Mitch McDeere (Cruise) is hired by `the firm,' and at first, everything is great. The firm loves him enough to pay back all of his student loans all at once, and he is completely taken in by everything, even down to the way that the firm furnished his new house, in his beautiful new neighborhood (`To make you feel at home. Hope you don't mind.'). The lives of Mitch and his wife Abby (Jeanne Triplehorn) are completely and drastically changed when he is hired by the firm, setting up a disorienting atmosphere, especially when strange things start happening, people getting killed by boat bombs and whatnot.
Gary Busey plays a small, seedy role, and it works really well because he's best at playing seedy characters. Ed Harris also delivers a good performance as an FBI agent trying to coerce McDeere into helping them investigate the big bad firm. It seems that McDeere has been helping the firm in its illegal activities, making him guilty without him even knowing about it. If he doesn't help the FBI, he'll go to jail with the other 40 members of that big, happy family.
The Firm really gets going once McDeere starts trying to investigate, making copies of incriminating files, etc. Some things may have gone a little too far, like the conveniently placed pillow truck, but as a whole, The Firm is a great thriller. It may not be quite as good as other John Grisham adaptations, The Rainmaker, in particular, but The Firm's complex and fascinating plot, as well as good direction and acting, makes it way above average.