Full Metal Jacket

1987

Full Metal Jacket

Critics Consensus

Intense, tightly constructed, and darkly comic at times, Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket may not boast the most original of themes, but it is exceedingly effective at communicating them.

91%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 78

94%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 324,218

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

94%
Average Rating: 4.1/5

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Movie Info

Stanley Kubrick's return to filmmaking after a seven-year hiatus, this film crystallizes the experience of the Vietnam War by concentrating on a group of raw Marine volunteers. Based on Gustav Hasford's novel The Short Timers, the film's first half details the volunteers' harrowing boot-camp training under the profane, power-saw guidance of drill instructor Sgt. Hartman (R. Lee Ermey, a real-life drill instructor whose performance is one of the most terrifyingly realistic on record). Part two takes place in Nam, as seen through the eyes of the now thoroughly indoctrinated marines. Ironically, Full Metal Jacket was filmed almost entirely in England. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

Matthew Modine
as Pvt. J.T. 'Joker' Davis
R. Lee Ermey
as Hartman
Arliss Howard
as Pvt. Cowboy
John Terry
as Lt. Lockhart
Ian Tyler
as Lt. Cleves
Kevin Howard
as Rafterman
Adam Baldwin
as Animal Mother
Dorian Harewood
as Eightball
Ed O'Ross
as Touchdown
Kirk Taylor
as Payback
Papillon Soo
as Da Nang Hooker
Peter Merrill
as TV Journalist
Keiron Jecchinis
as Crazy Earl
Jon Stafford
as Doc Jay
Kieron Jecchinis
as Crazy Earl
Ngoc Le
as V.C. Sniper
Leanna Hong
as Motorbike Hooker
Leanne Hong
as Motorbike Hooker
Gil Kopel
as Stork
Herbert Norville
as Daytona Dave
Bruce Boa
as Poge Colonel
Tim Colceri
as Doorgunner
Sal Lopez
as T.H.E. Rock
Keith Hodiak
as Daddy Da
Keith Hodlak
as Daddy Da
Nguyen Hue Phong
as Camera Thief
Du Hu Ta
as Dead NVA
Tony Carey
as Marine
Derek Hart
as Marine
Dave Perry
as Marine
Tony Smith
as Marine
Chad Dowdell
as Dying Soldier (uncredited)
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Critic Reviews for Full Metal Jacket

All Critics (78) | Top Critics (15)

Audience Reviews for Full Metal Jacket

While certainly qualifying as quality film-making, Kubrick's Vietnam entrée also shows signs of aging. Much of the dialogue has that grammar school feel of trying one-ups-manship that was tiring in grammar school (except for the remarkable Lee Ermey, who stills radiates like nuclear meltdown). Still a work worthy of your time.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

A powerful and cynical film that portrays with dark humor and acid criticism the dehumanizing side of war, with R. Lee Ermey and D'Onofrio stealing the show in the most memorable scenes. Still, the second part never achieves the level of excellence of the first half, turning into just another war movie.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Dark humor, sharp dialogue and R. Lee Ermey's terrifyingly excellent performance. Full Metal Jacket is a gripping portrayal of the dehumanization and transformation of the US soldier in the midst of the Vietnam War. Kubrick's tactical direction and nasty-good production on this film is one of his best. 5/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

Stanley Kubrick turns his attention to Vietnam in this bleak and emotionally draining representation of a conflict that was the perfect subject for which to turn the accepted war movie cliches on their heads. It throws you in the deep end of marine boot camp where conscripts are stripped of all sense of individuality to be turned into killing machines, a process ferociously undertaken by one of the most evil and hateful characters you're ever likely to see on screen. You do not grow to admire and respect this man as you do in most militaristic flag wavers; he is a ruthless sadist who punishes every tiny error with the kind of physical and emotional abuse that would be deemed unconscionable in any other environment. He even holds up a mass murder and assassin as figures to be admired and only considers private Pile, the subject of his systematic humiliation, worthy AFTER he has reached psychological breaking point. Once the action shifts to Vietnam, Kubrick's unsentimental documentary style places you in the thick of the battlefield where the slightest hesitation, act of compassion or humanity is punished by death and he makes no attempt to emotionally manipulate or preach simplistic anti-war messages. In his inimitable style he exposes the ugly truth about war; without their monstrous drill sergeant's brutal teachings they wouldn't have lasted 5 minutes in this environment so within the context of war, cruelty is RIGHT. Cruelty WORKS. And any society that was built on militarism has this fact as its foundation; even one whose figurehead is a lovable cartoon mouse.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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