Cadence (1990) Poster

(1990)

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3 Paws up!
war_cat27 December 2000
Plot summary: Charlie Sheen is thrown into an army stockade with a whole gang of brothers, and they need to learn to work together to get through it. Translation: He's the only white guy in the bunch, and if his honky azz messes up, he won't be rollin'.

This underground (hardly any theater time) military movie turns out to be quite a winner. Charlie Sheen is superb, Laurence Fishburne does a great job, and Martin Sheen pulls off a great directorial debut to the big screen (along with a nice acting performance). I was in the army for many years and I could totally relate sometimes how it was to be the white guy trying to fit in. It's a tough situation to capture in film and make work (it's been attempted hundreds of times), but Martin does a very nice job. The 'Chain Gang' song they sing through the movie was so good that I recorded it off the the movie to MP3. My squad once attempted to perform that cadence dance. It was very amusing. 'Gig for Bean' is a quote I used to say all the time. Every once in awhile someone would get it and it would be a classic moment. 3 out of 4 paws on this one. (More reviews at www,warcat,com)
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Surprisingly good
chetamorton26 September 2004
I seldom comment on a movie, but I so strongly disagreed with a prior comment on this movie, I felt I had to add two cents. I found this entrant far from boring. I have watched it four or five times, each time finding a new focus. The movie's idea is interesting, the conflict between the Sheens believable and well played, and the supporting cast excellent. Laurence Fishburne and James Marshall in particular are pleasures to watch. As the second of Sheen's two stints as a director I was impressed. Even the basic set works for me. And the music is so good that I continue to look from time to time to see if an actual CD is available. I believe that if you get your hands on this movie you won't be disappointed.
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10/10
an unforgettable movie with a fantastic story and great acting!
ALS-24 January 1999
More than any of his other movies that I have seen (even "Wall Street" and "Platoon"), "Cadence" makes me hope that Charlie Sheen will not throw away his talent. He does a remarkable job in this movie, which is even more impressive because everyone else does a terrific job too! (Martin Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Beach...) This movie didn't last long in the theaters, which is a real shame, because too many people missed it! It has a timeless, touching message of brotherhood, acceptance and friendship, which it conveys through an interesting story and very engaging characters. Overall, it's serious, and even disturbing at times, but it has enough humor and light moments to give you hope and a good feeling at the end. The dream about being white and the prison-yard basketball game are two wonderful and memorable scenes, and you never will hear the song "Chain Gang" quite the same way again! I love this movie! I hope you will, too!
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8/10
Great movie....really better that rated
CrazyCanuck29 May 2004
This movie surprised me. I am not really big on Charlie Sheen movies, other than Platoon, but this is a truly good movie. Martin Sheen gives a good performance, as does the supporting cast. The setting, while not authentic, is real enough. The dialogue and acting are both excellent and believable. I found I was interested in the characters, and although the ending is predictable, it was fitting. I would recommend this movie to just about anyone, other that the hardcore action enthusiast. Definitely an entertaining film, and one that is quite a bit better than the rating it has received. I wouldn't hesitate to rent it again.
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8/10
VERY offbeat... but it tells some truths about military life
Gavno15 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
In many ways, the military in this country has been in the forefront as far as social advancement is concerned. When Harry Truman decreed back in 1949 that the segregated military had to go, the armed forces went thru most of the same turmoil that the civilian world was to undergo years later.

In the Vietnam war era these upheavals were still going on in the services; while not officially segregated, there were two distinctly separate groups living and working together under an uneasy truce. The film talks about those times, and the frictions of the situation come through with amazing clarity.

CADENCE tells about another basic truth about military life that is that is unknown to those who never wore a uniform.

To outsiders, military people seem monolithic; everybody is identical, interchangeable, and of a like mind. Nothing can be farther from the truth.

There are sharp and RIGID social divisions based on rank and tradition, justified by the concept of military discipline. Privates don't hobnob with colonels, and frankly even if the opportunity presents itself they never really communicate frankly with each other. To be honest about it, they don't even LIKE each other very much. Nowadays, the divisions will include gender lines. Those lines are why bases with bars will usually have separate Enlisted, Noncommissioned Officer's, and Officer's clubs; the doctrine may claim that everyone in uniform is equal, but the reality is that nobody wants to press that idea very far.

To these divisions CADENCE adds the aspect of "free" versus "prisoner", something we don't often see presented accurately in films. This is the niche that the film centers on.

Each division within the military macrosociety has it's own social mores and it's own loyalties to others within the group. There is a fierce pride in each group, and interestingly that holds true for the prisoners too.

That pride, an amalgam of both the Black and prisoner subdivisions shows itself clearly in the startling march cadence the stockade soldiers have adopted, based on Sam Cooke's song "Chain Gang". Private Bean, the new prisoner, is mightily confused and astonished the first time he sees it, but it gradually teaches him a lesson that the Army tried, but failed, to impart; you're no longer an individual, but part of a GROUP, dedicated to a common cause and to the welfare of the group.

It's ironic that the unit cohesion and esprit de corps this bunch of stockade prisoners has forged on it's own should be the ENVY of every officer on the base; interestingly, there isn't a single scene where an officer actually SEES their expression of it. The only time these distant, disconnected officers interact with the prisoners is in stiff, structured, and regulation proscribed situations like in church services and courtrooms where they're dealt with as INDIVIDUALS, not as a unit.

In many ways, Bean's stockade time is his REAL basic training. He learns "courtesy" ("Ask a man what he's CHARGED WITH; NEVER ask him what he's DONE"), he learns unit loyalty by standing with his fellow prisoner and keeping his silence about what happens in the barracks. He learns that a man has to carry his own burdens (in this case, doing his own time in a manly, stoic manner). He learns that a man must earn respect by his own actions and skills, be it on a basketball court or by repairing a broken windmill.

And in the final scene he learns the most important lesson of all; the most valuable thing a man can possess is the honor and respect that is bestowed on him by his peers.

Martin Sheen as Sgt. McKinney radiates evil, and epitomizes those still present vestiges of racism that the military tried in that period to pretend didn't exist. He's hard core, burned out, and Old School all the way. This hardassed old Noncom knows full well what sort of men he has locked up in his jail, and he also knows, but refuses to respect, the tightly integrated unit they've formed. Given other circumstances, I can see McKinney proudly leading these guys into combat... but he's been discarded by the Army because of his age. He in turn clings to the old military pecking order and despises the prisoners... the military says they are scum, and he holds fast to that opinion to bolster his own fallen position in the food chain.

Otis McKinney's is infuriated by the fact that private Bean has done something that he couldn't; after a long, hard struggle, Bean has earned the respect of the stockade prisoners. McKinney MUST destroy Bean or accept the fact that this young punk private is a better man than he is, and is able to survive in a world defined by race, age, and culture that would destroy McKinney's supposed "superiority" based on rank and race.

The situation develops into a battle of wills that constantly escalates through Bean's 90 day stay, with ultimately tragic results.

Lawrence Fishburn is outstanding as Stokes, the leader of the compound. The movie never makes it clear just WHY he's been imprisoned, and he pointedly tells Bean not to ask. Despite that, we get the impression Roosevelt Stokes would be a powerful leader of men in or out of the stockade.

Special mention has to be made of Harry Stewart, as "Sweetbread" Crane. Sweet is an obviously retarded soldier who doesn't speak, but who isn't totally mute; as Stokes puts it "The man has PIPES... pipes that will put Jesus into your heart instantly". Besides singing a solo part on the "Stockade Shuffle", his performance of a hymn in a chapel sequence (one that Stewart WROTE, incidentally) shows the man to have an amazing vocal talent!

I can't really call CADENCE a great film, but it's indeed an interesting glimpse into the social and psychological factors at work within the armed forces.
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Camaraderie and Class
iknowflicks18 September 2004
Perhaps, it was my having seen this movie with a bunch of my Army buddies - while in the Army. Or maybe, being a Larry/Laurence Fishburne FANATIC! It could be that I saw this with my heart open and my mind closed...nah, none of the above reasons are why this movie ranks as one of my all-time favorites. It is the camaraderie and class of the relationship that Martin Sheen created with his main characters.

Never have I seen a movie with such honesty and triumph. Truly, I saw the ending before it came...but I didn't care. Isn't that what a GOOD director will do - make you appreciate the movie and not focus on what the end result will be.

The "End of My Journey" rips through me every time I hear it. A great film study on what true friendship is when race is not factored into the equation. 9/10 - And, I know flicks!
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10/10
As close to real life as it gets,
dscinc12 May 2006
One of the best movies that I have seen, even though it was a sleeper during it's Theater run. The movie relates back to my days as an MP in the 503rd MP Co,3AD, Butzbach, Germany. The British Columbia set and location are true to life The interaction between all characters shows the eventual break down of the barrier that is created with stereo-typing. Charlie and Martin Sheen's characters seem to bring some of their real life tribulations out on to the screen. It is well known that Charlie,his brothers and Dad had a turbulant relationship during their teenage years. It appears that there is a family reconciliation taken place. I also think it's formidable that Martin brought back Lawrence Fishburn, who was just a young and upcoming unknown in "Appocolypse". I would make this film part of the Army's Training Library on racial sensitivity. Can't help but watch this movie every couple of months.
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7/10
I like this film.
Thom Pravda25 July 2005
Why is this film so unknown ? It really deserves to be recognised as a great film along with the Nam films of the late 70s early 80s. To me it has quite a Nam feel to it, (the progression of the relationship between the inmates, and the constant battle with the higher ranks). Deterioration of character screams out "Apocalypse Now", but the team aspect shows a strong influence from films such as "Platoon". The film itself is set during the time of Nam, but can't be bracketed as one. Charlie Sheen has once again took part as the lead role in a great film. I can't see the film working with any other actor ! His cold manner, but warm heart is seen also in the classic "Platoon". All in all this film is a good modern story. Which I recommend to not only Vietnam film fans, but to a general audience.
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7/10
Great acting ensemble creates a riveting drama.
cruiseabout30 October 2000
Reading Maltin's summary may steer you away from a film which, after an unpromising beginning, develops into a gripping drama, aided no end by superb acting from the nine very individual players in this film: Charlie Sheen, as the white prisoner incarcerated with five black soldiers in a military stockade, the two very different white guards, and Martin Sheen as the bullying and racist Sergeant who causes the tension to mount as his personal problems drive him to take out his frustrations on his charges. Martin Sheen perhaps gives the weakest, because least believable, characterization. It is Charlie Sheen as the initially wary room mate and the five finely etched black prisoners, all very good in their roles, who forge a memorable dramatic scenario out of their situation. Martin Sheen's sole directorial effort makes the most of the increasingly tense story-line. See it, it's good!
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10/10
Oooh Aaaahhh!
Ghenghy19 February 2002
You'll have a tough time getting that one out of your head. Charlie Sheen's best work next to Wall Street as a renegade Army private stuck in a German stockade during the Vietnam War. A flash of early brilliance by Laurence Fishburne with a great, but twisted dynamic between Charlie and Martin Sheen. What can you say, this movie is just terrific! 9/10
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6/10
Reserved Little Drama
ReelCheese5 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This reserved little drama stars Charlie Sheen as the lone white prisoner in a 1960s army stockade. Initially apprehensive toward his new roommates, he soon becomes one of them, much to the chagrin of the racist Master Sergeant, played by dad Martin Sheen. Rather than give in to the sarge, the younger Sheen continues to stand his ground, which only further frustrates his superior.

The younger Sheen, who delivers one of his best performances as the troubled private, is surrounded by an able cast that includes Laurence Fishburne and Michael Beach. The story is captivating at times, but unravels at others, particularly during the climax when the elder Sheen loses control. There just wasn't enough buildup to make his bullet-spewing outburst believable.

Still, CADENCE is overall a quality picture that deserved more than its status as one of the big box office stinkers of 1990 (it only grossed $173,601 its opening weekend and just over $2 million overall).

CAST NOTE: Brent Stait, who has a brief role near the end as a psych ward MP, is best known for his role as Rev Bem on the T
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10/10
I love this movie!
pumpkingirl457019 February 2005
This movie has it all; adventure, drama, humor and sorrow! They couldn't have gotten a better cast to fill the rolls. I have a question to those of you who are reading this. Does anyone know where I can find the (piano/lyrics) for the song "End of my journey" that the character "Sweetbread" sings in this movie? I love the song. Sweetbread is my favorite character! Thanks!!! Charlie Sheen gives one of his greatest performances in this movie. I love when he and his father work together. You never know how things are going to go. And with another family member in the movie as well, it was definitely interesting. My question is, "Where's the other siblings?" I thought that they might be going for the whole family thing there for a moment the first time that I saw it. LOL This movie will most definitely keep you interested. If you like the Military type movies than you will certainly enjoy this movie.
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What a Movie!
MissyBaby7 August 2004
My Mom wanted me to see this. She said I'd love it. She was right.

We got it from Netflix last year sometime. And let me tell you, I was nuts about that movie from the start. I'm a musical person in the first place, so the entire idea of prisoners in a stockade singing "Chain Gang" while they marched from point a to point b, tickled me.

I love Charlie Sheen and Martin Sheen and while watching this movie discovered someone else that I love, James Marshall. He did such a great job in this movie. Everyone did. (Here's a tidbit, Charlie Sheen, Ramon Estevez (Charlie's brother, who played one of the guards) and James Marshall, Rob and Chad Lowe, Dean Cain, and a few other Hollywood Hotties all went to Santa Monica High together and graduated the same year!)

I loved the way it was directed. I didn't see a single scene that looked like it didn't belong. Correct me if I'm wrong but, didn't Martin Sheen direct this?

Anyway, if you haven't seen Cadence, do not hesitate to pick it up ANYWHERE you see it. Pick up 2 and send one to me! I haven't seen it in any video stores, but I'm looking for a good deal on the net.

Enjoy Cadence and let me know what you think. You won't be disappointed!

Missy............:)
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Thassa Sow Nutha-men - Wurkinonna Chayyne -- Gah-E-Yang...
DeuxAmis6 May 2004
Caveat: I saw this movie at least ten years ago.

Most folks are right about this film. Tired plot and strained character development despite some very good performances. So why am I writing my comments here? Because what sticks in the brain with this movie is not the plot, but the camaraderie. Not the standard prison barracks/exercise yard type, but a rather unique form that takes shape when the men march to an extremely soulful version of "Chain Gang."

But it has more than soul. It has "Cadence." Weirdly, the men keeping lock step with this is oddly counter-soul. Their march is a metaphor for some parts of the film, but a sure thing was missed by not exploiting this aspect further. What emerged as the main plot in this film would have made a fine subplot, but it wasn't enough to carry it into being very, very good.

No, the brilliance here is in the memorable (and haunting) marching footage, with the soloist tenor lending tenderness to the sing-song soldier cadence and the clomp-clomp-clomp of marching boots, and the stagger-step "fill" where each soldier, as one, does a double step and strikes his breastbone. It's like some uber-military statement and yet it is actually done in defiance.

Enough to carry a film? Not at all. Worth seeing, though? Absolutely, if you like strong film elements that stay with you for a long, long time.

-- TGR
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2/10
white guilt at its worst
DieKakutanienschpiel8 August 2016
Plot summary: a group of racist blacks beat and rob a white soldier and then, when he doesn't narc them out, accept him with great reluctance. This is what happens when Hollywood white guilt takes steroids.

The acting is pretty good, but this is a classic example of black -on - white racism disguised as a morality tale about the evils of white - on - black racism.

It's also the worst of the worst in the category of 'let's have us some black folk teach a white kid how to dance.'

Shoot me now.

Please, do it. I beg you. Laurence Fishburne musta been either really angry or really desperate, to tag this dog onto his otherwise impressive resume.
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6/10
Watchable film with some powerful moments
callanvass7 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This was an interesting movie, if nothing else. It isn't quite as powerful as it wants you to believe it is, but it definitely has some powerful moments. It lacks the kind of tension a film of this magnitude needs. The setup was perfect for this to be something memorable. Charlie Sheen's Anti-Authority character set up all kinds of possibilities, but unfortunately, it succumbs to inconsistencies. I dug Bean becoming close with the black convicts. It was very enjoyable to watch, as was watching them bond. It also succumbs to clichés I can't stand, such as racism and stereotyping. Also, is it just me? Or was this somewhat rushed. This movie could have gone a good 10 to 15 minutes longer. The characters were the biggest problem for me. I did dig Bean's attitude, but it was hard to care about anybody in this movie. A lot of the characters are underdeveloped. McKinney's was the biggest issue for me because we don't know why he is such a bully, other than a brief scene where he argues about his son. The acting is solid though. Charlie Sheen is great as the rebel. Everyone can empathize with a guy that wants to stand up to a bully. Charlie didn't overdo it during key emotional moments. Martin Sheen is intense as per usual as McKinney, but his character is underdeveloped. It's kind of ironic that Sheen buts heads with Martin in this film throughout, yet they are father and son in real life. You can blame that on Gary Busey's compulsive behavior on set. Busey was McKinney before his weird behavior got him fired. Laurence Fishburne does good in his role. Overall, I didn't mind it at all. It's a shame it has a lot of missed potential, but what can you do? Give it a look on a rainy night

6.2/10
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7/10
You're a bully, and I hate everything you stand for.
Spikeopath21 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Cadence (AKA: Stockade) is directed by Martin Sheen and written by Dennis Shryack. It stars Martin Sheen, Charlie Sheen and Laurence Fishburne. Music is by Georges Delerue and cinematography by Richard Leiterman.

Upon the death of his father, Pfc. Franklin Bean (C Sheen) gets drunk and assaults an MP. Sentenced to 90 days in an army stockade run by bigoted bully MSgt. Otis V. McKinney (M Sheen), Bean finds he is the only white prisoner in the facility……

Better than it has any right to be visually, and rising above what looks to be scratchy themes on the page, Cadence rounds out as a more than enjoyable character study. After a poor opening suggests the picture is going to be an hour and half of Charlie Sheen over doing the brat packer persona, picture settles into its stride once Sheen Junior encounters the aggressive Sheen Senior and is thrown in clink with the Laurence (here credited is Larry) Fishburne led "Soul Patrol Brothers". True enough to say that basic formula sets in as Sheen Junior can't fit in with his new "roomies", whilst he stays firmly in his broody bubble much to the ever increasing consternation of the agitated McKinney. No way is Bean going to let McKinney break him, even as the gruff voiced warden starts to come down hard on his newly adopted brothers, this merely serves as the catalyst for some black and white unity; which if given a chance can always be powerful.

At the centre of the character hot pot is a broken water windmill that serves as a beacon of hope for the prisoners, but sure enough we know where this is going and it will form the basis of the last quarter of the story as things invariably go bad before a ray of hope springs from the narrative. It's all very predictable and obvious, but Shryack's screenplay allows the characters depth, with much detailed emotion afforded the lead protagonists. Bonus, too, is that the secondary roles don't just serve as props, they impact hard on proceedings, something all too rare in prison/institution set movies. Smart sound-tracking as well, with Harry Stewart (Sweetbread Crane) singing his own beautiful composition "End of My Journey", a song that lands in your chest and stays there for some time.

Sheen Junior has rarely been better away from Oliver Stone's guidance, no doubt spurred on by his father's presence in front of and behind the camera. However, Sheen Senior's direction is only safe and basic, while his acting is the films only real weak acting link. You have to feel that with his subsequent non directing career, Martin Sheen found it wasn't for him, certainly blending both acting and directing appears to have been a step too far for the otherwise talented actor. Fishburne is quality, while F. Murray Abraham shines in one of the smaller roles.

A drama with touches of comedy, and full of good honest intentions to offer hope and inspiration, Cadence is a very good movie. That comes on proviso, though, if one can accept it on its formulaic terms. 7/10
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6/10
Believable conflicts make "Cadence" a winner ...........
merklekranz26 April 2010
First and foremost, the cast is great. Seeing Charlie and Martin Sheen playing off each other is a real plus. The film is somewhat claustrophobic, mostly taking place in a confined compound. The conflicts that drive "Cadence", both racial and military, are believable, and resolved satisfactorily. A lively soundtrack is another positive. The personal torment of Martin Sheen is only briefly explored, but is nevertheless a driving force behind his increasingly irrational behavior. This is no blockbuster. It is a small movie with a message of mutual respect and acceptance, where race becomes secondary in an irrational war being waged against all prisoners alike. - MERK
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7/10
You're a bully! And I hate EVERYTHING you stand for!
lastliberal21 June 2008
This is not a military movie. Sure, it takes place in a military brig, and everyone in it are soldiers, but that is only a set for what this movie is really about.

It is a generational movie about the WWII/Korea generation represented by MSgt. Otis V. McKinney (Martin Sheen), and the Vietnam generation represented by Pfc. Franklin Fairchild Bean (Charlie Sheen).

I read the other day around Father's Day about some psychologist stating that we need fathers like McKinney. Well, like Charlie, I had one, and I can assure you that I would much rather have a father like Tim Russert. The fathers of McKinney's generation had some concept in their heads about discipline, which is good, but they forgot to meld that with love. McKinney cannot understand why his son, who is Bean's age, doesn't want to talk to him. I can.

I don't know if it was novelist Gordon Weaver's intention, but I see why Bean found it easier to join the black convicts rather than McKinney. After all, most, if not all of them, grew up in fatherless homes. With the distance between McKinney's and Bean's generation, it can be said that he grew up fatherless also. Sure, Bean has a sense of responsibility in the end, but he also had a deep sense of compassion. One, he got from his father; the other he had to develop on his own.

This is a movie that speaks highly to my generation. If anyone wants to understand us, then you definitely need to watch it.
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10/10
Surprising Cadence is a good movie to watch
princessinprocess195227 June 2007
Each time I see this movie I enjoy it even more than I did the last time I saw it. The movie's idea is interesting, the conflict between the Sheens believable and well acted, and the supporting cast is excellent and a pleasure to watch. The story line is simple and to the point. Even the basic set works for me. And the music is so good that I continue to look from time to time to see if there is a CD available. (SOMEONE/ANYBODY PLESAE LET ME KNOW IF THERE IS A CD and IF SO WHERE CAN I BUY IT). I believe that if you get a chance to watch this movie DO IT! you won't be disappointed. This movie will either make you cry, laugh, or get angry either way it's a good movie.
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8/10
Top kick runs tough stockade
helpless_dancer22 February 2000
Army PFC Frank Bean, runs afoul of MP's while drunk and winds up in the base jail. The place is run by a psychopathic racist who is intent on breaking the new man. As the only white in the stockade, Bean is not accepted right away, but later comes to terms with his fellow inmates. This drives the sarge to creating a deadly situation for all in an out of the way spot late at night. 8 out of 10.
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7/10
Martin Sheen, director and actor: Cadence.
Joseph P. Ulibas20 August 2005
Cadence (1990) marks the cinematic directorial debut of Martin Sheen. Not only does he direct the film but he also stars along with his son Charlie. The movie CADENCE is about a group of convict soldiers that must live with the fact that they're no longer soldiers but prisoners of Uncle Sam. When a G.I. is in the brig they lose a lot of what little freedom they have as enlisted men. Charlie Sheen stars as a G.I. who's thrown in the brig for drunk and disorderly conduct unfitting of a man in uniform. He's thrown in a prison unit that happens to be all black (message). They're over seen by a mean an bigoted N.C.O. who has his own problems. He likes to take them out on the poor soldier who reminds him of his own rebellious son. Can Charlie do his sentence without being eaten alive by his fellow prisoners or will he fall under the spell of his shady N.C.O.?

A good film that's a nice time waster. It's pretty heavy handed at times and the movie is filled with numerous pop culture errors. Ignore the goofs and the sappiness of the movie and you'll find an enjoyable watch.

Recommended.
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good acting, great soundtrack
sweetdog12 December 2000
this movie was average at best, the plot was relatively predictable, the acting was good, and i had prepared myself to never watch this movie again, until i saw, or heard rather, the last 5 minutes of this movie. harry 'sweetbread' crane, played by actor/singer harry stewart has perhaps the greatest voice i've ever heard. the song he sings which he also wrote, "End of my Journey", was simply breathtaking. It was his voice alone that brought my overall rating of this movie up from a 5 out of 10 to an 8 out of 10, he is that good. Unfortunately there was no soundtrack for this movie, though after searching for about 5 or 6 months, i was finally able to locate an mp3 of "End of my Journey". this movie is worth watching if only to hear stewarts voice soar...
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7/10
The swing of the chain gang "Soul-Patrol" does not fit in the Army...
silverauk3 August 2002
When the five comrades of Private First Class Franklin Bean (Charlie Sheen) with Roosevelt Stokes (Laurence Fishburne) in front make the soul-march, which refers to a locomotive, Bean does not know what happens to him. He cannot step with them! In fact the racial tension in the prison with a majority of five blacks come to the surface at the end of the movie in a tragic way. But Master Sergeant Otis V. McKinney (Martin Sheen) is right when he asks Bean to call him sergeant every time when a subordinate answers to him. There are only officers at the trial in this movie; but it is the colonel who gives Bean permission to work on the windmill and from that moment on the unexpected happens: Bean and his five comrades form a team, something McKinney cannot appreciate. At the end they commit insubordination when McKinney triumphantly comes up with an order that the windmill is a forbidden domain. Private First Class Harold Lamar (James Marshall), in fact a corporal, does everything what his superior McKinney asks from him but at the end he will not be awarded for this and neither will Bean be rewarded for saying the truth at the trial. The criminal background of the six prisoners is not very clear: are they really criminals who have committed those serious crimes that McKinney claims? This is important while it gives another description of the black prisoners and it allows in any circumstances for McKinney to be severe. Bean does not accept a proposition for friendship from McKinney, but it is not clear why McKinney should want to settle peace with a simple private. After all, he is in charge of the military camp.
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10/10
A rare gem, and not to be missed.
smokehill31 May 2000
I had never heard of this film and was thoroughly prepared to hate it. I spent too long in the Army to have any patience with 99% of movies with military themes, and I generally dislike Charlie Sheen even when he does a good job. Here, he was simply superb. I've seen it five times and it still amazes me. It just goes to prove that the viewing public and the various "awards" groups have no taste at all. This got zero awards and zero viewing in the theaters. The big losers here are the viewing public. SEE THIS MOVIE !!
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