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Sam Mendes directs this adaptation of former Marine Anthony Swofford’s Gulf War memoir. Young recruit Swofford (Jake Gyllenhaal) joins up with the US Marines (nicknamed ‘Jarheads’ because of their distinctive haircuts) on the eve of the 1990 Gulf War. After a brutal spell in boot camp, during which Swofford and his fellow recruits are systematically geared up for the conflict, the Marines are dispatched to the deserts of the Persian Gulf to take part in a war that sees them required to do very little in the way of fighting. Bored and frustrated in the middle of nowhere, the young soldiers resort to a macabre sense of humour as they wait for the war to happen to them.