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The film starts where two military men walk in to a room on the night time, and end up waking up another military soldier. On him waking up they put a hanker chief in his mouth and tape it up. It shows you them tying him up, but then it skips to the casting run of the film.
It then shows a meeting where they are discussing the two military soldiers who had assaulted the man, who had later died in the infirmary. Joanne Galloway is trying to take on the case of defending the two men, believing that a code red has been ordered. Which means they have been ordered by someone higher up to murder the man.
They decide against Joanne defending him, and instead request that Daniel Kaffee defends them, but Daniel has never even seen the inside of a courtroom before. He is ordered to work closely with Joanne Galloway, who is not too happy with the choice of council for the men.
The investigation now begins. The officers have to try and prove that a code red was ordered, and that they did not brutally kill the soldier Santini. The two men Downey and Dawson freely admit that they did the crime, as they were told they had to discipline and teach Santini, but they never meant to kill him.
Now they just have to prove that the men were only following orders, and the trial begins and turns into a court room drama, but I will not go into detail watch the film to find out.
I found this to be a great cast of actors, with some great top names in there, that all seemed to work very well together. I think the acting really made this good film a great film. With big house hold names I would not have expected any less. I did fully expect the acting to be great in this film, and I was not disappointed. The two that stood out the most for me was Tom and Demi they did a great job.
I did really enjoy watching this film, I do love a bit of court room drama, and this was what I liked about the film. The acting was great, the story line was great and there is nothing bad I could say against this film. It was good from beginning to end, I liked to watch the investigation unfold, and wonder where it would end up. I would highly recommend this to anyone to watch, you will not be disappointed, the film will keep you interested from beginning to end.
There are very few films in my vast DVD collection that appeal more than A Few Good Men starring Tom Cruise, Demi Moore and Jack Nicholson. It is quite an old film and was originally released in 1992 although there have been re-releases on numerous occassions - my copy is dated 2004 and there is a 2007 and Blu-ray available from many sites, supermarkets or HMV for less than £5 and from Amazon for £3 (2007 version), £10 (2002 version) or on bluray for just over £7.
The copy I own has no additional features but can be viewed in English, French or German with subtitles in numerous langauges including Arabic, Swedish, Hungarian, Norwegian and Icelandic and is rated 15.
Many of Tom Cruise's films have one theme in common - he plays a maverick who doesn't believe in abiding by the rules. In A Few Good Men he plays an inexperienced lawyer (Daniel Kaffee) working for the US Navy Judge Advocate General's (JAG) office who to many needs to prove that he is as good as his father who had been a succesful and respected case lawyer. His character however is far from that of his father and he is given orders that could finish his naval career by defending two US Marines accused of murdering a former member of their unit whilst serving at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba.
Kaffee is assisted by JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore) a naval investigator and lawyer (his senior officer) and Sam Weinberg in the defence of Louden Downey and Harold Dawson that are believed to have killed fellow marine William Santiago in their barracks and quickly suspects that there is more to this than anyone is willing to say. Kaffee during his visit to the base very quickly runs in to trouble with the based commander Nathan R Jessep.
He does however discover than Santiago suffered from a medical condition that was not consistant with a US Marine and that he had requested a transfer and due to leave the base (or so he is led to believe) only a few hours after his death. It is also discovered that Dawson fired an illegal shot towards the Cuban side of the island and was being used by Santiago as a reason to leave. However, Santiago had not respected the chain of command and was therefore unpopular with his colleagues. Jessep had decided to deal with matters himself and differed from his executive officer Andrew Markinson who suggested he should be transferred.
Jessep decides instead to order Santiago's unit commander James Kendrick to ensure Santiago "showed significant improvement".
Throughout the evidence gathering process Kaffee continually runs into obstables / dead ends and even the defendants are unwilling to say anything. He does however realise that the death of Santiago was more than likely a result of a "code red", an illegal punishment regime - he just had to find a way of proving it.
With his defence mere hearsay, Kaffee has a surprising visit late at night from Markinson who gives him all the evidence he needs and after issuing a subpoena for Markinson to appear in court that will lead to the aquital of Downey and Dawson finds that Markinson has blown his brains out while in full military dress in his hotel room.
Kaffee now short of time takes the unusual step of asking Weinberg to travel to an air force base to interview staff about a flight that is "missing" from the flight logs.
At the trial Jack Ross (a friend of Kaffee's) leads the prosecution and he very quickly builds a pretty watertight case. Ross gives Kaffee the opportunity for plea bargaining and is surprised when it is rejected as Ross feels that he is risking the lives of Dawson and Donwey. Instead, when Weinberg returns with air crew (and knowing there is no evidence) decides to show his maverick behaviour by calling Jessep to the stand. This is significant risk to Kaffee as Jessep is expected to be promoted.
With Jessep on the witness stand Kaffee asks him questions about Santiago's wardrobe (as he was about to leave the base) and comparison to that of Jessep. Jessep stands up and begins to walk off the stand at which Kaffee orders him back and the imortal words of the film..... "I want the truth" (Kaffee)..... "You can't handle the truth" (Jessep) are spoken and while on a roll Kaffee manages to get Jessep to confess to ordering the code red. Dawson and Downey are cleared of murder but are found guilty of conduct unbecoming a marine and dishonouably discharged. Despite this they both show Kaffee their respect by saluting him as they are marched away. Kaffee finds that despite his father's reputation, if there was a choice Kaffee would be first choice. Jessep is arrested and Ross suggests he will represent him.
This is a really, really good film and if you haven't seen it before it is well worth watching. It is definitely one of the best films I own. It was only a year or so later that Sky launched a series called JAG and I can only believe that this was because of the reputation that this film had gained.
Tom Cruise as LTJG Daniel Alistair Kaffee, JAGC, USN
Jack Nicholson as Col Nathan R. Jessup, USMC
Demi Moore as LCDR JoAnne Galloway, JAGC, USN
Kevin Bacon as Capt Jack Ross, USMC
Kiefer Sutherland as 1stLt Jonathan James Kendrick, USMC
Kevin Pollak as LTJG Sam Weinberg, JAGC, USN
J. T. Walsh as LtCol Matthew Andrew Markinson, USMC
James Marshall as PFC Louden Downey, USMC
Wolfgang Bodison as LCpl Harold W. Dawson, USMC
Michael DeLorenzo as PFC William T. Santiago, USMC
A Few Good Men is a classic courtroom drama that's directed by legendary helmer Rob Reiner, and written by the equally great West Wing writer Aaron Sorkin. It also stars a fabulous cast, making it one of the best films of the 1990s. The film opens in Cuba's Guantanamo Bay, where a marine is being tortured by other marines, and it later turns out that he died also. The marines complicit in the torture have been charged with murder and their trial is about to begin.
Their lawyer is Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise), a young but experienced hotshot, and he is accompanied by Jo Galloway (Demi Moore). They attempt to manoeuver a plea bargain for the two soldiers, and there's a lot of legal jostling for position at this point, but the film doesn't really get the ball moving until they begin investigasting the case, and meet Colonel Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson), who is the man that ordered the "Code Red" (the torture) that killed the marine. When Jessup is called to give evidence, the film is particularly tense, and I'm sure you've probably seen clips of that climactic court room scene, as Daniel slowly fields probing questions to Jessup that throw him off of his game, leading to an incredibly loud (and telling) exchange of words between the two.
This is a very cleverly composed film; it aptly captures the nature of a courtroom, with each counsel trying to outfox the other, and Cruise makes a solid hero, who is trying to prevent the higher-ups from avoiding culpability. If you love legal dramas, you'll surely get a huge kick out of it, aided by not only the writing and direction, but also the stellar performances, particularly from Cruise and Nicholson. Moore isn't so great but she's better than usual.
Though the end has always been in sight, this is about the HOW rather than the WHAT, and as an utterly compelling court drama, it is great.
As courtroom dramas go, the 90s was a pretty good decade. It seemed that every Tom, Dick and Harry who wanted to make a good drama used an element of the courtroom to win the audience over, and most of these came in the form of adapting John Grisham's novels to the big screen.
However, in amongst these comes this powerful and well scripted and acted little film. With quotability in abundance, Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore came onto the screens to investigate the suspicious death of a marine. Naval defense lawyer Daniel Kaffee (Cruise) and JoAnne Galloway (Moore) attempt to prove the defendants accused of murder were acting under orders, and therefore find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Proving it, however,m is a different matter, especially when you have the highly decorated and extremeloy powerful Colonel Nathan R Jessop (Nicholson) as the head of the base.
Reasons to watch this? It's mainly the acting. Cruise has fire in his eyes in this role, especially in the courtroom. He interacts very well with other characters when he's doing the lawyer in court bit, kind of like a character doing the acting, and it suits him very well. He was also very good in Grisham's The Firm. Demi Moore is very quiet in the film, taking a back role and very much doing the supporting. Providing skills as a serious and stern character, with an intense legal mind, alos suits her down to the ground.
There are also good performances from Kevin Pollack and Kevin Bacon in supporting roles, and an excellently scary, albeit brief, turn from Kiefer Sutherland. But the kudos here has to go to big ol' Jack Nicholson as the supreme military 'I am the Law' style character, Nathan Jessop. Nicholson exudes charisma wherever he goes, but put him in a military uniform and ask him to play the highest power on one of the world's top naval bases, defying all conflict, and watch him shine. Most lines he utters are quotable, with one sequence in the courtroom between him and Cruise being one of the most memorable I can remember of more recent years.
Excellent casting, and although the acting is top notch, it is worth noting that the plot itself as well as the direction of Rob Reiner makes this one of the more watchable legal thrillers outside of the Grisham stretch. Fabulously scripted, constructed and acted, I highly recommend you give this one a go. I have watched it a number of times, and still haven't tired of it. The surprise elements contained within no longer have the same impact, but it doesn't lessen what is a brilliant film. Currently available from amazon.co.uk for £3.18, A Few Good Men is one to watch. Recommended.
"A Few Good Men" was a major US motion picture based on the Broadway play of the same name starring some of the biggest names in Hollywood. The story revolves around a legal defence team in the court-martial of two young low-ranking marines accused of murdering one of their fellow marines. It transpires that the accused marines had been covertly ordered to "train" the unfortunate victim with a "Code Red", a type of unofficial discipline administered by fellow marines, when he went out of the chain of command to request a transfer based on his substandard performance and poor health. The victim is disliked by his fellow marines and superior officers, and his willingness to trade information on one of his soon-to-be killers disgusts the bullying Colonel who gives the order for the Code Red. This unintentionally ends in tragedy. Orders are justifiably a very serious matter in the military, but there is much controversy regarding unofficial rituals and methods carried out by fellow officers that range from "hazing" to outright persecution.
One small scene highlights the essence of herd instinct, which is required for these types of traditions to exist. After hearing witness testimony on Code Reds from a serving marine, the prosecution demonstrates to the court that this is not an official procedure. He requests that the marine show him where in the Marine Corps Outline for Recruit Training or any other official documentation issued to soldiers will he find information on Code Reds. The witness laughs and admits that there is none. "No further questions" the prosecution says smugly heading towards his seat, the manual in his hand. Without missing a beat the lead defence lawyer moves in for his questioning taking the manual off his opposition before the latter can return to his seat and asks the witness where in the book he will find the mess hall. The witness replies that the mess hall isn't in the manual either. Following the logic implied by the prosecution, the defence makes the conclusion that the witness has never had a meal during his time at Guantanamo Bay. The witness replies that this isn't correct; he gets "three squares a day". When asked how he knows where the mess hall is when it is not in the book he answers, "I guess I just followed the crowd at chow time, sir".
The film marks some superb performances by an impressive cast: Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Pollack, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland and even a small role for Cuba Gooding Jnr. The Cruise versus Nicholson courtroom showdown is built up and delivers with the sort of drama normally reserved for a Rocky film.
*Adapted from my article "Convince a Little Man: Peer Pressure in Film Drama*
I had not watched this movie for ages, had it on video and have only just repurchased on DVD. So I watched it for the first time in years the other week.
It is still simply brilliant. I watch most genres of film, but oarticularly like the ones that give you a chance to think about yourelf, how would I act, would I have done it etc. This one does that with style and finesse and I loved it.
Brief plot is as follows...2 marines are accused of killing a fellow soldier in guantanamo bay. Tom cruise character is a hotshot JAG corp lawyer who is brouht into the case as he has a tendancy to plea bargain. However this time he gets the bigger picture and an excellent courtroom drama unfolds.
Usually I don not really rate Tom Cruise, I find him really full of himself taking up too much of the valuable movie minutes, but he does tend to pick some good movies to be in! It shows that being pretty isnt the only kill you need as an actor, you need taste! now the fact that Jack Nicholson is also in this movie indicates the caliber, that the acting should be pretty easy sailing...Kevin Bacon and Demi Moore also feature.
Nicholson is amazing I have to say, I am genuinely frightened of him, and th power that he has within the miltary. I feel for Cruises character when he is about to ask the set of questions that could make or break his career. I think that Nicholson was the only person who could have been considered for this part, and the delivery and timing of his lines is exceptional, the hairs on the back of my neck are on end when he talks, he just menacing, its hard to describe, as not of his lines are particularly harsh or threatening, and the movie is not a thriller, but he scares me!
Now Demi, she just grates on me, and I dont know why, her lines seem forced and she comes accross as uncomfortable. Not just this film I must add, but in general I just cant get past it. It had a slightly negative impact on the movie for me, but it was short lived as the other characters manage to pull her out from it and her scenes are not as bad as long as you dont focus on her too much.
Some of the lines in this movie are unbelievably over quoted and therefore not being able to handle the truth in the movie doesnt have the same ring to it any more, its not quite as mindblowing or bomb-dropping as it was when the movie was first released. However the dialogue is great, and needs to be for a courtroom drama, I certainly wasnt let down by this aspect of the movie.
The story is very easy to follow, although a couple of the flashbacks, I wasnt sure were flashbacks until I took a moment to think about what had happened.
Another thing that impressed me is the fact that the director didnt feel the need to have the male and female leads sleep together in order to make a decent movie. Their relationship is platonic and proffessional, and means that there is nothing to take away from the wonderful dalogue and acting that goes on, and the story that plays out beautifully at a steady pace.
So there you have it, a great courtroom drama with a HUGE cast. it really is a must see.
After my last review of what was a dire film, Snakes ona Plane, I decided to review a much better quality one in the form of A Few Good Men. The cast list is really strong in this drama and they delivcer some powerful performances in this court room drama based around the military courts in America.
Directed by well known director Rob Reiner the film stars Tom Cruise at Lt Leutenant Daniel Kaffee who is a military lawyer and is called upon to defend two marines accused of killin a fellow soldier however his invesigations discover some hidde secrets in the military and these bring him into conflict with some senior officers and his boss Galloway played by Demi Moore and in particular Col Nathan Jessep played by the excellent Jack Nicholson. The cast list is really impressive with appearences from Kevin Bacon, Cuba Gooding and Keifer Sutherland.
This is a powerful drama and once you get past the much quoted and rather weak main lines in the film the rest of the dialogue is excellent, there are some nice touches of sarcastic humour from Cruise particularly in his dealing with Moore character and Nicholson is his smooth quality self with some polished acting and an air of menace to his character.
The film has a good pace to it and it is a dramatic film with the occasional twist to the plot. Overall a film well worth seeing and one that I have seen on a couple of occasions now and have enjoyed every time.
Last night we decided to have a night in and find a DVD to watch. Me and my boyfriend watch a lot of DVD's and as he had to be up early to go back to Bicester today we choose a film and got an early night. I have always heard of 'A few good men' but have never got round to actually watching it. Jamie said it was a really good film so I said we should watch it. The film has an ongoing list of good actors which made me feel more positive about it. Tom Cruise was the main character. I am not a huge fan of his but think he is a very good actor. The DVD cover had quite a sinister look to it. The colours are dark and the faces of three militant officers have their faces half shadowed. It looks mysterious like maybe they all have a secret. I did not recognise the director so this did not really affect my expectations of the film.
Director- Rob Reiner
Rob is an American director who has worked in all productions beginning in the late seventies. He is an actor, director and producer so has many talents. Rob has been directing for many years and although I couldn't place a face with the name I do recognise many films he has done. Some of these include- 'When Harry met Sally' 1989 and more recent the classic film- 'The Bucket List' 2007.
Writers- Aaron Sorkin
Release Date- 1 January 1993
Runtime- 138 Mins
Company- Columbia Pictures
Lt Daniel Kaffee is the son of a famous lawyer and he has now taken his fathers steps. He is given a case where a Marine was killed and two others have been accused of his murder. Even though he has no trial experience Kaffee has to defend the two accused and seek the truth. Discovering secrets and lies the two marine's future lays in the lawyers hands.
Tom Cruise- Lt Daniel Kaffee
Lt Kaffee seems to have a laid back approach to the navy life. He does not take things very seriously and it feels as if he is only in the service to do two years which would be his father's wishes. He is very sarcastic and shares a love hate relationship with Lt Cdr Galloway who has assigned him this case. She is charge of making sure he does his job. I didn't feel he was a character you connected fully with but he is very likable with the humour he uses.
Tom Cruise is a huge American star and by this point already had a reputation of success. He has been acting for many years and for those who do not know him he has starred in some of the biggest movies. Some of my favourites include- 'Valkyrie' 2008, 'Mission Impossible' films and 'The Last Samurai' 2003.
Demi Moore - Lt Cdr Joanne Galloway
Lt. Galloway is an independent and strong minded woman. She is very intelligent and is serious about her work. She has to work hard to keep Daniel's mind in the right place and for him to seek at his own talents. I didn't really seem interested in her role but found the humour between her and Daniel quite amusing.
Demi Moore is a well known actress and has had a successful career. Some of her films include- 'Mr Brooks' 2007, 'Charlie's angels 3' 2003 and 'G.I Jane' 1997.
Jack Nicholson- Col Nathan R Jessep
Kevin Bacon- Capt Jack Ross
Kiefer Sutherland- Lt Jonathan Kendrick
Cuba Gooding Jr- Cpl Carl Hanmaker
Matt Craven- Lt Dave Spradling
J.T Walsh- Lt Col Matthew Markinson
Christopher Guest- Dr Stone
The film was release in 1993 and is pretty well known. I was surprised with the amount of stars included that I had not seen it. The thriller film did surprise me though as I was not expecting it to be all about a case and lawyers.
Acting and directing
The acting was done pretty well by the entire cast. Having many well known actors made it seem easy and the characters fitted their roles well. I wasn't too sure about Demi Moore though. She does act well but I didn't really feel she may have necessarily been the right woman for it. I actually found her pretty annoying but Cruise brings the character to life with his constant joking with her, this just being one of the set backs along the way. There were outstanding performances from Jack Nicholson who always plays his roles to the best standard and also Kevin bacon.
The story was good and I found it pretty interesting. You make an assumption straight from the start what the truth is, but some twists and red herrings make you question yourself. The story doesn't really include that much and it is easy to follow. I think the dialogue was great and some of the one liner's and quotes were pretty funny. Even though it was quite slow paced and there were a lot of talking scenes, I did not really find myself bored with the story.
Main Positive points
- Interesting story
- Great cast
- Demi Moore
- Can be slow paced for some
I thought it was a pretty good film. It had plenty of interesting parts to keep you intrigued with what is happening. I liked many of the characters and thought it was a different but great story. My boyfriend loves this film and I wouldn't say I love it but would watch it again.
Thanks for reading x
Also published on Ciao under the same name
This 1992 made courtroom drama starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon and Kevin Pollak is as great to watch today as it was when first released.
The film is based on a play of the same name written by Aaron Sorkin and is directed by Ron Reiner. It runs for 138 totally gripping minutes and was nominated for (but didn't win any) 4 Oscars including for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor (Jack Nicholson).
The story, and court case, centres around the court martial of two U.S. Marines accused of murdering a fellow under performing marine and whether the murder was solely malicious or if they were acting on the orders of a senior officer.
The core theme throughout the film is the inexperienced defence lawyer Lt. Daniel Kaffee's (Tom Cruise) battle with his own self doubts about whether he is good enough to win the case and indeed whether the case is winnable at all. But the biggest battle of all and a brilliantly well thought out, well written and executed piece of cinematic Gold is the climactic interrogation of Colonel Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson) by Kaffee.
Such is the imperious magnitude of Nicholson's acting in what was not that much more than in a cameo role (appearing for just a few minutes at either end of the film) that he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor but lost out to Gene Hackman (in Unforgiven) which for what it's worth I thought was a very mediocre film that you'd have to drag me kicking and screaming to ever watch again.
A Few Good Men is one of the better court room dramas ever made I and would highly recommend it as a cracking good 2 and a bit hours of entertainment.
When I first bought 'A few Good Men' on DVD my dad swore it was the worst film he had ever seen, probably because he dislikes Jack Nicholson. I watched it later than evening and totally disagreed. if you haven't seen it, you must!
'A Few Good Men' is a unanimously acclaimed drama that highlights the dangerous and sometime precarious differences between following the orders of a military code of conduct and following one's conscience and moral code.
The films plot spawns from something that upon first glance doesn't seem like it can provide any element of drama, interest or suspense, yet 'A Few Good Men' is and probably always will be one of the best films I have ever seen.
'A Few Good Men' sees Tom Cruise in another military role, this time as Lt Daniel Kaffee, a brash, softball playing naval lawyer, who is so lazy he likes to settle everything outside of court in plea bargains (44 in 9 months). So much in fact that he's never actually seen the inside of a courtroom before. So why on earth is Kaffee the lead lawyer in a politically explosive murder case, charged with defending two marines accused of killing a fellow soldier? Is it so the case never sees the inside of a courtroom? Maybe, but simply Division believe the case is clear-cut the men are guilty.
"So this is what a courtroom looks like" Lt Kaffee
At first Danny wants to do just that, settle it out of court; he's got a ball-game next week. But despite his reservations Kaffee finds himself making an argument in court and together with his assistant and friend Sam Weinberg and a gung-ho litigator in the shape of Lt Commander Joanne Galloway (Demi Moore) he inds himself becoming more and more determined to prove their innonence. Not only for himself but for the memory of his father one of the best trial lawyers there was. But to do so he must come to terms with the Marine Corps most sacred code and confront its most formidable warrior.
Despite expectations and the preliminary judgements of his team Kaffee proves he's worth his metal in the courtroom and even shocks himself by his skills as a trial lawyer as he uses everything he knows to pin the blame elsewhere. But not simply anyway, on the right man, Colonel Jessop (Jack Nicholson).
The film is one of powerhouse performances and an outstanding supporting cast. Intense courtroom drama is superbly mixed with the humorous banter of Kaffee's law team making it compulsive viewing from the very start.
The film's final message is clear:
"You don't need a patch on your arm to have honour." Lt Kaffee
RUNNING TIME: 132 mins
I want the truth.
You can't handle the truth.
On a marine base in Guatanamo Bay, Cuba, Private William Santiago is found asphyxiated in his bed. Two fellow marines are charged with his murder. Both men insist they were only following orders.
Back in Washington, Lt Cmdr JoAnn Galloway (Demi Moore) working in Internal Affaires, is convinced the two marines charged with murder did not commit the crime and intends to defend them. But she is passed over in favour of cocky, arrogant Harvard upshot Lt Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) who prefers to settle his cases out of court with plea bargains (44 in 9 months). He is planning to do the same in this case. After all, he has an important baseball game to attend.
After interviewing the two suspects and talking to Col Jessup (Jack Nicholson), on the marine base on Cuba, Kaffee comes to the conclusion that something does not quite add up and he begins investigating. He wants to find out the truth of what really happened that night when Santiago died. Was it premeditated murder or a prank gone wrong? Or were the two marines, now accused of murder, ordered to rough up the troublemaker to teach him a lesson.
For the first time in his life, Kaffee has to enter a courtroom and argue his case and prove that his clients are not guilty.
A showdown inside the courtroom is ensuing, questioning the blind following of orders and what role honour had to play in the death of a marine.
I never actually saw it in the cinema when it first came out. Neither did I rent it out on video. I am not keen on Tom Cruise as an actor and I try and avoid him if I can. I am not keen on courtroom drama either much too long and boring in my opinion.
The movie A Few Good Men has been shown on television on a few occasions but I never managed to actually catch it. I never quite remembered when it was on and switched on some time in the middle of the movie or completely forgot about it. But I always meant to buy it on DVD so I could watch it properly from beginning to end or if needed, in stages.
Director/producer Rob Reiner (Stand By Me, When Harry Met Sally, Misery) managed to bring together a good cast for this courtroom drama. As mentioned before, we have Cruise, Moore and Nicholson in the three main roles and for most of the time, they work very well together and manage to play off each other in particular Cruise and Nicholson when they meet inside the courtroom. Demi Moore plays her part convincingly enough to make her enjoyable to watch.
We also find Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland, J T Walsh in minor roles, supporting and propping up the main characters.
The movie is around 2 hours 15 minutes long and in places can drag a little. Cuts could have been made to keep up the tension. Tom Cruise gets most of the airtime while Jack Nicholson is sadly underused in this movie. I would have preferred to see more of him and his portrayal as a hard marine colonel who only expects the best from everyone and does not tolerate failure. I particularly liked his speech at the end of the movie, powerful and convincing had it not been for the wrong reasons.
Watching this movie will leave you will a lot of questions, more than will actually get answered. The marines in this movie are portrayed as a hard bunch and anyone who doesnt fit the profile will become a victim of bullying. Whether this is standard in the US marines is something we will never find out.
Who in the year 1992, when the movie came out, had heard of Guatanamo Bay? Now everyone knows about it. And what about the blind following of orders? A lot has been written about this in the newspapers when the pictures from mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners was first made public. Wasnt there also the excuse of we were following orders?
Of course, you cant compare a movie to real life, but maybe in this case, if you read between the lines of the movie, a lot of truth was spoken. Of course, people not in the military will not understand the pressure these people are under, but this movie might answer some of the questions even though its done simply for entertainment.
(or as one of my former penfriends, who worked as a navel lawyer at the Pentagon, once said: My job is like Tom Cruises in A Few Good Men but a lot more mundane and boring)
I enjoyed watching the movie although I didnt particularly like Tom Cruise. But that is just my personal dislike for him and had nothing to do with the role he played. I have to say that he was not bad, had I felt that way I would have switched off, or at least gone fast forward through the scenes with him.
Not the best movie I have ever seen but most certainly one I would watch again.
I bought this DVD at Borders and paid £5.50. For this I only got the movie, no fancy extra bits at all. I very rarely look at the extra bits they put onto DVDs so I was not disappointed that there were none. After all, I only wanted the movie and thats what I got at a very decent price. Looking around Tesco's the other day I noticed they also have the movie with their special DVD offers.
But just for the people who need all the specs, here it comes:
Region 2 DVD PAL Europe
Running time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Dolby Digital: 5.1 Upmix (English), Surround (German, French)
Languages: English, German, French
Subtitles: 18 languages incl. English, German and French as well as Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi
Thank you for reading.
***NB- apologies for the erm rather bizarre version of this opinion that was posted before, I appear to be suffering from "sister-who-edits-serious-reviews-and-adds-gibberish-nonsense-while-i'm-i n-the-toilet-itis"*** Anyway, i'll try and retype something like what I was trying to do before. I picked up this film along with "As Good As It Gets" for £5 from Amazon (and yes, if you haven't tried it, Amazon is the place to shop for CDs, videos etc.) Basically, I found absolutely no enjoyment whatsoever in the film. It's boring, plain and simple. When I first saw the blurb for this film I thought "hmm I'm obviously gonna hate it" but for £5 with a film i really wanted to see as well - would you turn it down? Jack Nicholson is in my opinion the only thing which is of note, the rest is boring, imperialist American rubbish which is typical of just about every film like this. For me there are clear signs that a film will suck patriotic-American-style: -The US armed forces of any kind involved in any way in the film -The fact that it involves "terrorists" -The use of Cuba as aggressors towards the US (for a realistic look, try turning the picture around the other way) As well as this, the film suffers because it has Tom Cruise within its cast, which is for me always a bad sign. Anyway that's my opinion, try it if you really must. Just make sure you are a very patient person who also likes boring, propagandist films with THE MOST OBVIOUS endings.
In the 1980's and early 1990's, Tom Cruise was a member of the Hollywood bratpack, and he was more famous for his looks than his talent. He is now one of the most bankable stars in the world, and it is down to films like 'A Few Good Men' that he made this transition. Famous for 'When Harry Met Sally', Rob Reiner directs this film which defies attempts to put it into a single genre. It is a gripping courtroom drama, a powerful drama and an inventive thriller. It differs from most courtroom dramas in that a lot of the action does actually happen away from the courtroom. The film is jam packed with big names. Cruise is the star in my eyes, and he plays Daniel Kaffee, a lazy irritating military lawyer, who specialises in out of court settlements. Daniel is struggling to live up to his father who was a famed lawyer. He crosses swords so to speak with Joanne Galloway, played by Demi Moore who is an internal affairs investigator, who is brought onto a case involving the death of a marine, where the suspects are two fellow marines. The pair soon have to work together as they are recruited to defend the marines when they attend a court martial in Washington. They are joined by Sam Weinberg played by the underrated Kevin Pollack. The group realise that they are up against more than they thought. The code of conduct amongst marines means that they do not talk, even if it means they cannot save themselves, and they are such proud men that they would rather serve time in jail than break the code, and admit that they were only following orders. Kevin Bacon plays Jack Ross, the prosecutor given the job of proving the two men guilty. He takes a back seat but still puts in a powerful performance. The Guantanamo marine base where the incident happened is in Cuba, and is run by Nathan Jessup, played magnificently by Jack Nicholson. He is so over the top he nearly becomes too much, but stops just short enough to make
his character believable. He silently approves of the attack on the marine because he was not up to standard, but would never admit it. In fact a Code Red was ordered, which is an attack on a marine not meant to cause death. Kaffee and Jessup rub each other up the wrong way immediately, and the courtroom scenes between the two are electrifying and gripping. The famous final scenes are legendary and the dialogue between the two is genius. There are times when you think that the inevitable romance will happen with Cruise and Moore, but Reiner resists the temptation. The story is based on fact, and the screenplay was written by Aaron Sorkin. While the script is responsible for the tension, it is also responsible for some very memorable lines, witty and otherwise. The film received Oscar nominations for Best Picture, and Best Supporting Actor for Jack Nicholson. Cruise is a revelation in this role, and commands the film. Even Moore, who is not the strongest actress works well alongside Cruise in one of her best performances to date. The supporting cast are strong and do an excellent job. One of my favourite actors, Keifer Sutherland appears as Lt John James Kendrick, helps to make what is quite a lengthy film at nearly two and a half hours fly by, and make this a thoroughly enjoyable film which I can watch time and time again.
Crikey, it's been a while since I've written one of these bad boys, so you'll excuse me if I'm a little review-rusty... Fingering through my ever-expanding film collection a couple of nights back, I came across an old fave which I decided to give a long-awaited run out. 'A Few Good Men' is the movie in question, and what a little corker it is. I don't know what it is exactly, but there's something about a good courtroom drama that gets me going something proper. Tom Cruise plays Lieutenant Daniel Kaffey, a talented yet cocky Naval defence lawyer handed the unenviable task of defending two marines who admit that their actions lead to the death of a fellow officer. The proposed (and entirely truthful) defence is that the two in question were ordered by their superior to "rough up" their colleague in order to "teach him a lesson". What follows is a battle for justice which draws the viewer in by surprise. It's hard to lay a finger on exactly what makes this film work so well, but it just kind of "clicks". Certainly, a solid cast goes a long way to helping proceedings. Heavily underrated Kevin Pollack joins the somewhat less impressive Demi Moore to beef out Kaffey's legal team, whereas the Marine superiors as accused by Kaffey et al are portrayed brilliantly by a menacing Kiefer Sutherland and a superbly OTT Jack Nicholson, who adds to his tally of truly memorable roles with the highly decorated Colonel Nathan R. Jessep. Further support comes in smaller doses from Kevin Bacon, Noah Wyle, Cuba Gooding Jr. and the sadly missed J T Walsh. An impressively assembled cast - helped infinitely by an unexpectedly witty script. Ok, so a courtroom drama by rights shouldn't be the basis for an amusing film, but why fly with convention? Cruise is genuinely superb, reveling in his role - delivering the wisecracks to perfection with a comic timing all too rare, but also able
to switch on the full drama demanded by such a storyline. His performance in the final courtroom scene has been traditionally overshadowed by Nicholson's solid gold delivery, but watch again - Cruise is with old Jack every step of the way here. Don't get me wrong, I'm not Cruise's biggest fan, but I can't help but feel that certain people irrationally steer clear of his films. This work shows just how talented he can be in the right role. The film weighs in at just shy of two hours and twenty minutes, but captures the attention throughout - thankfully there are no real dips in the action. I think perhaps my respect for this film is helped immeasurably by the lack of a love story between Cruise and Moore. All the signs are there - they're forced to work together, hate each other at first, become closer - but then nothing. They become friends. What a novel concept. For once, movie makers haven't taken the easy way out and thrown in a love story that would ultimately detract from the main tale's importance. The scriptwriters get a big thumbs up from me. Even better, a one man standing ovation. I know it's a small detail, but it makes all the difference. Ok, so the soundtrack isn't anything special, and Rob Reiner's direction is far from flashy - but we don't need grand camera sweeps or mood music, just point the camera at Nicholson and Cruise and let the sparks fly - and my, how they do. Superb stuff them - highly recommended to those who have avoided it in the past. This is no bog-standard courtroom drama.
A Few Good Men is probably the best film to come out of 1992 ( Malcolm X gives it a run for it's money ) and if it's not, then it's certainly the most entertaining. Rob Reiner has never made a bad film and this one doesn't disappoint. If you want to see what this film wants to say then just examine the first five minutes as the opening credits are flashing on screen. We see a military base where the soldiers are going through a routine with their rifles that requires precision, teamwork and explicit trust in your comrades. Every twirl of the rifle is timed perfectly, every movement is choreographed to perform a symphony or a baleigh of hardware. What does this have to with the rest of the film? Simply, in the military you are not taught to think, you are nothing but a machine and you do as you are told. The cohesiveness of the unit depends on you, just as it does everyone else. You fail or disobey an order and the whole team ( unit ) suffers for it. This subtle visual is a perfect way to start the film. I have to say that even though AFGM is a very serious movie with many important social issues, it is probably one of the funniest dramas I have ever seen. Tom Cruise is absolutely perfect and he and Kevin Pollack seem to feed off of each other. There is a particularly funny scene that does not involve Cruise of Pollack, but Demi Moore of all people ( who knew she was good at comedy? ). She is pitching herself to the men in charge as the logical choice to represent the two accused marines. The guys in charge listen intently to her and then one of them says " Commander Galloway why don't you go get yourself some coffee. " " No thank you sir, I'm fine. " she replies. " Commander Galloway I'd like you to leave the room so we can talk about you behind your back. " It is a perfect scene. What really makes AFGM so rich is the acting and the script. Aaron Sorkin has writte
n a script here that is smart, wickedly funny and poignant all wrapped in one. He has a great ear for comedy and he gives his actors much to work with. I really hoped that this film was going to be nominated for best screenplay ( was it, I forget ). Every actor in here is perfect as well. From Cruise, Nicholson, Moore, Bacon, Sutherland, Bacon and Walsh down to the cameos like Cuba Gooding Jr. and Noah Wyle, every performance hits all the right notes. If you like a film with rich performances, a witty script and wonderful direction then you can't go wrong here. A Few Good Men is a great film and should be enjoyed by everyone. " I eat breakfast 300 yards away from 4000 Cubans that were trained to kill me. So don't think for one second you can come down here, flash a badge and scare me. " What a great scene! What a great movie.