Jarhead
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A young man gets a crash course in the madness of war in this fact-based drama from director Sam Mendes. Anthony "Swoff" Swofford (Jake Gyllenhaal) decides to join the Marines, just like his father and his father before him, and signs on just in time to be sent to Iraq to fight in the Gulf War in 1991. After experiencing the rigors of boot camp, Swofford and his pal Troy (Peter Sarsgaard) are trained to be snipers, and under the leadership of Sgt. Sykes (Jamie Foxx) and Lt. Col. Kazinski (Chris Cooper), the two land in the middle of a desert where they're up against an enemy they… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 61%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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."
‑ Ben Walters, Time Out
"What's so good about the movie is Gyllenhaal's refusal to show off; he doesn't seem jealous of the camera's attention when it goes to others and is content, for long stretches, to serve simply as a prism though which other young men can be observed."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Washington Post
"Slick military faux-criticism"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"As a depressive riff on Generation X's first war...it's exceptionally well-crafted."
‑ Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic.com
"A series of disjointed, shocking, and often unintentionally-humorous vignettes designed to celebrate boy-boy camaraderie while fomenting anti-Arab sentiments in the name of God, mom, and Apple Pie."
‑ Kam Williams, Upstage Magazine
"Jarhead is utterly predictable (boys endure tough training; boys encounter another culture and are baffled), studded with first-rate performances."
‑ Ken Tucker, New York Magazine
"Director Sam Mendes' third screen outing pretty well nails Swofford's tone, which was mordant without being disrespectful, and, in fact, is begrudgingly reverent of the Corps."
‑ Mike Clark, USA Today
"For some it's an anti-war message, for others it's just a non-biased portrait of a man who never went to war despite being in the military during war time."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"What little statement the film makes revolves around the absurdity of these men, trained to shoot with ultimate precision, and never given the chance to fire off a round."
‑ Joe Lozito, Big Picture Big Sound
"The first 20 minutes of have masterpiece written all over them, unfortunately, that fire peters out quite constantly until the film comes to a near flat lining ending."
‑ Ross Anthony, Hollywood Report Card
"This is a very strong film with really good performances."
‑ Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
"Jarhead makes its points less obviously than most war films, and with more brains than blood."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"Sporadically entertaining, and ultimately pointless -- although that seems to be its agenda right from the start."
‑ Garth Franklin, Dark Horizons
"As time passes, waiting for orders becomes like waiting for Godot, an absurdist tragicomedy of frustration, madness and masculinity gone awry."
‑ Anton Bitel, Eye for Film
"As usual, when the US makes war against the rest of the world, it's the artist who steps up to the plate to expose the lies and senseless tragedy, not the faint of heart or soul politicians and media."
‑ Prairie Miller, WBAI Web Radio
More reviews for Jarhead on Rotten Tomatoes

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