Based on U.S. Marine Anthony Swofford’s 2003 memoir of the same name, a sniper during the Gulf War finds difficulty carrying on with his assignment when he starts to imagine his girlfriend is cheating on him back in the States.
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An incendiary, pitch-black look at the first Gulf War. Jake Gyllenhaal is brilliant here, jumping from amicable to terrifying to pathetic all in one go. It’s also funny as hell. Where The Hurt Locker was more of a fictional documentary, just presenting events, Jarhead has a clear political commentary, in the form of Gyllenhaal’s voiceover. Also, he’s shirtless a good percentage of the time. Always a plus.
Beautiful cinematography. Everything else is sloppy. This is probably the least affecting war movie I've ever seen. It was boring and I didn't care about the characters. It tries to reference classic Vietnam movies in an ironic way but ends up coming over as a pale, lifeless imitation. Not fit to share the same jeep as David Simon's TV masterpiece Generation Kill', which is about the second Iraq war.