2000s Jarhead (2005)

Published on September 4th, 2007 | by Chris


Jarhead (2005)

Review of: Jarhead (2005)

Reviewed by:
On September 4, 2007
Last modified:October 8, 2012


Something comes to mind about "if you can't say anything nice..." So, you'll understand if I leave Jarhead with a dreadful three. Just don't bother.

Jarhead (2005)Man, I just lost two hours and change of my life that I can't get back watching this film.  Ugh.  Here's the short version:  Guy joins the Corps, becomes a sniper, goes to Kuwait in Desert Shield/Storm, and nothing happens.

Nothing. Zero. Zip. Zilch. They go to boot camp, "hurry up and wait", march through some friendly fire and the burning oil fields, *almost* get to take a shot but are cut short by an overriding air strike...  No-thing!

Is that the point of this picture?  I think in a way it is.  At the end I might've had a glimpse into the meaning of it all, when the Vietnam vet jumps on the bus and welcomes them all home, and sits down with them....   I guess to say that no matter what the experiences a war might put a person through, be it the beaches of some Pacific island, the jungles of Vietnam, or a short stint in a burning, oily desert with nary a shot fired... those experiences are all equally valid, take the same (to a degree) toll on the person, and should be recognized, honored, and remembered.

OK, I'll give you that.  Point taken, but geez, could something have happened along the way?   The almost Full Metal Jacket copycat first half in boot camp was a bit much to swallow, there were just too many similarities to ignore, and then later with the "this is my new best friend" bit in the desert.  Then there's the portrayal of the guys of my generation as a group of partying idiotic morons who want nothing else but simply to kill someone.  Gung Ho is one thing, but really.

I can't say much else, really.  Something comes to mind about "if you can't say anything nice..."  So, you'll understand if I leave Jarhead with a dreadful three.  Just don't bother.

On another note, I really would like to see some more movies come out of the first Gulf War.  Other than the fair but bizarre "Three Kings", and sorta-kinda the 2004 remake of "The Manchurian Candidate"... oh and "In The Army Now" with Pauly Shore....   I'm reaching to come up with any more titles.  Fill me in if I'm missing anything.

Oh, I almost forgot... and Jarhead stars Jake Gyllenahall as our "hero" Anthony Swofford, some other guys I can't say I've heard of (but play idiots and rednecks rather well), and Jamie Foxx as the flat Staff Sgt. Sykes.

Jarhead (Widescreen Edition) Jarhead (Widescreen Edition)
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Based on Anthony Swofford’s excellent memoir about his experiences as a Marine Sniper in Gulf War I, Jarhead is a war movie in which the waiting is a far greater factor upon the characters than the war itself, and the build up to combat is more drama than what combat is depicted...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Brand: Universal
Manufacturer: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Original Release Date:
  • Jamie Foxx
  • Jake Gyllenhaal
  • Peter Sarsgaard
  • Lo Ming
  • Lucas Black (II)


  • Jarhead (Widescreen Edition) (2005) Jamie Foxx (Actor), Jake Gyllenhaal (Actor), Sam Mendes (Director) | Rated: R | Format: DVD GUARANTEED SCRATCH FREE - LIKE NEW - PREVIOUSLY ENJOYED - Jarhead (the self-imposed moniker of the Marines) follows Swoff (Gyllenhaal) from a sobering stint in boot camp to active duty, where he sports a sniper rifle through Middle East deserts that provide no cover from the heat or Iraqi soldiers. 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 grasp.


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Jarhead (2005) Chris

Summary: Something comes to mind about "if you can't say anything nice..." So, you'll understand if I leave Jarhead with a dreadful three/10. Just don't bother.


User Rating: 3.1 (2 votes)

About the Author

I’ve been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I’ve been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.

3 Responses to Jarhead (2005)

  1. Jay says:

    If no one else has pointed it out, another Gulf War movie not in you list is Courage Under Fire. It’s about a female copter pilot whose actions are being investigated for a posthumous awarding of the Medal of Honor. It’s just okay and some would say it has a feminist agenda in it, but it does show some action and is better than Jarhead.

  2. Ben says:

    i think the point of this film could be that the future of warfare for americans has come to a sad just bomb the hell out of the enemy. and that they can send 50 or something thousand troops over there to stand around and go on patrols in deserted areas.

  3. Tom McLaren says:

    I’m an aussie. We spent 6 months in the Persian Gulf waiting for the war to start, got sent home for repairs a few days before it started, and then got sent back right after it finished! The point of the film was too accurately portray the war from the viewpoint of the average jar head, and it does a good job of that.

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