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Cocktail (1988)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  29 July 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 56,163 users   Metascore: 12/100
Reviews: 98 user | 52 critic | 14 from

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



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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Doug Coughlin
Laurence Luckinbill ...
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. 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 when 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', and in order 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, staying at the Island resort. Jordan and Brian spend some quality time together and fall in love. But when Brian takes a dare from his old buddy, Doug Coughlin to ... Written by Joshua Jaworsky <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They thought he was good, they were wrong... he was the best 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?


This film is listed among The 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson's book THE OFFICIAL RAZZIE® MOVIE GUIDE. See more »


Brian's hair changes color from almost black to pale brown as the film progresses. See more »


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


Featured in Rude Tube: Totally Mashed (2013) See more »


Wild Again
Written by John Bettis and Michael Clark
Performed by Jefferson Starship
Published by The Walt Disney Music Company, ASCAP/Wonderland Music Company, Inc., BMI/John Bettis Music (administered by WB Music Corp.),
ASCAP/Flying Dutchmen Music (administered by Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.), BMI
Produced by Phil Galdston and Jefferson Starship
Courtesy of RCA Records/Grunt Records
See more »

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User Reviews

entertaining and energetic
18 January 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Cocktail" from 1988 is one of the films that solidified Tom Cruise's superstar status. He stars in this film with Bryan Brown, Lisa Banes, and Elizabeth Shue.

Cruise plays Brian Flanagan, a young man with a lot of dreams of making big bucks. After getting out of the service, he relentlessly seeks a job in New York City, finally snagging one as a bartender in a upper east side, trendy bar, where he works alongside Doug Coughlin, his boss. Before long they're an attraction in and of themselves, throwing bottles to one another, finishing off each other's drinks, all the while dancing, turning, and gyrating.

Brian goes to business school as well, but given his late nights, it's exhausting and not very fulfilling.

He and Doug both have dreams of owning their own bars, and the two become great friends. However, after a huge fight, Brian goes to Jamaica and runs a bar there, making good money and falling for Jordan, a pretty waitress (Shue). Then Doug shows up, having married rich, and when a very classy, upscale woman (Banes) comes to the bar, Doug bets Brian that he can't get to first base with her. He does, and Jordan sees him do it, and drops out of the picture.

Back in New York, Brian finds out living with a high-powered woman is no picnic - in fact, it's pretty humiliating -- and he runs into Jordan again.

"Cocktail" doesn't have much of a plot, but it has two very attractive leading men, sexy Bryan Brown and, of course, Cruise, handsome even with his old nose and looking quite different than he did in "The Color of Money." He's very charming,likable, and exudes a lot of youthful energy. He has some emotional moments, too, which he handles well.

"Cocktail" is a light film aimed at a younger crowd than I was even in 1988, but anyone can enjoy its swinging New York atmosphere, lazy Jamaican sun, great soundtrack, and two wild bartenders. Underneath it all, it's about the dreams of youth and the reality of being out in the world. That's a message everyone learns pretty quickly.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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