Tuesday 18th January 2022

The Jacket (15)
Directed by: John Maybury
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

John Maybury, the director of this film, has made almost 20 movies in his career dating as far back as 1982, but I haven't heard of any of them and you probably haven't either. Furthermore, in the last ten years, the young co-star of this film Keira Knightley has appeared in double the number of films that John Maybury has directed in the past twenty years. All of which makes you wonder if The Jacket is going to be any good.

Adrien Brody – looks like Alastair McGowan
Adrien Brody – looks like Alastair McGowan

Well, it seems John has learnt a thing or two about film-making during his twenty-odd years in the business and here he has proven himself competent by directing a reasonable film.

Adrien Brody (The Pianist) stars as a Gulf War soldier called Jack Starks, who is shot in the head during combat in Iraq. He is sent home to America, but continues to suffer from Gulf War Syndrome and intermittent memory loss as he travels around on foot with only his army issue kit bag for company. Unfortunately, while on his travels, he is found at the scene of a crime and his amnesia prevents him from explaining how he got there. He is therefore accused of murdering a policeman and sent to a mental institution for his troubles.

Things get worse for Starks upon arrival at the asylum, as a cruel and misguided doctor (Kris Kristofferson) puts him in a straight jacket, pumps him full of banned drugs and locks him in one of the drawers in the morgue. Things only improve for Starks when he starts to have vivid flashes of the future while in this unenviable state and before long he learns that he is going to be found dead in a few days time.

There are a couple of things that I especially liked about this film, including the clever direction used when Starks is in his box – the camera focuses on his eyes and creates a very claustrophobic atmosphere that can be quite uncomfortable to watch.

Unfortunately, while I don't have many bad things to say about this film, I don't have many things to say about it at all. It is enjoyable, and quite unusual, but fails to shine in any way. So if the premise sounds like something you're interested in or, like me, you're simply running out of new releases to see, then this is definitely worth watching. However, if it's not that appealing to you, then it's worth a look, but not worth making a special effort for.

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Length: 102 minutes
Certificate: 15
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 13th May 2005

Top Five Rating: 70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0%70.0% (70.0%)
User Rating: 0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0% (0.0%)

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