Full Metal Jacket | 1987

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

Full Metal Jacket Poster

Main Plot

A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.


  • Matthew Modine's character, Private Joker, serves as the protagonist and narrator, providing a perspective on the Vietnam War.
  • R. Lee Ermey's character, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, serves as a tough drill instructor who trains and psychologically breaks down soldiers.
  • Vincent D'Onofrio's character, Private Leonard 'Gomer Pyle' Lawrence, undergoes a tragic transformation in the brutal Marine Corps training.

Ending Explained

The ending of Full Metal Jacket sees the Marines engaging in a brutal battle with the enemy during the Vietnam War. Joker, the protagonist, confronts a wounded sniper who begs him to kill her. After hesitating, he finally shoots her. The Marines then celebrate their victory, seemingly desensitized to the violence. The film ends with Joker reciting the "Mickey Mouse Club" theme song, highlighting the dehumanizing effects of war on the soldiers.

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Stanley Kubrick Matthew Modine R. Lee Ermey Vincent D'Onofrio