical or Comedy*Best Actress – Drama...

     for Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role, Drama
  • Satellite Award
    Satellite Awards
    The Satellite Awards are an annual award given by the International Press Academy. The awards were originally known as the Golden Satellite Awards.- Film :*Best Actor – Drama*Best Actor – Musical or Comedy*Best Actress – Drama...

     for Outstanding Film Editing
  • Satellite Award
    Satellite Awards
    The Satellite Awards are an annual award given by the International Press Academy. The awards were originally known as the Golden Satellite Awards.- Film :*Best Actor – Drama*Best Actor – Musical or Comedy*Best Actress – Drama...

     for Outstanding Screenplay, Adapted
  • Visual Effects Society Award
    Visual Effects Society
    The Visual Effects Society is the entertainment industry's only organization representing the full breadth of visual effects practitioners including artists, animators, technologists, model makers, educators, studio leaders, supervisors, PR/marketing specialists and producers in all areas of...

     for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Motion Picture
  • Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor

Home media



Released on March 7, 2006, the film is available as a single disc standard version (in both fullscreen
Pan and scan
Pan and scan is a method of adjusting widescreen film images so that they can be shown within the proportions of a standard definition 4:3 aspect ratio television screen, often cropping off the sides of the original widescreen image to focus on the composition's most important aspects...

 and widescreen
Widescreen
Widescreen images are a variety of aspect ratios used in film, television and computer screens. In film, a widescreen film is any film image with a width-to-height aspect ratio greater than the standard 1.37:1 Academy aspect ratio provided by 35mm film....

) and a 2-disc Collector's Edition. Some DVDs came with a pair of dog tags that say "Jarhead" on one side and on the other side, "Welcome to the suck."

The single disc standard version has been included with a protective silver casing, engraved on the front is the shape of a dog tag with the word "Jarhead" written on it.

External links