The film is completely divided into two parts, with one part being the training in the army. The second part is the actual war. Smart-aleck Private Davis, the christened Joker by his rude drill sergeant, and Private Lawrence undergo the rigors of basic but excessive training in the army. Lawrence takes a private detour, while Joker ends up graduating to the Marine Corps and is sent to Vietnam as a journalist.
Full Metal Jacket was nominated for eleven awards between 1987 and 1989. These included an Academy Award (and Writers Guild of America Award) for Best Adapted Screenplay, two BAFTA Awards (Best Sound and Best Special Effects), a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor (R. Lee Ermey), and Best Foreign Language Film from the Awards of the Japanese Academy. The five won included the Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (awarded by the Boston Society of Film Critics), as well as the London Critics Circle Film Award for Director of the Year and two foreign awards: the David di Donatello Award for Best Producer - Foreign Film and the Kinema Jumpo Award for Best Foreign Language Film Director.