Pros: Interesting, Superb Acting, Innovative Plot, Accurate
Cons: May be a poor choice for younger children
Kubrick does a wonderful job by reaching into exactly how the armed forces operate and ripping it's proverbial skeleton out to expose the true horrors that exist in war. The method to turn human man into a killer, to strip away all humanity that he has is clearly outlined in this film, and exposes war for what it is.
War is not a glorious, fun, great, and honorable thing. It dehumanizes and strips emotions from a man, to keep him killing the enemy until they are all dead or until he is killed himself. Joker, in this movie, is a peace loving man...He narrarates the first half of the movie, which is Marine training. As disquieting as this segment is, I've found it to be truthful, too. While talking to someone about it, they commented on how when they had been at marine bootcamp, that it was exactly the way it is protrayed in Full Metal Jacket. Unforgiving.
While on deployment in 'nam, Joker, along with the rest of his troop (he is a journalist for the marines, if my memory serves correctly) and is sent with another stationed troop to "see what war is really like." He wears a pin that has a peace sign, and then on his helmet is written "Born To Kill."
The ending of the movie is, (I must agree with other reviewers) a disturbing end...Joker is moved to kill someone, something he has literally vowed not to do, as his anti-war mentality is slowly ground down and after months of the drumming into his mind that he must kill the enemy, he believes it. Full Metal Jacket defines what a war movie should be, and not a glorified, candied and fakely thrown together plot as many others are. It is honest and brutal.