Jarhead 2005

Jarhead

Critics Consensus

This first person account of the first Gulf War scores with its performances and cinematography but lacks an emotional thrust.

61%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 200

68%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 392,838

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Movie Info

In the late 1980s, Anthony Swofford (Jake Gyllenhaal) enlists as a Marine, training in boot camp under a sadistic drill instructor. Swofford undertakes a sniper course headed by Staff Sgt. Sykes (Jamie Foxx) during this time, which is shortly before the advent of the Gulf War. When the United States becomes involved, Swofford is shipped out, along with his spotter, Alan Troy (Peter Sarsgaard). Facing uncertainty each day -- about the war and home -- the soldiers try to maintain composure.

Cast & Crew

Jake Gyllenhaal
Anthony Swofford
Jamie Foxx
Staff Sgt. Sykes
Chris Cooper
Lt. Col. Kazinski
Lucas Black
Chris Kruger
Brian Geraghty
Fergus O'Donnell
Jacob Vargas
Juan Cortez
Laz Alonso
Ramon Escobar
Evan Jones
Dave Fowler
Iván Fenyö
Pinko
Bobby Cohen
Executive Producer
Sam Mercer
Executive Producer
Roger Deakins
Cinematographer
Walter Murch
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for Jarhead

Critic Reviews for Jarhead

All Critics (200) | Top Critics (48) | Fresh (122) | Rotten (78)

  • Gyllenhaal can, in fact, act, so the blame must fall elsewhere for his dim performance, all topless tears and soulful voiceovers. The same goes for Peter Sarsgaard, Chris Cooper and Jamie Foxx, three good actors forced into contortions of theatrics.

    January 16, 2018 | Full Review…
  • It's another fine Gyllenhaal performance, but not really enough, because his suffering doesn't amount to a hill of Kuwaiti sand in the end.

    February 10, 2006 | Full Review…
  • The film's strong suit is vagueness, presenting combat as a semi-surreal state of ignorant expectation and dislocated experience: these warriors loll in the desert awaiting action or trying to make sense of its consequences.

    February 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Ben Walters

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Jarhead takes a perverse pleasure in confounding your expectations of what a war movie should be.

    January 17, 2006 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Paul Arendt

    BBC.com
    Top Critic
  • Stunning to look at and to listen to, with elegantly chosen pop songs unspooling on the soundtrack under each fresh new horror.

    January 14, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Jarhead is utterly predictable (boys endure tough training; boys encounter another culture and are baffled), studded with first-rate performances.

    December 9, 2005

Audience Reviews for Jarhead

  • Aug 10, 2020
    "Every war is different. Every war is the same." From director Sam Mendes comes the compelling war drama Jarhead. Based on a memoir by Anthony Swofford, the film follows Swofford as he joins the Marines and is recruited to be a sniper, but he soon finds himself stationed in Saudi Arabian as part of Operation Desert Shield endlessly waiting to see action. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx, Peter Sarsgaard, Lucas Black, and Chris Cooper, a film features a strong cast that gives good performances. And Mendes does a great job at capturing the isolation and beauty of the desert, and at showing the horrors of war. Additionally, Thomas Newman provides a terrific score. Yet at times the film gets a little crass and vulgar, but it's also incredible honest. While it has some problems, Jarhead is a powerful look at the life of a soldier.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 12, 2016
    Reminiscent of Full Metal Jacket to a certain extent, Jarhead gives a different picture of war- the kind that's beyond explosions, ambushes, and chaos.
    Maymay A Super Reviewer
  • Nov 24, 2012
    Not at all what I was expecting, It focuses on the the life of one soldier and his time in Afghanistan, There is no action at all but somehow you get really gripped, It's brilliantly acted, Worth a watch.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 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.
    Kase V Super Reviewer

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