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|Index||303 reviews in total|
This is, in my opinion, one of the best American films of the 90:s. Sorkin's well written dialogue must have been an easy task for Reiner to direct. Everything works! This story rises tough moral questions but do not serve us the answers on a plate. And that's a good thing because it makes us think. Cruise does a good job doing the immature Kaffee with his father's heavy reputation hanging over him and Nicholson is, like always, outstanding. And the encounter between the two in the court room in the end is a classic. Cruise, in this scene, really proves to be not "just another pretty face". Another good thing is that in the closing scene, the flirty talk between Kaffee and Galloway is stricken. It would have been too cute a finish, unworthy a drama like this. Top marks.
I can't count the times over the years that I have watched A,Few Good Men ever since I first saw it in 1993 I said now here is a great movie. I must have been right because network TV and both basic and premium cable channels continue to give A,Few Good Men numerous showings. Rob Reiner did a great job directing along with superb writing from Aaron Sorkin was what made this movie so interesting that your eyes are glued from start to finish. The acting just blows me away to start you have a great performance from Tom Cruise maybe the best of his career. Cruise handles the role of Navy lawyer Daniel Kaffee great he shows his ability to work so well with others. I know with the way Cruise showed that Daniel Kaffee can roar away that is exactly the kind of defense lawyer that two Marines accused of murder needed. Tom Cruise was perfectly cast. I'm just getting warmed up on the talk about good acting Jack Nicholson was once again his brilliant direct to the point self again. I came to love Jack with his performance as The Joker in Batman and in The Shining but I must say his performance in A,Few Good Men as Colonel Nathan R. Jessup, commander of the U.S. Marine base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba showed once again just why Jack Nicholson as a actor is in a totally different league. That being a league of select legends and all-time greats. Jack suited the role of the hard and wise Colonel so well you love ever scene he had which was only four. I always remember this intense courtroom sequence starting with Cruise: "I want the truth". Nicholson: "You can't handle the truth". Many times that quote holds true to life the truth is hard but believe me always remember the truth conquers all and is the most important thing that matters when everything is said and done and A,Few Good Men proves that very point. This movie is now a classic so be sure that you either own a VHS copy or put a tape in the VCR to record when you have time because A,Few Good Men is always a must view.
Truly so many lines are memorable in this spectacular, old-fashioned
designed court movie. It is a depiction of a plausible fact taking place
today, but it reminds us of the best milestones of the genre, from the 40's
classics, to "12 Angry Men", from "The Verdict" to "Presumed Innocent".
All the screen writing is smart and captivating, with a texture of sentences so thoughtful and sharp to make me wanting to see the theater play.
All the film is a conversational path in which the two main characters are fated to clash, at the very end. In this sense, the Nicholson's performance is both powerful and deceiving: in the diapason scene, the long "tirée" that he displays is really convincing and the audience, even if only for a second, is brought to believe that, the man is right after all. Only, the whole thing has nothing to do with the men charged with murder, and with the murder itself. That's exactly where the trap works.
All in all: great film, perfect built narration, convincing trial scenes, memorable lines. A notable work by director Reiner and especially by screenwriter Sorkin.
Definetely, a great piece of cinema: 9/10.
Reading many of the other comments, it looks like many others agree that
this is a thoroughly enjoyable film. The drama is top notch, supported by
some top acting performances. Even Demi Moore managed to act
Oh and I loved the rifle drill at the start. Probably one of my favourite scenes in films. Magnificently filmed.
To me Cruise, Jack Nicholson, and Demi Moore give an outstanding performance in this excellent film. Anyone looking for a great movie, be sure to rent this one. It gives an excellent portrayal of what really goes down in the military and gives a little twist at the end of the movie everyone is sure to love. In short, this is one of the best movies I have ever seen. A definite 10!
A Few Good Men has a great story with a strong theme which explores the
importance of taking responsibility for one's actions.
The acting in it is terrific, but the direction and writing are also of a superior quality. As a matter of fact I think the reason that Demi Moore and Tom Cruise did so well was that Rob Reiner is a fantastic director and tends to get the most out of his actors.
Anyone who loves movies and understands what they're about will love this one.
The only bright spot in A Few Good Men is the acting. The film contains some very fine performances by Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Kevin Pollak, and, yes, Demi Moore. However, the story is your run of the mill Hollywood formula film. Not to mention the film is quite corny. While this movie was not worth paying movie theater prices to see, it is worth paying $.99 plus tax to rent at Blockbuster or Hollywood Video
Young upcoming Navy lawyer Daniel Kaffee is assigned to defend two
Marines who are accused of murder. On first glance it seems to be a
clear cut case of bullying gone wrong, but with Kaffee's colleague,
Commander Joanne Galloway, convinced that more shady dealings are afoot
at the Cuban army base run by Colonel Nathan Jessep, the case could
have far reaching consequences for all involved.
Directed by Rob Reiner and adapted from a hit Broadway play written by Aaron Sorkin, A Few Good Men is a quality drama boasting some of the 90s major A list stars. That it never quite reaches masterpiece status is purely down to the predictability of it all, from Kaffee's father inherent peer pressure, to Galloway's tough woman in power softening as each quarter roles on, we really do know what the film's outcome will be. However, it has to be said that it's one hell of a well written ride getting to the wonderful court room finale, military rules and codes are stripped bare by Sorkin and Reiner threads it all together perfectly to raise the bar in court room practices.
The cast are uniformly good, Jack Nicholson as Jessep gets to eat babies and burn people at the stake, not literally you understand! But his ferocity is marvellous and it's this barnstorming turn from Jolly Jack that brings out the best of Tom Cruise as Kaffee. Cruise of course can play the cocky upstart better than most, but as we enter the final quarter here he puts a smart layer into the role, especially in light of Nicholson's scene chewing bravado. Demi Moore is solid and very watchable as Galloway, it's not her fault that the character is written as a tough nut who weakens the longer the picture goes on, it's still only a minor complaint in what is a very accomplished piece of cinema. Support is excellently good value courtesy of Kevin Pollak, Kevin Bacon, J.T. Walsh and a deliciously grumpy turn from Kiefer Sutherland, while the editing and sound departments were rightly nominated for Academy awards.
Good value entertainment across the board 8.5/10
Toward the beginning of the film, smooth-talking JAG litigator Daniel
Kaffee (Tom Cruise) and self-righteous career officer Luitenant JoAnne
Galloway (Demi Moore) travel to GitMo to investigate the death of a
Marine supposedly at the hands of a "code red". Their escort informs
them that the next leg of the journey will be by boat to which Kaffee
explains that he just doesn't "like boats" to which Galloway replies,
"Kaffee, you're in the Navy for Christ's sake!" This comic relief also
expounds upon the rhetoric of the entire story which is the conflict
between several different ideologies. There is the "law" and "justice"
as it is written in the law-books, in this case the military law-books.
There is the "law" as practiced, not identical to the law-books, which
includes the plea-bargains and other behind-the-scenes deals. (A
character even states the difference between "book law" and "trial
law") There is the military code of conduct. And there is the real code
of conduct as practiced by the Marines at GitMo.
At the beginning of the film, we learn that JAG corp attorney Daniel Kaffee and Colonel Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson in an Academy-award caliber performance) represent the worst of these extremist ideologies. Kaffee has made a reputation of plea-bargaining JAG corps cases, sacrificing work and research in favor of quick results, often ignoring the finer points of the law. Colonel Jessup is no-better but in a different reality, condoning and sometimes encouraging practices either frowned upon or forbidden by military authority. His rationale is that no-one understands the circumstances with which he must face enemies and therefore he is justified in engaging activities that are court-martial offenses, including the so-called "code red".
The story becomes how all of these ideologies collide, each represented by different characters. Dawson and Downey, the accused suspects charged by the US military with 1st degree murder for the death of the Marine, represent, before the incident in question, the best of military conduct, following orders to the letter and showing the utmost respect for their superior officers. Galloway represents the law as written in law-books but not necessarily as practiced in the courtroom. She is passionate about her work but does not quite have the street smarts of a seasoned lawyer. Kaffee represents the other side of "law" which entails plea bargains and other behind-the-scenes dealing removed from the law as written. He also seems a fish out of water, practicing in the JAG corps out of college but never formally serving in the military. And Jessup represents yet another code of military conduct--a code written and executed by him which he feels he has been given the right because of his ranking.
The film works on almost every level. There is never a dull moment, from the scene where Lut. Galloway reprimands Kaffee on the baseball field for not being more aware of the needs of his clients, to the face-off between Dawson and Kaffee in the detention area, to the climactic scene in the courtroom when Kaffee puts Jessup on the stand. The story chronicles the growth of Kaffee who at first admonishes the accused Marines for their steadfast indignation at not pleading guilty. He then finds inspiration from them and Galloway to take the case rather than pass it off.
The story is about facing unpleasant circumstances rather than sweeping them under the rug. Outstanding performances all around, including Wolfgang Bodison as Private Dawson who does a tremendous job at standing up to Cruise, as well as fine supporting performances by Kiefer Sutherland and Kevin Bacon. Cuba Gooding even appears in a small role as a witness. An excellent movie, not to be missed, and maybe one of the best military courtroom dramas since "The Caine Mutiny" 40 years earlier.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Just as The General's Daughter is my favourite military criminal
investigation film, A few good men is my favourite military courtroom
drama film. It is also the only film I like that Tom Cruise has been
in. I have to say, I'm not into his films at the moment, I do try my
best not to be judgemental but can't help myself.
The basic story is two Marines Dawson (Wolfgang Bodison) and Downey (James Marshall)accidentally kill a fellow marine and it looks like they will go to jail for a very long time. The victim was not cut out to be a Marine and in fact, begged to be taken off the base he was stationed at. It isn't till Lt. Kaffee (Tom Cruise) and Lt. Weinberg (Kevin Pollak) from Jag and Lt. Cdr. JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore) from Internal Affairs are assigned the case and probe deeper into the murder that they find out that a code red was ordered by the superior officers and when it went wrong, they cut Dawson and Downey loose and covered up their involvement in the crime. The code red being ways Marines use to mold a inferior Marine into the type of soldier that is expected and one who also respects the code the Marines live by: Unit, corp, god and country.
I just love the characters. Tom Cruise's character is very likable because he is a very cocky character and believes in himself but throughout the movie goes through a positive change where he comes to see the only reason he was given the case was that he wouldn't see the inside of a courtroom and decides he will try and get Dawson and Downey off. The audience also see him struggle to live up to his father's reputation but ends up realising that just because he is different from his father, it doesn't make him any less a great lawyer. I cheered when Kaffee finally stands up to Jessep and calls him a son of a bitch. My best part. I also like Demi Moore's character too because she is the only one who stands up for the two Marines and looks out for their interests.
The film is filled with tension especially the scene at the end of the movie where Kaffee decides that he is going to ask Colonel Jessep (Jack Nicholson) if he ordered the code red. That scene more than any other has me on the edge of my seat, wondering if Kaffee will succeed. It just drags on and on and there is a moment when you think it will not happen and by the end of it, you can't help feeling that your stomach has been on this huge roller-coaster ride.
It also has a serious message about how civilians can be judgemental about the armed forces and that they have never put their lives on the line like our military personnel who we owe a debt of gratitude for defending our country.
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