The Jacket (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Jacket (2005)



Critic Consensus: The Jacket is a case of creepy style over substance.

Movie Info

A troubled war veteran tries to unlock his memories of a terrible crime in this stylish thriller, the first American project for British filmmaker John Maybury. In 1991, Jack Starks (Adrien Brody) was an American soldier serving in the Persian Gulf when he was shot in the head; pronounced dead by a field surgeon, Starks somehow returned to life, though with no small number of psychological problems to show for his troubles. A year later, Starks is walking through the snowy Vermont wilderness when he discovers a woman whose truck has broken down, Jean (Kelly Lynch). Starks tries to help Jean and her young daughter, and later flags down a car for a ride into town; however, the car is being driven by a criminal on the run from the police (Brad Renfro), and not long after the car is cornered by police, Starks' memory goes blank. When he comes to, Jack is accused of killing a patrolman in the violent standoff that followed, and is told that the woman, her daughter, and the criminal existed only in his imagination. Declared insane in his murder trial, Starks is sentenced to a mental institution run by Dr. Becker (Kris Kristofferson), who seems to believe that the more brutal the treatment, the better. As Starks suffers frequent beatings and long spells in a frozen locker, his mind drifts from his harrowing past into the future, where he visits with Jackie (Keira Knightley), who once was the young girl Starks tried to help. The Jacket also features Jennifer Jason Leigh as Dr. Lorenson, a compassionate doctor who tries to help Starks and his fellow patients.more
Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity, sex, violence)
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Massy Tadjedin, Tom Bleecker
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 21, 2005
Box Office: $6.3M
Warner Independent - Official Site


Adrien Brody
as Jack Starks
Keira Knightley
as Jackie Price
Kris Kristofferson
as Dr. Thomas Becker
Daniel Craig
as Rudy Mackenzie
Kelly Lynch
as Jean Price
Brad Renfro
as The Stranger
Jake Broder
as Dr. Morgan
Mackenzie Phillips
as Nurse Harding
Steven Mackintosh
as Dr. Hopkins
Laura Marano
as Little Jackie
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Jacket

Critic Reviews for The Jacket

All Critics (169) | Top Critics (39)

The acting is uniformly excellent.

Full Review… | March 17, 2005
New York Observer
Top Critic

Smart thriller is for mature older teens only.

Full Review… | December 28, 2010
Common Sense Media

Maybury is an artist in addition to a director and it's clear that he has an eye for colour, which he uses cleverly to reinforce emotion.

Full Review… | June 13, 2008
Eye for Film

A morose and bleached-looking affair, with depressing music by Brian Eno to match.

Full Review… | September 24, 2007

There's nothing wrong with a little vicarious experience when you go to the movies, but the director seems to think that his supernatural psycho thriller has to drive you crazy, just to get what it's like to be really insane.

Full Review… | May 29, 2007
Long Island Press

A solid attempt to wrestle with some big questions. The cast is exemplary and the premise and script are well reasoned and artful. But it doesn't quite come together.

September 25, 2006
Christianity Today

Audience Reviews for The Jacket


An Iraq war veteran sent home with serious head trauma is convicted of a murder he does not remember committing. While enduring an experimental "treatment" at the hands of a sadistic doctor, he suddenly finds himself somewhere and somewhen else. This off beat sci-fi fantasy has a lot of elements of familiar wish-fulfilment and time travel stories. His romance with emotional burn out Keira Knightley reminded me a little of Eternal Sunshine, the meddling with time aspect is very like The Butterfly Effect and the whole time travel/mental hospital scenario is very Twelve Monkeys. The thing that makes this film is the combination of great performances and the way that although it feels a little generic, it continually hops between those genres without feeling disjointed which keeps the story intriguing right til the end. Adrien Brody is excellent as the long suffering patient, as is an almost unrecognisable Daniel Craig as his Cuckoo's Nest style confidante. There are some nice visual flourishes and the direction is nice and tight, the film far from outstaying its welcome. I quite enjoyed the darker aspect of The Butterfly Effect and this film does something similar with a more mature approach.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer


Pretty interesting time travel film that refuses to explain its own logic. After a head injury during operation desert storm a soldier is close to death. After his return to the US he gets mistaken for a killer and hospitalized in a mental asylum. Each time he gets a special medication and the straight jacket he jumps forward in time, soon learning about his ultimate fate. Brody makes for a convincing unlikely hero, but the most pleasant surprise of the cast is Knightley who does not remind you of her Pirate princess even once and delivers a great performance. The script may not always make all that much sense, but the story is enthralling and keeps you wondering how it's all gonna play out. In the genre of the mind-fuck movies this does belong to the upper half.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer

i thought that this was really good and different rom any other film you can see keira knightly was excellant and so was adrian brody

Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

The Jacket Quotes

Jack Starks: Sometimes life can only really begin with the knowledge of death.
– Submitted by Dann M (4 years ago)
Jack Starks: Sometimes I think we live through things only to be able to say that it happened.
– Submitted by Dann M (4 years ago)

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