A talented New York City bartender takes a job at a bar in Jamaica and falls in love.



2,532 ( 131)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 6 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A young hot-shot stock car driver gets his chance to compete at the top level.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall
The Firm (1993)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young lawyer joins a prestigious law firm only to discover that it has a sinister dark side.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman
Jerry Maguire (1996)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent with the only athlete who stays with him.

Director: Cameron Crowe
Stars: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A Chicago teenager is looking for fun at home while his parents are away, but the situation quickly gets out of hand.

Director: Paul Brickman
Stars: Tom Cruise, Rebecca De Mornay, Joe Pantoliano
Top Gun (1986)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Tom Cruise, Tim Robbins, Kelly McGillis
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Tom Cruise, Raymond J. Barry, Caroline Kava
Far and Away (1992)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young man leaves Ireland with his landlord's daughter after some trouble with her father, and they dream of owning land at the big give-away in Oklahoma ca. 1893. When they get to the new... See full summary »

Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Thomas Gibson
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Fast Eddie Felson teaches a cocky but immensely talented protégé the ropes of pool hustling, which in turn inspires him to make an unlikely comeback.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Neo military lawyer Kaffee defends Marines accused of murder; they contend they were acting under orders.

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore
Rain Man (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A high school footballer desperate for a scholarship and his headstrong coach clash in a dying Pennsylvania steel town.

Director: Michael Chapman
Stars: Tom Cruise, Lea Thompson, Craig T. Nelson
Vanilla Sky (2001)
Fantasy | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A self-indulgent and vain publishing magnate finds his privileged life upended after a vehicular accident with a resentful lover.

Director: Cameron Crowe
Stars: Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz


Cast overview, first billed only:
Doug Coughlin
Mr. Mooney
Kerry Coughlin
Uncle Pat
Robert Donley ...
Dulcy (as Andrea Morse)
Soldier (as Justin Louis)
John Graham ...
Richard Thorn ...


After leaving the Army, Brian Flanagan tries to get a marketing job in New York City. But without a college degree, this was not possible. He then decides to start studying for a business degree at the local City College and gets a part time job as a bartender. He realizes that its not that easy, but his new boss Douglas Coughlin teaches him the secrets of the bar trade and they become the most famous bartenders in town. Both Brian and Doug Coughlin want their own top class cocktail bars someday and Brian's Cocktail Bar is to be called 'Cocktails & Dreams'. Inorder to get the necessary money to open it, Brian travels to Jamaica to work as a bartender at a resort Tiki Bar, and the pay is good. There he meets Jordan Mooney, a young and pretty, up and coming American artist on vacation with her girlfriend from New York City, staying at the Island resort. Jordan and Brian spend some quality time together and fall in love. But Brian takes a dare from his old buddy, Doug Coughlin to sleep ... Written by Joshua Jaworsky <jaworsky@gmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When he pours, he reigns. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

29 July 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Coctel  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)


$78,222,753 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the "Excellence in Broadcasting" episode of Family Guy (1999) [See: Family Guy: Excellence in Broadcasting (2010)], Brian said this movie is pretty good. Lois said then 'he's making her sick'. See more »


Brian is wearing white shoes in one shot while Jordan was drawing him, in the next shot when he grabs her drawing his shoes are off. See more »


[first lines]
Brian: Come on, put it to the floor! Come on! Let's go!
See more »


Referenced in Cougar Town: Square One (2012) See more »


Shelter Of Your Love
Written, Performed and Produced by Jimmy Cliff
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A wonderful story and a fantastic film
25 August 2002 | by (San Diego, California) – See all my reviews

As far as entertaining storytelling goes, Cocktail is an almost perfect film. Here is an example of compelling dialogue, magnificent urban cinematography, superb acting, and thoughtful editing combining to present us with a very lucid portrayal of one man's coming to terms with the reality of dreams and ambitions in our world.

Cocktail is ultimately the story of Bryan Flanagan's (Tom Cruise) reaction as he doggedly pursues his ambition of getting rich, only to learn that his dream was never really worth pursuing. A new arrival in New York City, the "greatest concentration of wealth in the world," young Flanagan immediately seeks to establish himself in the business world. Without an education or practical experience, however, he suffers one humiliation after another while job-seeking. Eventually he realizes that the business world demands an education, so he enrolls in college and settles for a job as a bartender to pay the bills. But then something extraordinary happens: he discovers that he actually enjoys bartending more than he enjoys college, and that he is challenged more by the mentorship of bartender Doug Coughlin (Bryan Brown) than he is by the tutelage of his bitter, sadistic college professors. Together, Coughlin and Flanagan develop the bartending equivalent of a synchronized swimming routine that delivers them both the recognition and money (in tips) they crave.

At this point, Cocktail could easily have degraded into one long, hedonistic party, since the bartending action is certainly entertaining. But instead, a falling out between Flanagan and Coughlin suddenly shifts both the tone and the location of the film as Flanagan moves to the Caribbean to save money for starting his own business.

In Jamaica he meets Jordan (Elizabeth Shue), a lovely, down-to-earth artist, and for the first time in the film Flanagan truly falls in love with a woman he takes to bed, and he seems genuinely surprised to realize that love has been a more worthy goal than sex all along. With the re-introduction of Coughlin's bad influence, however, Flanagan ignores what he has learned about love and pursues a wealthy benefactor, Bonnie (Lisa Banes), breaking Jordan's heart in the process.

Returning to New York City with Bonnie, which should have been the break he has been waiting for, Flanagan instead suffers yet more humiliation in the power game and finally comes to realize that he'd already achieved the success that makes life worth living when he was with Jordan. So he burns his bridges with Bonnie, and the remainder of the film focuses on his new ambition, to win back the trust of the woman he loves.

This is a great story, one that requires the viewer to really challenge Americans' preoccupation with money and power. Yet the beauty of Cocktail is the smooth, realistic way in which this story is presented. For example, few filmmakers today would risk losing the audience's attention by focusing at length on Jordan's silent reaction to Flanagan's betrayal, yet these few silent moments on a darkened beach say more than any amount of dialogue ever could--but only if you're listening!

Cocktail is a wonderful story of love, ambition, opportunity, humiliation, frustration, sacrifice, the absurdity of business and academia, and the definitions of "success" and "failure," sprinkled with real-world humor that is noticeably different--and funnier--than mere comedy. It is also an exciting and fun film to watch, a "feel-good" movie of the highest caliber. I take my hat off to everyone who worked on this fine film.

38 of 65 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The truth behind the movie cocktails davcar-1
Fight with the Doorman sq1972
Brian's apartment in New York snappy_111
Greyhound Bus- Song drcdw123
That worlds last barmen poet poem? dbzfro28
See it as it is? dianerice1964
Discuss Cocktail (1988) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: