Modern Marines and Modern Conflict in 'Jarhead'

Jake Gyllenhaal plays a a Marine sniper whose unit is impatient to join the Iraq conflict of 1991.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays a a Marine sniper whose unit is impatient to join the Iraq conflict of 1991. Universal Pictures hide caption

itoggle caption Universal Pictures

Jarhead tells the story of a Marine sniper as he trains and arrives in the Middle East in time for the Iraq conflict of 1991. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal, who narrates the film; Jamie Foxx; and Peter Sarsgaard. It was directed by Sam Mendes, who won an Oscar for American Beauty.

While most of the film steers clear of politics, it explore the dynamics of young soldiers preparing to enter battle for the first time — and spending weeks in the desert to see if they'll actually fight.

Jarhead is based on the book by the same name by former Marine Anthony Swofford, who served in Operation Desert Shield and other parts of the Gulf War.

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