The Jacket


The Jacket

Critics Consensus

The Jacket is a case of creepy style over substance.



Total Count: 162


Audience Score

User Ratings: 78,949
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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.


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
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News & Interviews for The Jacket

Critic Reviews for The Jacket

All Critics (162) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (71) | Rotten (91)

  • Ultimately it doesn't amount to much, but like Starks' drug-induced trip, The Jacket is about the journey not the destination.

    May 10, 2005 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The acting is uniformly excellent.

    Mar 17, 2005 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Top Critic
  • It just bounces Brody back and forth in time and yanks us around, and around, and around.

    Mar 7, 2005
  • The Jacket is doing nothing but sampling elements of Jacob's Ladder, The Silence of the Lambs and Memento.

    Mar 4, 2005 | Full Review…
  • Here, Maybury is just arty for art's sake, filming entire scenes in close-ups so big that viewers leave the theater knowing way more than they ever wanted to about the lead actors' bridgework.

    Mar 4, 2005 | Full Review…
  • Pic begins as a potentially intriguing study of the depersonalizing effects of warfare, only to end up a pastiche of time-travel and psycho-ward movie cliches.

    Mar 4, 2005 | Full Review…

    Scott Foundas

    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Jacket

  • Apr 10, 2019
    The film has an intriguing idea but takes too long to finally kick in, which is something that ought to be a bit exasperating for some viewers, and it almost gets ruined by a silly ending that tries too hard to be optimistic against any logic left, even if the actors do their best to sell it.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 14, 2014
    Jacob's Ladder meets 12 Monkeys with underwhelming results. Tha Jacket is all flare and little else, trying to play smart to belong to the grown-ups club but ends up making little to no sense. Plot details go nowhere, characters are completely wasted and pointless (Daniel Craig anyone?) and the fast editing just gets obnoxious after a while. Add an unbearably cheesy twist and Tha Jacket fails miserably at whatever it was trying to convey. Props to the actors who were actually trying but nothing much came across their flat characters.
    Francisco G Super Reviewer
  • May 14, 2012
    good for its concept but the overall pay off is a little slow. adrien brody is a great actor but he can't save this film from being more then just a stylish thriller.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Apr 13, 2012
    Adrian Brody has superb performance, but it didn't save the film. Thought it was a post traumatic experience but it became a time traveling thriller, not saying I am disappointed, but it's really not as good. Thrilling? Not really...
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer

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