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"JARHEAD"
(2005) (Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Extreme Heavy Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None Mild Heavy Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Moderate Moderate Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Marines train for and must then endure the tension, boredom and horrors of combat in the Desert Storm operation of the first Gulf War.
PLOT:
It's 1989 and Anthony 'Swoff' Swofford (JAKE GYLLENHAAL) has enlisted in the Marines, just like his father and grandfather did before him. Along with the likes of Alan Troy (PETER SARSGAARD) and Chris Kruger (LUCAS BLACK), he must put up with the efforts of the drill sergeants to break and then train them. He eventually ends up in the Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) Platoon, a sniper squad run by Staff Sgt. Sykes (JAMIE FOXX).

When Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait in 1990, the Marines are then sent to Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Kazinski (CHRIS COOPER). Swoff, Troy and Kruger, along with fellow Marines Dave Fowler (EVAN JONES), Fergus O'Donnell (BRIAN GERAGHTY), Juan Cortez (JACOB VARGAS), Ramon Escobar (LAZ ALONSO) and others then train in the desert. There, they must not only deal with boredom and worrying about their women cheating on them back home, but also the nagging question of whether they'll ever see any combat.

As the mission eventually turns into Operation Desert Storm, the Marines then get their shot at that, but their training hasn't prepared them for what they're about to see and encounter.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into war movies or are fans of anyone in the cast or director Sam Mendes, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For pervasive language, some violent images and strong sexual content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JAKE GYLLENHAAL plays a Marine enlistee who has varied reactions to his experience in the Corps from boot camp to deployment and then combat. He uses strong profanity, drinks, smokes once, becomes disillusioned, and is anxious about his girlfriend back home (with whom he's seen having sex in a flashback).
  • JAMIE FOXX plays his immediate commander, a tough as nails staff sergeant who's in charge of the sniper platoon. He uses strong profanity and briefly smokes a cigar.
  • PETER SARSGAARD plays Swoff's sniper partner who similarly becomes disillusioned with his experience in the Marines. He uses strong profanity, has a past criminal record in drug dealing (that he kept hidden), smokes a few times and similarly begins to crack under the pressure.
  • LUCAS BLACK plays their platoon mate who uses strong profanity and talks of sexual matters.
  • EVAN JONES plays another Marine, a somewhat goofy guy who also begins to suffer the consequences of the situation.
  • BRIAN GERAGHTY plays a fellow Marine who finds himself on the wrong end of Swoff's volatile breakdown.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 278 "f" words, while many other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Sexually related dialogue (much of it explicit) is present, as are some sexual encounters (including two with nudity and graphic movement) and other sexual material (including a man masturbating in a bathroom stall and some men making mock sexual movements with each other). Some Marines are seen nude in the shower (bare butts and partially seen full frontal), while a scantly clad woman is seen in photos.

    The aftermath of unseen violence shows a bombed and burned out convoy filled with charred corpses, while bombs drop around men in combat and kill at least two men in an air strike. Another hits a truck and catches some men on fire and an enlistee is accidentally killed by gunfire during training. Some fighting occurs along with other physical contact, while a deranged Marine threatens another with his gun.

    That scene, other moments of peril, the rest of the violence and the visualized gore might be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while a Marine learns that his wife is cheating on him back home. Marines drink and/or smoke, while other potentially imitative behavior is present.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some bouncy camera work during combat scenes.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Various Marines drink at a party.
  • When asked what he'll do when he's out of the Marines, Troy says he'll sell some crack and sling some dope.
  • Kruger grabs, shakes and opens a beer upon their return stateside.
  • Back home, Fowler has a drink in a bar.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Swoff has a bit of a bloody nose after fighting off other Marines who grabbed him.
  • We see a large, blown-up photo of a child's face that's all scarred from gas used by Hussein's forces.
  • We see a line of Marines urinating in the desert (we see the streams and hear the sound).
  • We see Swoff vomit a great deal of dry sand in a dream he's having.
  • We see Swoff having to clean out the latrine buckets that are filled with human waste (and buzzing flies). He's about to burn it with kerosene, but a commanding officer has to go and thus orders that he put the bucket back under the latrine. We later see Swoff lighting and stirring the bucket's contents.
  • The men grab Troy and then brand him with a hot branding iron, leaving a bloody mark on his skin.
  • After an enemy attack, Swoff states that he "pissed myself" and we see that the front of his pants are wet.
  • The Marines come across a convoy of bombed and burned out vehicles and see many charred corpses in and around the vehicles. Among them, we see a torn-up leg and what appears to be a headless body on a bus.
  • Swoff vomits from the sight of so many charred corpses.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some viewers might not like comments such as "Jesus, Mary and doggie-style Joseph," "Full of retards and "f*ck-ups," "Midget," "You squishy-face retard," "You're a retard," "Faggot," "Ahab the Arab" and "Rag-heads."
  • It's possible some viewers could see the film as being anti-military (but it has pro-military moments as well).
  • A drill sergeant puts the enlistees through the usual hell, including asking one if he's in love with the sergeant and then adding, "Oh, so you're gay." He later grabs Swoff by the neck and smacks him on the back of the head. We then see him slamming Swoff's head against a blackboard (the image freezes upon impact).
  • One of the Marines tells a flight attendant that maybe she can come by later and warm up his nuts (a double entendre). She then replies that she doesn't like small ones.
  • The Marines are told what to say to a reporter, prompting Kruger to complain about freedom of speech issues.
  • A Marine gets a tape from his wife, supposedly of the movie "The Deer Hunter," but it's really home video footage of her having sex with a neighbor (and the wife even comes up to the camera and indicates she did this on purpose). After that Marine is led away, the other Marines want to watch it again.
  • Swoff abandons his post to join a party at night.
  • Upset for Fergus inadvertently getting him demoted, Swoff loses it and holds his M-16 on him, threatening to kill him.
  • About Swoff speaking Arabic, one of the guys jokes that it sounded like a "duck f*cking."
  • Seeing some Arab women drive by in a nice car, Fowler sarcastically asks what's the translation for "Come suck my d*ck" and then makes the male to female oral sex gesture with his tongue between his spread fingers.
  • We learn that Troy lied about having a criminal record in the past and thus is going to be kicked out of the Marines.
  • We see a deranged Fowler with a bloody and charred corpse that he's named "Ahab the Arab."
  • Swoff returns home to find his girlfriend with another guy (not sexually at the moment, but that she's seeing someone else).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • During training, the Marines must crawl under barbwire as explosions go off around them and real machine gun fire blasts over their heads. One enlistee freaks out and then rises up to his knees, resulting in that gunfire hitting and killing him. We then see his body crumpled over onto that barbwire.
  • As Fergus cooks at night, he doesn't realize he's caused a fire that spreads to what we believe (and he believes) to be crates of ordnance. We then see the other Marines at a party reacting to the sudden sound of explosions, but when they rush out, they see it's just flares going off up into the sky.
  • Upset for Fergus inadvertently getting him demoted, Swoff loses it and holds his M-16 on him, with another Marine cautiously leaving. Swoff then holds the gun right to Fergus' face as that Marine looks terrified and Swoff looks deranged. Swoff then grabs the barrel and holds it to his own head, wanting Fergus to kill him, but nothing else happens.
  • While on patrol in the vast desert, the small squad of Marines hear gunfire off in the distance. They then see a group of men walking their camels toward them. As the rest aim their guns at them, Swoff goes out to talk to them but then has enough and holds his gun on them, telling them to back off. They do and then turn around and leave (it turns out someone stole some of their camels).
  • On their first day of combat, explosions go off all around the men who duck for cover, except for Swoff who just stands there as the explosions surround him. Moments later, he runs through more explosions to retrieve something and must return through the explosions with it.
  • While on patrol, U.S. military jets mistake the squad for the enemy and fire upon them, blowing up a truck (we see some guys jumping or falling off while on fire).
  • The Marines come across a convoy of bombed and burned out vehicles and see many charred corpses in and around the vehicles. Among them, we see a torn-up leg and what appears to be a headless body on a bus.
  • The Marines work among the burning oil wells at night and are thus engulfed in smoke and oil, with Kruger then panicking when he gets oil in his eyes and can't see.
  • The sight of all the burning oil wells at night gives the desert the look of Hell, while in a quieter moment, Swoff encounters a lone horse in the dark that's covered in oil.
  • Swoff and Troy are ordered to go off and take out two enemy officials via sniper fire. The two Marines then slowly and cautiously make their way into the necessary position and then wait until the others come in view. We then see the POV through Swoff's scope as they await the order to make the shot. But they're stopped when an officer comes in and says the plans (for the killing) have changed. That pushes Troy over the edge (saying that it's his kill) and Swoff has to hold him back from attacking the officer.
  • We see a major character dead in a casket (after the war), but the cause of death is not stated.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Rifles/Sniper rifles/Machine guns/Various explosives/Tanks/Choppers/Jets: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Too f*cking bad," "What the f*ck /is this/are you doing/is that?" "What kind of f*cking name is that?" "Full of retards and "f*ck-ups," "Fresh f*cking meat," "(Will you) shut the f*ck up?" "You sizzle-d*ck m*therf*cker," "So f*cking be it," "F*ck that sh*t," "You guy crawl like old people f*ck," "You stupid f*ck," "F*cking right," "We're going to f*cking war," "F*cker," "F*cked by the green weenie," "You horny f*cks," "F*cking asshole," "F*ck you," "Is that so f*cking hard?" "F*ck off," "You're f*cking A," "F*cking bitch," "F*cking say it," "This f*cking sh*t is f*cked," "F*cking crazy m*therf*ckers," "Back the f*ck up," "It sounded like a duck f*cking," "F*cked up," "Country m*therf*ck," "You're f*cking with me," "One f*cking hell of a day, huh?" "Can't we get our own f*cking music?" "Mind your own f*cking business," "You f*cking p*ssies," "Then f*cking show me," "It will blow your f*cking mind," "You f*cking desk jockey," "You're some weird m*therf*ckers," "F*ck if I know," "Semper f*cking Fi," "That type of sh*t," "Sh*t-hole," "You're full of sh*t," "Oh sh*t," "Bullsh*t," "I'm sick of your sh*t," "No sh*t," "Gotta take a sh*t," "Holy sh*t," "Keep your sh*t together," "Jesus, Mary and doggie-style Joseph," "Cum receptacle," "D*ck-face," "I just felt my d*ck move," "I just got a hard on" (said in a nonsexual context), "I'd drink a gallon of her pee just to see where it came from," "I have more important things to do, like play with my balls," "Go jerk off outside," "It's a c*ck, but smaller," "You slut," "Maggots," "Balls" (testicles), "Welcome to the suck," "That's some heavy dope," "Take a piss," "Bitch" (thing), "We're going to kick some Iraqi ass," "Sucks," "We burn the fat off our souls," "Midget," "You squishy-face retard," "You're a retard," "Faggot," "Nobody gives a rat's ass," "Jarhead," "I pissed myself," "Ahab the Arab," "Rag-heads" and "What, are you a fag?"
  • We see Marines in the barracks branding an enlistee. They then spot Swoff, come over and grab him, but he punches and pushes some of them until they finally get control of him and tape his hands to the bed. They then prepare their branding iron, but it turns out they only faked the branding.
  • We see Swoff sitting in a bathroom stall drinking a lot of laxative in hopes that appearing sick will get him out of the Marines (we don't hear or see any bodily-based material).
  • Troy has a tattoo on his arm.
  • Various Marines have various styles of tattoos.
  • "The finger" is given to others.
  • To embarrass a reporter and make that crew leave, the Marines mockingly strip down in the desert (no full nudity) and then make the motion of rear entry intercourse, etc. They then collectively give "the finger" to them as they leave (but they get in trouble for all of that).
  • We see Swoff at an all-male Christmas party where he's wearing just a large Christmas hat over his penis (he's otherwise fully nude and we see his bare butt). We later see more views of his bare butt.
  • Seeing some Arab women drive by in a nice car, Fowler sarcastically asks what's the translation for "Come suck my d*ck" and then makes the male to female oral sex gesture with his tongue between his spread fingers.
  • When the war is declared over, the men fire their guns into the air as a means of celebration and release (not worrying about where the bullets are going to fall).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A mild amount of ominous and suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • Some songs have strong profanity in them (various uses of the "f" word), while others had lyrics we couldn't hear and/or understand, thus offering the possibility of them potentially containing additional such material.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 278 "f" words (28 used with "mother," 9 used sexually as is the term "banging"), 69 "s" words, 10 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck," "c*ck" and "weenie"), 3 using female ones ("p*ssy"), 1 for breasts ("t*tty"), 20 asses (6 used with "hole"), 2 damns, 1 hell, 1 S.O.B., 5 uses each of "G-damn" and "Jesus," 4 of "Oh my God" and 1 use of "Jesus Christ."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • There's talk of the various thing a man can do with his hands, including love a woman.
  • Comments are made about guys back home "banging" the Marines' women, with one person saying to give him twenty-five cents "every time she's getting f*cked."
  • Swoff comments on Marine language changing common words so that "mouth" becomes a "cum receptacle."
  • We see a flashback to Swoff being conceived as his parents passionately kiss on a bed and the father puts his hand on the mother's clothed breast, but the door closes and we don't see anything else.
  • We see a flashback to Swoff having sex with his girlfriend up against the wall while standing. We see his bare butt thrusting between her spread legs and hear their sexual sounds.
  • When telling his men to do something, Sykes tells them not to use their "d*cks," stating that they're too small.
  • A sergeant berates his men during practice, telling them "You guys crawl like old people f*ck."
  • One of the Marines tells a flight attendant that maybe she can come by later and warm up his nuts (a double entendre). She then replies that she doesn't like small ones. Various sexual comments are then made between the men, including sexual uses of the "f" word and Swoff tells Kruger that if the latter were home he'd be "jacking off."
  • A leader states that he "just felt my d*ck move," but it's said in a nonsexual context. Later, someone similarly says "I just got a hard on."
  • The men lasciviously look at a purposefully provocative photo showing Swoff's girlfriend in a sexy pose where she's in her panties and shows some of her bare breasts. One Marine says he'd drink a galloon of her pee just to see where it comes from. Another photo shows her in just a t-shirt and a comment is made about the men being "horny f*cks."
  • Swoff narrates that ways of dealing with boredom included masturbating, reading letters from unfaithful wives and girlfriends, further masturbation and more. There's talk of every woman a Marine has "f*cked," the notion of using one's right or left hand for masturbation, and the comment about what some guy back home was doing with a Marine's woman in an alley, hotel bed and some other place.
  • To embarrass a reporter and make that crew leave, the Marines mockingly strip down in the desert (no full nudity) and then make the motion of rear entry intercourse, etc. (but they get in trouble for that).
  • Sykes mockingly tells his men "I have more important things to do, like play with my balls."
  • A comment is made for someone to "go jerk off outside."
  • One of the guys comments about Swoff's girlfriend having met another guy and that she "gets off" as he does some mock pelvic thrusting as if doing some pole dancing. Kruger then says that Swoff is right in his response, "even if she is f*cking someone else."
  • We see various Marines in the shower and see some bare butts and brief full frontal nudity, but most of their bodies are backlit so most details of the latter are obscured. During this, one man jokes about another "It's a c*ck, but smaller."
  • We see an overhead shot from behind Swoff as he sits and masturbates in a stall to the above photo of his girlfriend (we see the implied motion of his hand), but he becomes frustrated and angry during this (presumably over being unable to climax).
  • We see Swoff in just his boxers.
  • A Marine gets a tape from his wife, supposedly of the movie "The Deer Hunter," but it's really home video footage of her neighbor having rear entry intercourse with her. We see the side of their bare butts and related movement (and hear related sounds), while someone comments on a "t*tty" and the Marine becomes upset once he realizes what he's seeing (and the wife even comes up to the camera and indicates she did this on purpose). After that Marine is led away, the other Marines want to watch it again. That includes Swoff who says he wants to see what it's like to watch someone else "f*ck" your girlfriend.
  • A man reads aloud what he's written for his major to send to some woman: "I wish I was up in you now, with a finger in your ass."
  • We see Swoff at an all-male Christmas party where he's wearing just a large Christmas hat over his penis (he's otherwise fully nude and we see his bare butt). We later see more views of his bare butt.
  • About Swoff speaking Arabic, one of the guys jokes that it sounded like a "duck f*cking."
  • Seeing some Arab women drive by in a nice car, Fowler sarcastically asks what's the translation for "Come suck my d*ck" and then makes the male to female oral sex gesture with his tongue between his spread fingers.
  • Sykes comments that if he wasn't in the Corps, he'd have a regular job and could sleep with his wife every night, adding "F*ck her maybe."
  • Back home, we see Fowler with his face to a woman's clothed chest in a bar.
  • SMOKING
  • Troy smokes several times, Swoff and Sykes (cigar) each smoke once, Fowler has a lit cigarette in an ashtray near him, while some miscellaneous characters smoke (cigarettes and cigars) in several scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • A Marine gets a tape from his wife, supposedly of the movie "The Deer Hunter," but it's really home video footage of her neighbor having rear entry intercourse with her (and the wife even comes up to the camera and indicates she did this on purpose).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The historical accuracy of the story and/or any artistic license taken with it.
  • The first Gulf War.
  • Being a Marine, going through boot camp and then being deployed.
  • We hear Swoff saying that he got hooked on being a sniper and wanted the "pink mist" (blood from a kill shot).
  • The protective chemical suits the Marines are given in case of a gas attack.
  • The Marines are told what to say to a reporter, prompting Kruger to complain about freedom of speech issues.
  • Unfaithfulness during military deployment.
  • Swoff comments that the Marines prepare the men for most everything except for losing one's mind.
  • The men are ordered to take pills to combat potential gas attacks and to sign a waiver releasing the military of any potential damages. Troy refuses to do that.
  • Friendly fire: While on patrol, U.S. military jets mistake the squad for the enemy and fire upon them, blowing up a truck (we see some guys jumping or falling off while on fire).
  • Swoff and Troy being upset that they've yet had the opportunity to kill anyone.
  • The comment that every war is different and every war is the same.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A drill sergeant grabs Swoff by the neck and smacks him on the back of the head. We then see him slamming Swoff's head against a blackboard (the image freezes upon impact).
  • We see Marines in the barracks branding an enlistee. They then spot Swoff, come over and grab him, but he punches and pushes some of them until they finally get control of him and tape his hands to the bed. They then prepare their branding iron, but it turns out they only faked the branding.
  • While practicing, we see a paint-ball hit an enlistee in the face.
  • During training, the Marines must crawl under barbwire as explosions go off around them and real machine gun fire blasts over their heads. One enlistee freaks out and then rises up to his knees, resulting in that gunfire hitting and killing him. We then see his body crumpled over onto that barbwire.
  • We see the helicopter attack sequence from "Apocalypse Now" where choppers fire machine guns and explosives at the Vietnamese fighters.
  • The men pit two scorpions against each other in a fight to the death where the larger one eventually jabs the smaller one with its poisonous tail, killing it.
  • The Marines play some football in the desert where there are some hard tackles (one resulting in a person being flipped over) and other such contact. Two men then have to be separated after trading insults.
  • Upset for Fergus inadvertently getting him demoted, Swoff loses it and holds his M-16 on him, with another Marine cautiously leaving. Swoff then holds the gun right to Fergus' face as that Marine looks terrified and Swoff looks deranged. Swoff then grabs the barrel and holds it to his own head, wanting Fergus to kill him, but nothing else happens.
  • The men grab Troy and then brand him with a hot branding iron, leaving a bloody mark on his skin.
  • On their first day of combat, explosions go off all around the men who duck for cover, except for Swoff who just stands there as the explosions surround him. Moments later, he runs through more explosions to retrieve something and must return through the explosions with it.
  • While on patrol, U.S. military jets mistake the squad for the enemy and fire upon them, blowing up a truck (we see some guys jumping or falling off while on fire).
  • We see the results of a previous, unseen attack on a caravan of vehicles that are burned to a crisp, just like the bodies in and around them.
  • Some jets fly by and drop bombs that set off various large explosions that take out a tower and kill at least two enemy officers inside it.



  • Reviewed October 26, 2005 / Posted November 4, 2005

    Other new reviews available this week include:

    [Exodus: Gods and Kings] [The Hobbit:  The Battle of the Five Armies] [The Imitation Game] [Top Five]

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