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The Jacket - Adrian Brody, Keira Knightly, Daniel Craig, John Maybury

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Terror has a new name.

The Jacket is a taut psychological thriller that asks the question: How far would you go for a second chance?

William Starks (Adrian Brody) is a Gulf War veteran who returns home after a near death experience hoping to simply resume his life. Instead, he gets caught up in a series of bizarre events: he is accused of a murder he has no recollection of committing and is sent to a state-run hospital for the criminally insane. His assigned caretaker, Dr Becker, uses a barbaric technique to elicit confessions from his patients: they are stripped naked, stuffed into a torturous box-like suit called "The Jacket" and placed into a cadaver drawer for days. When a fellow inmate teaches Starks a mental technique to help him stay sane, he takes it to a whole new level. Using his pain to make him stronger, he learns how to travel through time, thus mentally escaping from the horrors of physical confinement. Free to travel through time, he searches for answers to the murder he is accused of committing and sets out to save himself from the past.

Persons of interest

  • Adrian Brody .... William "Billy" Starks
  • Keira Knightley .... Jackie
  • Jake Broder .... Dr Morgan
  • Daniel Craig .... Mackenzie
  • Kris Kristofferson .... Dr Becker
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh .... Dr Lorenson
  • Kelly Lynch .... Jean
  • Laura Marano .... Little Jackie
  • Mackenzie Phillips Nurse Harding
  • Steven Mackintosh .... Dr Hopkins
  • Ian Porter .... Major
  • Brad Renfro .... The Stranger
  • Marc Rocco .... Screenwriter
  • Massy Tadjedin .... Screenwriter
  • John Maybury .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

What would we do without the wars in Iraq? Quite possibly, there would be no-where else to set our movies. Horrors!

Meanwhile, The Jacket takes a look at the horrors not only of war but of those who survive it; Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome is horrendous. Adrian Brody takes horror down a familiar path but does so with a startling innocence that entrances this special agent. I know his character is heroic but there's a freshness to his performance that keeps your eyes on the screen. Keira Knightly was so into her trailer park trash character that I didn't realise it was her until half-way through the film. Cool!

I found that the tagline of "Terror has a new name" to be overstated - a good person being locked up in an psychiatric asylum is nothing new no matter how it's delivered, while terror didn't enter into the movie anywhere. Horror, yes; terror, no.

Still, The Jacket is sufficiently impressive that I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good (ie perverse) thrill, especially if you're claustrophobic.

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Strong violence, adult themes)

Surveillance time

103 minutes (1:43 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 11 August 2005

Cinema surveillance images

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