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Full Metal Jacket

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United Kingdom, United States · 1987
Rated R · 1h 56m
Director Stanley Kubrick
Starring Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin, Vincent D'Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey
Genre Drama, War

Smart-aleck Private Davis, quickly christened "Joker," endures the rigors of Marine basic training with his fellow recruits. Sent to Vietnam as a journalist, Joker observes the dehumanizing effects of the Vietnam War and is eventually forced to participate in the bloody Battle of Hué.

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What are critics saying?


San Francisco Chronicle by

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]


Christian Science Monitor by David Sterritt

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]


The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by Jay Scott

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.


Chicago Reader by Jonathan Rosenbaum

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.

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