Movie Review – A Few Good Men (1992)


When ‘they’ say a movie is as good as its script, ‘they’ are correct. And when you throw in some brilliant acting by some veteran actors, you’ve got yourself a masterpiece.

A Few Good Men is just that, a masterpiece. This meaty, juicy story of fight for justice of two unfortunate soldiers who are pitted against the head of the battalion, shines in all its glory as actors like Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise & Demi Moore do complete justice to it.

The story revolves around the plight of two soldiers who are ordered to basically rag a member of their battalion (informally called code red) since he hasn’t been living up to the expectations of the group and is accused of breaking the chain of command. They do as they are told but in the course of events the victim dies and the two soldiers are taken into custody on account of murder charges.

Then comes in picture, the idealistic lawyer Demi Moore who believes that the soldiers are innocent and wants to handle the case herself. But the superiors consider a young, brash & over-confident lawyer (Tom Cruise) better suited to take the job. After initial ego clashes both Demi Moore & Tom Cruise’s characters decide to call it a truce.

Though Tom initially believes the case to be a sure-shot defeat in his otherwise victory laden career, he later after an emotional turmoil realizes that he can win it and sees it as a means to make his father proud, who also was a respected lawyer.

People who love courtroom dramas and even those who don’t would enjoy this movie equally. Jack Nicholson’s has given one of the most brilliant performance as Col. Jessup who is a stuck up, highly egoistic, pain in the ass superior and holds respect above everything else. If it weren’t for his character, the movie wouldn’t have been what it is. In fact the viewer waits for his face-off with Tom cruise in the court.

And a bonus for the female viewers, Tom Cruise looks like a dream. Ah! The good ol’ days before the couch-jumping incident.

It is a classic that anybody can watch and enjoy irrespective of age or taste.

Trivia:

  • IMDB Rating – 7.6/10
  • Tom Cruise‘s Jack Nicholson impersonation (when his character is quoting Col. Jessup) was not scripted.
  • A love scene between Demi Moore and Tom Cruise was planned but was not done because the movie didn’t really call for it.
  • When searching for an appropriate setting for the trial, the producers learned that regular military courtrooms are plain and featureless offices. In order to create a more photogenic setting, they settled on a vacant courtroom in an empty courthouse.
  • Jack Nicholson repeated his famous courtroom monologue as Col. Jessep off-camera several times so Rob Reiner could film the reactions of other actors from various angles. Nicholson’s memorable on-camera performance was filmed last, but according to Reiner and the other cast members, Nicholson gave it his all every take as if he was on camera.
  • The word “sir” is used 164 times during the movie. That’s an average of once every 50 seconds.
  • The movie’s line “You can’t handle the truth!” was voted as the #29 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
  • The original play “A Few Good Men” by Aaron Sorkin opened at the Music Box Theater on November 15, 1989 and ran for 497 performances.
  • June 2008 Ranked #5 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 10 greatest films in the genre “Courtroom Drama”.
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