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While hitchhiking Jack Starks is picked up by a young man headed for the Canadian border. The car is pulled over by the police and Starks blacks out. When he awakens, he finds himself on trial for murder in a small town court. He ends up a state institution for the criminally insane. The doctor put him on medication, puts a jacket on him and puts in the drawer, in the dark.
PROFANITY: 13 F-words, 11 S-words, 3 GD's, a few others. SEX/NUDITY: Brief sex with related nudity; some non-sexual nudity. VIOLENCE: War combat, bloody shootings and accidents. DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Alcohol and tobacco. ACTION: None. COMEDY: Some dark verbal humor.
The above rating is an average of the critic reviews below.
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Berardinelli, Internet CriticFull Review Good This movie probably falls within the purview of a "love it/hate it" subgenre of the psychological thriller. It's a purely speculative kind of fable that deals more in paradoxes, philosophy, and conjecture than in logic or science. It's also slow moving, which is appropriate for a thought-piece. Ultimately, "The Jacket" plays things straight, and is more straightforward than it might initially seem to be. The time lines may not be linear, but the storyline is.
Roger EbertFull Review Average In "The Jacket" you can sense an impulse toward a better film, and Adrien Brody and Keira Knightley certainly take it seriously, but the time-travel whiplash effect sets in, and it becomes, as so many time travel movies do, an exercise in early entrances, late exits, futile regrets.
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OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
We collected 36 moviegoer opinions. Not much of a turnout for this movie. With so few opinions it's difficult to accurately predict your probability of enjoying this movie. While the opinions are quite mixed, it is evident that a very high percentage of them are "Good" or lower. This is not to good, especially considering several rated it "Poor" and even "Terrible." About a third did enjoy "The Jacket" very much, rating it "Very Good" or higher, so many of you will likely enjoy this movie, but it's a bit of a risk.
1991: Jack Starks, a U.S. Marine Sergeant serving in the Persian Gulf War, receives a near-fatal gunshot wound to the head. Although he recovers, the incident leaves him with shock-related amnesia. After his release, with nowhere to go, Starks, who has no relatives, returns to his native Vermont.
Nine months later, hitchhiking along a snowbound Vermont highway, Starks encounters a broken down pick-up truck. The driver, a drunken, disoriented mother named Jean, and her eight-year-old daughter, Jackie, are stranded at the roadside. With Jean too drunk to speak with him, Starks approaches Jackie and offers his help and gets the truck started.
Starks continues hitchhiking, and is picked up by a station wagon driven by a young man headed for the Canadian border. Shortly afterward, the car is pulled over by the police and Starks blacks out. When he awakens, he finds himself on trial for murder in a small town court.
Found not guilty by reason of insanity, Starks is committed to Alpine Grove, a state institution for the criminally insane. There a staff physician, Dr. Becker subjects Starks to a jarring experimental treatment involving mind-altering drugs and claustrophobic physical restraint. Once medicated, Starks is wrapped in jacket-like restraints and left alone for hours at a time in a corpse drawer located in the hospital's basement morgue.
And in the drawer, in the dark and under the influence, Starks initially experiences flickers of memory from the war and the shooting of the police officer. Under this regimen, he begins putting together bits of his past and tries to make sense of his circumstances.
The past gives way to the future when he is suddenly transported to a diner in Vermont where he meets Jackie, a waitress who takes pity on him and tries to help him find a place to sleep for the night. It is Christmas Eve, and all of the local homeless shelters are full, so Jackie allows Starks to sleep on her couch. In these hours, Starks begins to realize that the drawer he's been confined to is the secret to his recovery and that his future and well-being lie in the hands of the girl he's just met.