• R, 2 hr. 2 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Sam Mendes
    In Theaters:
    Nov 4, 2005 Wide
    On DVD:
    Mar 7, 2006
  • Universal Pictures
  • Jarhead
    2 minutes 8 seconds
    Added: May 9, 2008

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Jarhead Reviews

Page 1 of 741
Bob S

Super Reviewer

March 25, 2007
Entirely predictable first-person account of a marine's experiences around Desert Storm. Ambivalent and unengaging.
Kase V

Super Reviewer

July 12, 2012
Upon first viewing, 'Jarhead' is no more than a portrait of the psychological challenges of a boring war. Yet, after the credits role, this film settles into your stomach and mind and doesn't leave. Sam Mendes creates a beautifully terrifying atmosphere with amazing cinematography and a strong cast of actors, with Gyllenhaal, Foxx, and Sarsgaard showing true talent. This film is not a trigger-happy gun show, but instead a poignant portrayal of soldiers battling themselves instead of the enemy. It's refreshing to see a great filmmaker give a unique turn on the modern 'war' genre.
Coxxie M

Super Reviewer

June 3, 2009
i almost gor drafted last year so this is like a horror movie
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

November 2, 2011
Jarhead is more than a movie. It is an entertaining truthful first person look at the reality of the war and that the biggest enemy they were fighting was boredom.
ScoopOnline
ScoopOnline

Super Reviewer

December 8, 2009
I ussually avoid Anti War Movies. They iritate me mostly but this was something different.
DreamExtractor
DreamExtractor

Super Reviewer

April 27, 2011
Jarhead was a geniusly made film and is tied with The Hurt Locker and Black Hawk Down as the greatest Iraq war film ever. Jake Gylenhal is a great actor, and here is proof of his genius. The plot is great, it shows the life of a man from boot camp to the war and ultimately going home, and the horrors along the way. The music in the movie was a work of genius, Ill give credit to the composer. Jarhead is a genius movie, no doubt about it.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

June 25, 2007
A new kind of war film for a new kind of war, Sam Mendes' adaptation of Anthony Swofford's account of his experiences in Iraq can however stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the best of them. Gyllenhaal's progression from raw recruit through to the sheer tedium of waiting for his war to happen is in turns funny, fascinating and shocking and Mendes provides some truly striking imagery. The well observed and intelligent script gives the viewer a real sense of "being there", and the uniqueness of the Iraq war in that it was so ubiquitous in the media means that these "behind the scenes" observations give real insight into the conflict, essentially filling in the blanks for those of us who experienced the war blow by blow on TV. Some of the characters were a little sketchy, but the triumvirate of Gyllenhaal, Foxx and Sarsgaard are brilliantly rendered and acted. The clever use of contemporary music also compliments the action (or lack of it) perfectly, and it is full of knowing references to war movies and their role in popular culture, counterpointing the drudgery of it's reality for these soldiers. ("That was Vietnam, asshole! We don't even have our own ***ing music!") A great study of fighting men coming to terms with their own impotence in a conflict that was taken out of their hands by technology.
Christopher A

Super Reviewer

January 17, 2011
Jarhead is surprisingly addictive viewing with us following Swoff (Jake Gyllenhaal) into the Gulf War or more accurately, before the Gulf War as the soldiers try to cope with their boredom and prepare for battle.

Jughead is a war film trying not to be about war, instead we see the soldiers dealing with the psychological effects of having nothing to do and their desperation to 'get some'. Gyllenhaal is fantastic as the self loathing Swoffard while Jamie Foxx puts in a strong performance as the Staff Sergeant.

While I doubt this is a 100% accurate to real life events, I think it was a decent attempt at portraying war without the shine.

"Look, I am twenty years old and I was dumb enough to sign a contract. I can hear their fucking bombs already. I can hear their bombs and I'm fucking scared, yeah. "
hunterjt13
hunterjt13

Super Reviewer

November 3, 2010
This is a poor man's Full Metal Jacket. Though the idea of concentrating on the time before war, the waiting, the impatience, and the resulting human degradation is an interesting perspective, the film becomes a militaristic Animal House, and the point gets lost in the crazy faux-joviality. Also, we don't know enough about Swoff before he entered the Marines to understand the degree of his character's change. Finally, the characters' central, stated goal is to kill someone - to get that one confirmed kill. But whereas FMJ's Joker is being satirical, these men are seriously obsessed with the prospect, and this goal makes it almost impossible to sympathize. Yes, I understand that distaste for these characters is part of the film's point, but they're not even "interesting-bad." They're just one-dimensionally blood-thirsty.
All this notwithstanding, Peter Sarsgaard turns in another astounding, convincing performance. The best friend from Garden State is always interesting to watch.
TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

October 14, 2010
Based on Ex USMC Scout Sniper, Anthony Swofford's memoir Jarhead; this is an incredible look at how soldiering can change one man. The film follows Swofford from Boot Camp to active duty during the Gulf War. The film takes a close look at Anthony Swofford who has a family history that every male member has served in the war. Swofford attends extensive Marine training to become a scout sniper. The film shows the camaraderie of the soldiers going off to war. Also the film shows the inhuman side of the soldiers (Swofford pulls an M16A2 assault riffle on a fellow soldier, another soldier desecrates a dead Iraqi's body) Jarhead is set during the first Gulf War. Instead of fighting the enemy, they mostly fight boredom amongst themselves. A terrificly told film with a new take on the war genre, though lacking in actual warfare carnage; Jarhead plays on the aspect of what it means to be a soldier and it's a film that tends to show a different side of soldiers. However the reason why this film fails to have a perfect score is that it shows mostly Hollywood cliches of stereotypical marine, dimwitted and can't do anything smart, and has little education. Thats my only real beef with the film, and thats why I can't give this film a perfect score. However it is a well acted film with strong actors in the roles. This is unlike any other war film, because it focuses on a war that lasted for four days, and the thing that soldiers are fighting the most of is boredom, not the enemy. A different type of film, but enjoyable nonetheless. Sam Mendes (director of American Beauty) brings this impressive story to film. Jarhead is watchable, but it's not flawless by any means.
KJ P

Super Reviewer

February 5, 2010
Extremely weak, and I found myself fallign asleep to how boring i was. I wasn't even 2 hours and I seemed like 4. It could have been condensed even more than it was!
bbcfloridabound
bbcfloridabound

Super Reviewer

January 20, 2010
Finally a movie without a political story. A story that is about the soldier. This one is about Desert Storm / Desert Shield. The scenes of the Gulf War are true to life, especially the Oil Well Fires, Want to know why or veterans are sick With GWS, take a look at a little eye opening facts of this movie. Also the personal hell one fights while on the firing line wondering what?s happening at home with our love ones. 4 Stars
Conner R

Super Reviewer

January 1, 2010
While I don't believe Sam Mendes intended for this to be a war movie, it was immediately labeled as one. This is a movie about soldiers and the complete and utter distaste that comes along with war. It criticizes the very nature of human beings and why they feel the need to fight. The acting was great, Jake Gyllenhaal really put in a great performance that was both convincing and sympathetic. Sam Mendes' style works perfectly and the bleak look of the film is amazing.
LWOODS04
LWOODS04

Super Reviewer

April 28, 2009
Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx, Peter Sarsgaard

"Jarhead" (the self-imposed moniker of the Marines) follows Swoff, a third-generation enlistee, from a sobering stint in boot camp to active duty, sporting a sniper's rifle and a hundred-pound rucksack on his back through Middle East deserts with no cover from intolerable heat or from Iraqi soldiers, always potentially just over the next horizon. Swoff and his fellow Marines sustain themselves with sardonic humanity and wicked comedy on blazing desert fields in a country they don't understand against an enemy they can't see for a cause they don't fully fathom.


I think this is the first war movie I have seen that really wasn't about war. It was more about the soldiers and their lives. How they live while there and how they cope with being so far away from loved ones. I must say that I am not a huge fan of war movies, but I do always end up watching them for some reason or another, and I am always a bit surprised when I actually like one. I did cringe a little when I saw that the running time of this movie was five minutes short of being 2hrs long. I was for sure I wouldn't be able to sit through the whole movie. Well I guess I was wrong. It intrigued me. Loved the characters, and thought Jake Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard were great. The more war movie's I watch and like encourage me to watch more. LOL.. Not really.. But people should see this one.
FiLmCrAzY
FiLmCrAzY

Super Reviewer

September 4, 2007
i loved this movie i thought it was brilliatn with laugh out loud moments.
its so true to some squaddies lives that this story is believiable and enjoyable with an amazing cast and acting the storyline is brilliant and some reallly explosive scens that are enjobable and exciting stuff!
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 17, 2009
I would say this was 50% accurate and 50% gloss. Entertaining but I didn't care much for Gyllenhaal and Foxx's performances.
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

June 9, 2006
As Roger Ebert said, "this film is neither pro war nor anti war. It's the "Waiting for Godot" of war." That's a great way to sum it up. There are shades of previous war and military films in this movie, especially before the marines get sent to the desert, but after that, this becomes a military movie in a league of its own. The performances are very strong, especially from Foxx and Gyllenhaal. The camera work is quite stunning, probably because Roger Deakins is responsible, and the direction from Sam Mendes is likewise strong. Many say this film is quite accurate, and, based on my on personal knowledge, I'd have to agree. True, there are some liberties taken here and there, but that's the case with just about any film. Probably the best thing I have to say about this movie is how all of it is interesting, even the tedious and mundane activites the soldiers engage in for a majority of the film. That is a sign of a great film.
Jens S

Super Reviewer

June 12, 2006
The first gulf war has had the reputation of having been a rather clean and effortless war since the last shot was fired. This film is putting an end to that. Starting out with the training of the marine snipers, including all yelling drill sergeants and initiation rituals that includes, the middle part concentrates on the bored waiting of soldiers for the shit to hit the fan in Iraq. The last third, when the shit finally hits the fan, is probably the truest and most honest effort to show what went down in 1991, some parts almost feel documentary. Especially the scenes among the burning oil fields are particularly bizarre and leave an impression with the audience. All that is well acted and excellently filmed. Dirty, honest and without any hollow heroism crap, this film shows the every day life of a soldier in operation "desert storm" probably as close as no other has.
Dan S

Super Reviewer

June 24, 2007
Not that great, Sarsgaard and Gyllenhaal both sucked, which is unfortunate since I think both are pretty good actors. The "nothing-ness" theme gets old after a while, there is nothing that entertaining nor memorable about this movie other than the Persian Gulf War was a lot of nothing, which we already knew.
Ken S

Super Reviewer

March 26, 2007
Like most people, the flabby bit is in the middle.
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