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|Index||296 reviews in total|
This is one of Tom Cruise's and Jack Nicholson's best films to date and also became an instant favorite of mine. What doesn't make me happy is that it isn't going down as one of the classic movies of all time and I feel it should be getting more recognition for what a great film it was. If you like The West Wing, you'll love this movie, seeing as they were/are both written by Aaron Sorkin. Rob Reiner also did a great job directing this masterpiece and I'm sorry I haven't had a chance to see more of his works.
A Few Good Men is an excellent movie. Although their is a lot of profanity, the story moves well, with slow action at times and intense at others. The characters are very human and each hold different beliefs of the events around them. None of the characters are perfect, so it makes it more real. It slowly builds up to the climax, but when it reaches it, well, it's amazing.
A very, very well done courtroom drama, that moves beyond, but is still
somewhat constricted by, its theatrical origins.
The story is fairly simple and straightforward. Two marines in Guantanomo Bay, Cuba, internally and physically discipline a wayward marine, who then dies. The marines are then tried for murder as the COlonel in charge of the base heads a conspiracy to deny that the junior marines were acting under orders from their superior officers. What has occurred is very clearly spelled out in several introductory scenes, so the main suspense is whether the truth will come to light.
The main star is Aaron Sorkin's screenplay which, as is his style, positively crackles with many memorable exchanges and witty banter. The only shortcoming is mentioned below. Tom Cruise is fairly good as the junior lawyer who everyone expected to plea-bargain the case, and Jack Nicholson is brilliant in only four scenes as the iron-willed Colonel who reserves the right to order soldiers in his own way. The supporting roles are the best of almost any movie of the last 20 years : Kevin Pollack, J.T. Walsh, Noah Wyle, Cuba Gooding Jr., Christopher Guest, Xander Berkeley. Kevin Bacon is very underrated as the prosecutor with a conscience and radiates a powerful magnetism in a negotiation with Cruise outside a basketball game.
All of which brings me to the single but glaring shortcoming of the movie - Demi Moore's character. For starters, Demi Moore simply cannot act very well. I have not liked a single movie that she has ever been in with the exception of this one. However, the blame for her role must be placed at the feet of Mr Sorkin. Moore's character is one of the most disappointing female leads in recent memory. She is portrayed as overly emotional, unconfident, as having 'passion but no street-smarts'. Through the course of the movie she is clearly shown to make two major blunders through the course of the trial. This would all be forgiven if it was part of a major character arc, but her character does not change at all throughout the movie. At the end, she simply gazes adoringly at Cruise, presumably because he rescued her from her own incompetence. I suppose she was meant to provide some sort of moral compass for Cruise's character, but it escapes me why passion must so obviously be married with incompetence.
Still, an extremely good, well-written and well-acted film.
This film is a Hollywood Classic of military legasese. It is a dynamic drama with enough dynamite to rivet ones thinking. The casting is voluminous. The screenplay is overwhelming, and it is a must see picture for cinema enthusiasts. Jack Nicholson is at his best as he nearly always is. Tom Cruise is mature. Demi Moore is a fantastic feminist. I give this movie a 10.
Jack Nicholson made one of the most believable, outstanding performances as Col. Nathan Jessup. Cinical, sarcastic, arrogant, bad ass, everything you could want for an anti hero Nicholson has it. His great performance and a good cast, specially when it comes to the marines, are the most appealing point of the film. Anyway it's enjoyable and sort of makes you think about morality and loyalties. 7/10
In spite of myself, I love this film! A bit like 'The Untouchables', I know
I should be laughing at the cliched dialogue, the poor acting, the overblown
patriotism - and yet...
The dialogue - In between the cliches there are some absolute gems - 'OK, but you gotta ask me nicely', 'one more and I get a set of steak knives' and, of course 'you can't handle the truth!'. The acting - Nicholson is superb and steals the show despite having only a handful of scenes. And Cruise is surprisingly effective as Caffey, although he does play the same basic irresponsible-but-talented-young-man-finally-grows-up role seen in Top Gun, Color of Money, Cocktail, Rainman etc.
But what I love about this film is the way it builds to the final courtroom showdown - we know it's got to happen, we know he's going to have to make him say it, but until we actually get there, we don't have a clue how. It is truly satisfying to see the frightening, smug and utterly self-confident Jessop destroyed by his own arrogance and misplaced self-belief.
Never underestimate the power of words.
It's very easy to unmask a cinema snob. Just ask him/her the following
question: "What is the best Tom Cruise movie ever?" Upon hearing the nouns
Tom and Cruise the suspected snob will turn blue and green; only for a
moment though, snobs have a remarkably big resistance, and then answer:
"Magnolia". "Magnolia," you'll ask semi-surprised, "isn't that the one with
the falling frogs?"
"Aaah, the frogs," the now unmasked snob will sigh and his gaze will wander
to a place where bones turn into spaceships and dirty old men die on
This to make clear that I really hate all those Tom Cruise bashers. He has made some great movies over the years, but this is easily his best. It's great to see he holds his own against force of nature Jack Nicholson. It's great to see he cuts mild summerbreeze Demi Moore some slack.
The script is smart and witty, the photography uses beautiful autumncolours,... I really love this film.
Most Memorable Movie Moment: Tough choice between Cruise on a drunk rambling spree, and the classic "You can't handle the truth" scene.
I have read many of the comments on this film and agree that in general the cast are excellent. I am surprised however that few people mention Keifer Sutherland who is absolutely superb. He doesnt have a major roll but when he does appear he oozes all the danger that his character obviously posseses.This guy can act
Recently I saw A Few Good Men, and was the most impressed I've been with a movie in a long time. The acting was so good, the story so great, that special effects and tons of gore were replaced. This is a terrific film, and the answer to one of the other person's review where they did not understand how Jessep could be so dumb at the end to confess the code red he ordered was because his ego and pride were pushed too far. Jessep wasn't dumb. He knew the consequences, but when he Tom Cruise pushed him too far at the end, Jessep broke down and told the court because he was a man not to be questioned. I recommend this movie to everyone who is a fan of great films.
I have seen many films that deal with the courtroom, but this one would have
to be the best pick of the bunch. It has a great feel to it. The tension and
drama this movie had enthralled me. It also proved to me that Tom Cruise is
a Hollywood star and that Jack Nicholson is one Hollywood's legendary
One man is dead, two are accused of murder. The entire Marine Corps is on trial. This movie is a drama about the dangerous difference between following orders and following one's conscience. Brilliant Neo military lawyer, Alistair Kaffee has been assigned to help prove two army officers not guilty of murder. With the help of Lieutenant Commander Joanne Galloway and Lieutenant Sam Weinberg, Kaffee is going to prove that he is the best lawyer in town and is someone not to be wreaked with.
I will come straight out now and admit that I am not the hugest Tom Cruise fan. Sure he is a great Hollywood celebrity and all, but he has done some pretty ordinary films. None more so than that of The mission Impossible series. These films were just slow and lacked a good story, with the second movie almost a complete bore all the way through. But seeing Cruise in this movie role, made me stand to attention and take notice of what a fine actor he really is. He was superb as the smartass lawyer, showing that he will do whatever he can to bring out the truth. This role is almost as good as the one he had in Rain Man, alongside Dustin Hoffman. I guess the other problem with Cruise for me is some of his offscreen problems, which for me make him look a very arrogant man. Perhaps I am being a bit harsh though?
This movie has a great back-up cast. Jack Nicholson, although he has a very minor role in this movie, is brilliant in the parts that he is in as the corrupt colonial. Nicholson is anther Hollywood legend, with some great films to his name including As Good As It Gets, Batman (as the unmistakable Joker), One Who Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest and The Haunting. Demi Moore is one actress that I have had a hard time keeping up with. Of course her rocky marriage to Bruce Willis was hard to follow, but her movie career has been one that is very unpredictable. She was great in the movie Ghost, but has done some terrible movies, with one of her worst being Striptease. Moore was ok in this film, but nothing spectacular. Finally you have two minor roles, which belong to Kevin Bacon and Kevin Pollack. Bacon was brilliant as the attorney for the government, with some of the confrontations between Cruise and himself, unforgettable. Pollack was also great as the person backing Kaffee up on his case. His role in the 1999 movie End of Days', was also very good.
The script for this movie was top notch. It was written by Aaron Sorkin, and was a script that had a lot of tension and drama. This then leads me to the director, that being Rob Reiner. He did a wonderful job of giving the audience the chance to feel as if they were part of the courtroom, because I know I certainly felt like I was part of it, with the final courtroom scene just brilliant.
So taking all this into consideration, I have seen a wonderful courtroom drama, that also has a tinge of suspense and humour. I feel this film is a much better courtroom movie than that of Rules Of Engagement, though that film was also very good in my view. If you are bored one night, duck out and hire A Few Good Men. Trust me, you will not be disappointed that you did so.
Rating: 4.5 Stars or 9/10
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