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Jarhead Review

Movies.com Critics

3.5

Dave White Profile

… better than American Beauty Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    58

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    An exercise in inertia about an exercise in futility.

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Jarhead refuses to engage in its own point of view toward events it depicts. So the film feels empty and tentative, uncertain of what if anything these events add up to.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    What we're left with is solid if not exceptional, though it's good to see Mendes expanding as a filmmaker.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Jarhead isn't overtly political, yet by evoking the almost surreal futility of men whose lust for victory through action is dashed, at every turn, by the tactics, terrain, and morality of the war they're in, it sets up a powerfully resonant echo of the one we're in today.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    It is not often that a movie catches exactly what it was like to be this person in this place at this time, but Jarhead does.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Jarhead reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Not for kids

Intelligent and bleak; for mature audiences only.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie isn't appropriate for kids. It includes frequent scenes of violence, including shooting (at targets and people), hazing rituals, fights, explosions, and grueling training exercises. The film shows frequent images of carcasses (burned and broken along the Gulf war's infamous Highway of Death). Characters curse relentlessly, smoke cigarettes, drink, and do drugs. The troops also engage in frank sex talk (including slang for genitals and masturbation) and gestures; the film includes a brief glimpse at the protagonist's parents in a hotel bed, and scenes from a homemade porn movie (the doggy-style sex act is explicit, without penetration).

  • Families can talk about the conventional reasons for war, the ways that young men posture for one another in order to prove their "masculine" identities, and defining "enemies" by their differences. How does Tony's experience in the Saudi desert not meet his expectations -- of glory, mission, and camaraderie? How is Tony, as a precise, ground-based sniper, shown to be outmoded by overwhelming air-war technologies?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Troops are cynical, wartime violence is expected but harrowing.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: More focused on effects of violence than violent acts; explicit images of burned corpses.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Repeated sexual allusions and language; a couple of brief sex scenes; sexy photos from girls back home; troops fret over cheating girlfriends.

  • language false5

    Language: Extreme cursing (100s of f-words, slang for genitals, abusive slang); some racial and sexual orientation slang.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Cigarette-smoking, drinking, pot-smoking.

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