For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
23,337 Ratings

Full Metal Jacket

Directed by Stanley Kubrick
United Kingdom, United States, 1987
Action, Drama, War


A platoon of new marine recruits goes through intense basic training under a brutal drill sergeant but nothing can prepare them for the harsh realities of the Vietnam War.

This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
Full Metal Jacket Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1988 | Nominee: Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium



Critics reviews

The inverse of those maudlin male weepies about the terrible things that happen to “our boys” during war, Stanley Kubrick’s queasy Vietnam flick is built on the idea that a war movie is just a crime movie without the police… This is an exactingly realized work of profound disappointment.
November 16, 2012
Read full article
Elliptical, full of subtle inner rhymes (for instance, the sound cues equating a psychopathic marine in the first part with a dying female sniper in the second), and profoundly moving, this is the most tightly crafted Kubrick film since Dr. Strangelove, as well as the most horrific; the first section alone accomplishes most of what The Shining failed to do.
August 01, 1987
Read full article

What are people saying?

  • HKFanatic's rating of the film Full Metal Jacket

    I might not have judged this as harshly if I hadn't seen "Apocalypse Now" on the big screen this year, as Coppola's fever dream seems to express the inhumanity of war more effectively than Kubrick's satire. Aside from the boot camp scenes, my favorite parts are just the Tarkovskian sequences of bodies roaming ruined landscapes, London an eerie stand-in for Vietnam with its smoldering rubble and dead palm trees.

  • Nicholas Gregory's rating of the film Full Metal Jacket

    Ermey’s insults are too clever and witty to be truly anything more than a hilarious and overzealous lampoon of militarism. There’s also no drama or internalizing until D’Onofrio’s short post-jelly donut scene. And while the Vietnam scenes can be harrowing, they are never quite creative or thoughtful, especially coming a year after Platoon. Just cute or bleak. Acceptable, but also with Kubrick’s late-career thinness.

  • Wee Hunk's rating of the film Full Metal Jacket

    The first half of the movie is almost a perfect movie. The second half seems 3 times as long as the rest of it. They don't go together very well. The first half is shocking, and the second half is like entering hell with no way out.

  • dionysus67's rating of the film Full Metal Jacket

    Kubrick's ontology of authority and totalitarianism may have merits diagnostically and heuristically but tends to reproduce (and only pay lip service to any moral mission) the evils it condemns. Admittedly well shot, mainly in the first and quite gripping part in the camp, but almost parodic in the excess of caricature of militarism, it ultimately construes the world as a nihilist frenzy of destruction. Bombastic.

  • Richmond Hill's rating of the film Full Metal Jacket

    Probably the most bare bones exercise in the Kubrick technique exposing the cold, clinical autism of the approach. One admires the exacting technical skill of the piece, but we’ve been here before and the surface texture of mass trauma-based control and digs at the industrial military complex add little new in insight or complexity to what is essentially a well ordered parade of cliches.

  • Zac Weber's rating of the film Full Metal Jacket

    I don't think there is any question that this is an anti-war film, although Kubrick's black-comic vision is more fully realized in the first half. R. Lee Emery is outstanding, and "The Joker" is one of my all-time favorite character soldiers. However, when compared to the director's other standouts, or Apocalypse Now, parts of Full Metal Jacket feel heavy handed and muddled.

  • Lights in the Dusk's rating of the film Full Metal Jacket

    Brechtian cartoon satire; the clearest, most harrowing distillation of Kubrick's main theme of dehumanisation. Like a Mad Magazine take on the themes of Mother Courage, the film presents the business of war as a process of obliteration; taking boys & turning them into killers; removing identity, choice & compassion in order to create a self-facilitating machine. Its vision of war as a smoldering inferno is masterful.

  • ASHES IN THE HOURGLASS's rating of the film Full Metal Jacket

    Kubrick's Masterpiece is less anti-war as much as it is anti-patriarchy. On the surface, it's another war film but, underneath, it's actually wholly unique in the genre. Whereas others use combat as an action sequence, FMJ reconfigures it to the character's need to relieve tension and pressure. IMO, the 2nd half is the real film, while the 1st half actually functions more like a prolonged prelude for what's to come.

Related films