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|Index||335 reviews in total|
"A Few Good Men" is neither a high-paced action movie nor a
hysterically funny comedy, but boy does it entertain me. Tom Cruise is
at his best here, and watching him try to win over this courtroom case
in this film is engaging and even inspiring. His conflict with Jack
Nicholson (in a role than should have won him an Oscar) is easily the
movie's best scene. The film injects a ton of little bits of humor that
give the film its light and entertaining side. Like other great
courtroom dramas, the film becomes intense and exciting as it reaches
its climax. Not only does the film contain the famous quote "You can't
handle the truth!" but it also includes one of my personal favorites
("Are we clear?" "Crystal!"). I can't completely explain why I love
this film, but it is a must-see, and a personal favorite for me.
**** out of ****
While a courtroom drama dealing with unscrupulous military procedures
(the assault and resulting death of one marine by two other marines in
his unit, who may or may not have been acting under orders) may seem
almost too topical to avoid a preachy, ham-handed execution, it would
seem director Rob Reiner was up for the challenge. Demonstrating an
unusually deft touch at handling potentially incendiary subject matter,
Reiner's unwillingness to let his source material glide by on its
controversy is what raises his film from the ranks of average, instead
culminating as a tremendous success. The result: A Few Good Men, one of
the most fervently engaging legal dramas in modern cinema, which even
decades down the line maintains its political poignancy and searing
Unsurprisingly, Aaron Sorkin's snappy, intelligent screenplay (adapted from his own play) is the real highlight, making what could have been a rote courtroom thriller bristle with emotional intensity and vivacity, leading for some highly quotable lines (Nicholson's legendary "You can't handle the truth!" is the highlight) while simultaneously making some intriguing points about the moral ambiguity of modern military, as well as the fanaticism instilled in young recruits. However, the film's emotional resonance is similarly laudable, as Reiner demonstrates a surprising ability to draw the audience in and present a highly familiar situation while extracting an exceptional amount of emotional engagement and making the audience care in a surprisingly vivid fashion. While the film does stumble into occasional sappy or clichéd patches, it mercifully dodges them at others (the exclusion of a romantic subplot between Cruise and Moore is a blessing) making the overall product far more satisfying.
Technically the film also excels, as the quality cinematography and editing aid the transition from stage to film by adding a sweeping quality to the film punctuated by a clipped, military feel, perfectly capturing the terse tension and intrigue of the film. Similarly, Marc Shaiman's score is usually effective, substantially raising the tension with a quality mix of military drums and horns, but similarly overdoses on sentimental patriotic themes, often at crucial points of the film disappointingly enough.
Despite the indisputable quality of Sorkin's script, it is really the actors who bring it to life, with each performer unquestionably operating at the peak of their considerable abilities. Tom Cruise perfectly essays the transition from cocky hotshot lawyer to a passionate, obsessive one striving for justice, and Cruise's immense charisma adds a strangely likable quality to what is mostly a highly unlikeable character when first introduced, while shining in later dramatic scenes. However, there is no question that the film is Jack Nicholson's show, timelessly inhabiting shady military Colonel Nathan R. Jessup like a weathered glove. One of the strongest points in his outstanding acting career, Nicholson crackles with ferocious muted intensity held to a captivating simmer, and with three (disappointingly but necessarily brief) scenes he sears the screen and walks away with the show with ease.
Demi Moore also fumes with appropriate dramatic intensity as a lieutenant fiercely maintaining moral standpoints, taking the bulk of the film's weaker moments and infusing them with genuine passion. Kevin Pollack gives a firmly quality performance as Cruise's skeptical legal assistant, though many of his comedic moments seem out of place. The always reliable Kevin Bacon is superb, taking the thankless role of the opposing lawyer and infusing it with genuine energy and easygoing charm, alternating between effortlessly inciting the audience's hatred then defusing it with an endearing sense of humour without missing a beat. Keifer Sutherland is deliciously oily as an unscrupulous lieutenant, his detached, silky voice and fiery eyes making a genuinely detestable antagonist.
A painstakingly crafted script, Reiner's quality direction and a few exceptional performances make for a resoundingly more than 'good' final outcome, as A Few Good Men achieves a level of emotional engagement few other courtroom dramas can muster. While certain patches of cliché or overdone American patriotism do slow the film down, its uniquely subversive take on fanatical patriotism makes for a more compelling and satisfying watch. While hardly flawless, the film excels on so many fronts that it easily merits viewing for any in search of a quality legal drama, or a captivating and thought provoking film pulsing with real urgency and emotional poignancy.
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A Few Good Men (1992) is one of those examples of a perfect courtroom drama. The movie stars Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, and Keifer Sutherland in one of Rob Reiner's best films yet! Cruise plays Lt. Daniel Kaffee, a hotshot, baseball loving Naval Attorney who must defend two Marines stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba who are accused of assaulting and murdering a fellow Marine. In Cuba, the base Commander, Colonel Nathan Jessup (Nicholson), states to his senior officers (J.T. Walsh; Sutherland) that PFC Santiago (the dead Marine) will not be transferred off GitMo Base and that Santiago will be trained by Lt. Kendrick (Sutherland). Lt. Colonel Matthew Markinson (Walsh) thinks that transferring Santiago off the base is a good idea, but Jessup tells Markinson that Santiago will be trained and that he (Santiago) is staying at GitMo. Meanwhile in Washington, Kaffee meets with Lt. Cmdr. JoAnne Galloway (Moore) of the Naval Internal Affairs Division, who just became the attorney for PFC Louden Downey (James Marshall), one of the accused Marines. Kaffee then meets with Capt. Jack Ross (Bacon) who states that he is representing the United States if there is a Court Martial. During the movie, Kaffee, Galloway, and Lt. Sam Weinberg (Kevin Pollak) make up the defense team and have to prove that someone at GitMo ordered a "Code Red" on Santiago. The movie leaves you on the edge of your seat up until the courtroom showdown between Kaffee and Jessup, when the action takes place. A Few Good Men is one of best military films ever made. This movie deserves a perfect ********** stars.
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.
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.
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.
The goal of a story is to introduce the observer to the characters at the very beginning. Few movies do this with such smoothness as 'A Few Good Men'. Especially the main character, Daniel Kaffee. His plea bargain with the prosecutor on the ball field exemplifies the character introduction and development. You immediately get the impression that he is a sharp defender but only wanting to breeze through his obligation to the Navy by doing as little as possible. All of the other characters are developed just as well.
This is an EXCELLENT film! It was extrememly well written, well acted, and well-directed! Kudos to Rob Reiner for an excellent directing job! Tom Cruise played a great Daniel Kaffee. He was direct, to the point, etc. Demi Moore and Kevin Pollak and the great Jack Nicholson did great jobs as well and they all should be commended. If you haven't seen this movie, GET IT!! I couldn't recommend it more! The story gets you going and keeps up until the end!
First reason that I watched this film because there are superstars in it
such as Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson. The story is predictable. There is a POWERFUL scene. The scene that Cruise put Nicholson in court. Thrilling ... the word "CRYSTAL", give a new meaning to me.
If you like a story about military and courtroom drama, watch it.
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