Full Metal Jacket

1987 Drama

Stanley Kubrick's return to filmmaking after a seven-year hiatus, this film crystallizes the experience of the Vietnam War by concentrating on a group of raw Marine volunteers. Based on Gustav Hasford's novel The Short Timers, the film's first half details the volunteers' harrowing boot-camp training under the profane, power-saw guidance of drill instructor Sgt. Hartman (R. Lee Ermey, a real-life drill instructor whose performance is one of the most terrifyingly realistic on record). Part two takes place in Nam, as seen through the eyes of the now thoroughly indoctrinated marines. Ironically, Full Metal Jacket was filmed almost entirely in England.

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Starring: Matthew Modine, Vincent D'Onofrio, Lee Ermey, Kevyn Major Howard


  • A contender for the year's best film.

    Mike Clark - USA Today

    26 April 2013

  • Kubrick's harrowing, beautiful and characteristically eccentric new film about Vietnam, is going to puzzle, anger and (I hope) fascinate audiences as much as any film he has made to date... A film of immense and very rare imagination.

    - The New York Times

    26 April 2013

  • 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.

    David Sterritt - Christian Science Monitor

    26 April 2013

  • As brutally unsparing as "Platoon" was, it was ultimately warm and embracing. Kubrick's film is about as embracing as a full-metal-jacketed bullet in the gut.

    - Newsweek

    26 April 2013

  • In a superb cast of mostly unknowns -- with the exception of Matthew Modine and Dorain Harewood -- D'Onofrio, who put on 60 pounds for this pivotal role, and Ermey are exceptional.

    Sheila Benson - Los Angeles Times

    26 April 2013


  • Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium

    Academy Awards (1988)

  • Best DVD Collection

    Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films (2012)

  • Best Foreign Language Film

    Awards of the Japanese Academy (1989)

  • Best Sound

    BAFTA Awards (1988)

  • Best Director

    Boston Society of Film Critics Awards (1988)