The concluding image of men silhouetted against the dying flares of explosives, as they march to the raucous refrain of the Mickey Mouse Club theme, is masterly, but leaves a viewer curiously discomfited. Whereas "Platoon" shattered civilian complacency about that war, Full Metal Jacket is merely numbing. [26 June 1987]
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What makes the film stunning is less its metaphorical scheme than its cinematic style. Always a matter of flowing camera movement, Kubrick has photographed much of the action with long "traveling shots" that capture time and space as a seamless whole, not fractured into the bits and pieces of standard editing techniques. [26 June 1987]
May be the best war movie ever made...Different is Kubrick's artistry and control, and his almost perverse, but philosophically progressive, refusal to impart to chaos a coherent narrative contour.
Elliptical, full of subtle inner rhymes...and profoundly moving, this is the most tightly crafted Kubrick film since "Dr. Strangelove," as well as the most horrific; the first section alone accomplishes most of what "The Shining" failed to do.
By most standards of conventional film narrative, this movie is a mess. [25 June, 1987, p.22(E)]