I've been very interested in seeing Jarhead when it comes out. It is directed by Sam Mendes who has made two rather good movies in American Beauty and Road to Perdition. It is based on a best selling memoir by Anthony Swofford which while I thought was an interested look into the mind of one marine, I didn't admire it...or him. Well, let me rephrase that. I admire anyone who serves in our military. Anyone. They are doing something that I'm not and doing a job that they don't get nearly enough credit for. That said, I didn't admire his attitude. Compare Swofford with Captain Andrew Exum (author of This Man's Army) and I would much rather have Captain Exum on the front line.
Regardless, this is about the movie and not about bashing a former marine, something which I don't want to do and don't really intend.
The movie. Jeffrey Wells, a critic and columnist, has written a little bit about Jarhead and it isn't good. He says that movie is well made, well acted, but is empty. It's not about anything. It's almost about not fighting (which makes sense because that's what the book deals with), but that if it didn't have this Oscar push it might feel somewhat different. It's not that Wells was brutal, but when I finished reading that column I was left with the feeling that Jarhead just got its teeth kicked, and hard.