Director Sam Mendes has defended his latest movie Jarhead against accusations that it copies other war films such as Full Metal Jacket, insisting the resemblance can't be helped.

Mendes, whose new film is based on the novel JARHEAD: A MARINE'S CHRONICLE OF THE GULF WAR AND OTHER BATTLES by ANTHONY SWOFFORD, says similarities between his and other war films are inevitable because they are about the same thing.

He tells Empire magazine, "Look, astonishing as it may seem, Stanley Kubrick did not invent basic training. I mean, I walked into boot camp and it was, 'Oh s**t, there's nothing I can do about this.'

"That white room is printed on the collective memory. It just looks like that: a white room and a yellow line and racks on either side. I thought, 'We'll just have to confront it head on, really, let it be what it is.'

"In fact I thought that was one of the fascinating things, the recycling of old war movies by the military.

"Actually it's very difficult to get away from other war movies because war is a very limited environment. You get trained in barracks, get taught how to fire the same type of guns; it's the same rite of passage now as it was then."