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Jarhead

 

USA 2005, 123 minutes
Dir. Sam Mendes
Rating: [R]
Genres: Drama / War

 

Aroview: An arresting and grimly ironic vision of the 1991 Gulf War, based on the memoir of ex-marine Anthony Swofford, and depicting the experiences of an American soldier (Gyllenhaal) who goes through the tedium and testosterone recreations of pre-combat bootcamp, before stumbling into the chaos of Desert Storm and its aftermath.

Taking a peculiarly mordant and at times surreal view of events, one of the film's ironic twists is that 'Jarhead' and his friends never really see any proper action, except friendly fire. Reaching for the pessimistic genius of Stanley Kubrick, this finally can't achieve the same majesty, but certainly succeeds on a more personal level and manages to craft some compelling images of devastation.

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