Grade: C

How often do we see Americans criticize their own government? Not often enough, you’ll think. And you thought Jarhead was going to do just that? Think again! Sam Mendes’ new movie is nothing but another one of those patriotic essays disguised as a social critique. Take out your dusty old Stars and Stripes, our poor American boys are going to war… again!

Jake Gullenhaal stars as Anthony Swofford, a young man whose dream of joining the army turns into a nightmare when his idealism of the job meets the reality of the task. After a few months in boot camp, he and his elite team of snipers are finally sent overseas to Saudi Arabia where they must wait until there is an actual enemy to fight. After months of feelings of boredom and uselessness, the troops finally get a glimpse of Saddam Hussein’s army ,only to realize there’s no place left for them in a war where technology and weapons of mass destruction have taken over.

The movie starts out really strong with great philosophical and psychological approaches to the story. We get an all too brief look at some of Mendes’ talent for storytelling when Swofford takes a look back on his life before becoming a Marine fighting in the first Gulf War. Eventually, the boy goes to war and everything that ensues is nothing short of d


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