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The Jacket

The Jacket title card

Year - 2005
Studio - Warner Independent Pictures
Stars - Adrien Brody, Keira Knightley, Kris Kristofferson, Daniel Craig, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kelly Lynch, Brad Renfro
Director - John Maybury
Writing Credits - Tom Bleecker (story), Marc Rocco (story), Massy Tadjedin (screenplay)
Music - Brian Eno


In 1993, Jack Starks (Adrien Brody) nearly dies from his injuries in the first Gulf War. Suffering from post combat amnesia, he hitchhikes the US aimlessly, and encounters a mother and young daughter with a broken down car. He is able to get the car started for them, although the strung-out mother is ungrateful. He is later picked up by a man who, when pulled over by the police, shoots and kills the officer. Jack is wounded in the crossfire and, unable to remember the events, is blamed for the crime. He is found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to a mental institution.

He is treated by Dr. Thomas Becker (Kris Kristofferson) who, after injecting him with strong medications, has him put in a straitjacket and leaves him confined inside a morgue drawer for hours. The trauma of the confinement causes Jack to experience painful flashbacks and hallucinations. Some of the other doctors, particularly Dr. Beth Lorenson (Jennifer Jason Leigh), object to Becker's methods.

The Jacket poster

During one of his confinements, Jack finds himself in a wintry rural area, and Jackie Price (Keira Knightley) offers him a ride, despite the fact that he doesn't know where he wants to go. They go to her home, where he discovers that she is that little girl whose mother's car he had started, and that it is the year 2007. When he tries to tell her who he is, she angrily exclaims that Jack Starks had died in 1993.

Jack is thrust again back to 1993, but is now eager for the morgue drawer treatments, as that is his portal to his 2007 future. When there, he and Jackie, now in love, work to discover when and where he died. Also, he is able to learn facts about Dr. Becker and Dr. Lorenson that he reveals to them with back in 1997. In 2007, he confronts the now elderly Becker, who is frightened and confused by this apparition from his past.

In 1993, Jack is driven by Dr. Beth Lorenson to the home of Jackie's mother, Jean (Kelly Lynch) and gives her a letter he had written, warning her of the dangers in her future. When they return to the hospital, he slips on the icy sidewalk and dies of head injuries. But he immediately finds himself back in that desolate area where he'd first encountered the adult Jackie. She doesn't recognize him, but again offers him a ride.

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