In this dramatic courtroom thriller, Lt. Daniel Kaffee, a Navy lawyer who has never seen the inside of the courtroom, defends two stubborn Marines who have been accused of murdering a colleague. Kaffee is known as being lazy and had arranged for a plea bargain. Downeys Aunt Ginny appoints Cmdr. Galloway to represent him. Also on the legal staff is Lt. Sam Weinberg. The team rounds up many facts and Kaffee is discovering that he is really cut out for trial work. The defense is originally based upon the fact that PFC Santiago, the victim, was given a CODE RED. Santiago was basically a screw-up. At Gitmo, screw-ups arent tolerated. Especially by Col. Nathan Jessup. In Cuba, Jessup and two senior officers try to give all the help they can, but Kaffee knows somethings fishy. In the conclusion of the film, the fireworks are set off by a confrontation between Jessup and Kaffee.
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A very, very well done courtroom drama, that moves beyond, but is stillsomewhat constricted by, its theatrical origins.The story is fairly simple and straightforward. Two marines in GuantanomoBay, Cuba, internally and physically discipline a wayward marine, who thendies. The marines are then tried for murder as the COlonel in charge of thebase heads a conspiracy to deny that the junior marines were acting underorders from their superior officers. What has occurred is very clearlyspelled out in several introductory scenes, so the main suspense is whetherthe truth will come to light.The main star is Aaron Sorkin's screenplay which, as is his style,positively crackles with many memorable exchanges and witty banter. The onlyshortcoming is mentioned below. Tom Cruise is fairly good as the juniorlawyer who everyone expected to plea-bargain the case, and Jack Nicholson isbrilliant in only four scenes as the iron-willed Colonel who reserves theright to order soldiers in his own way. The supporting roles are the bestof almost any movie of the last 20 years : Kevin Pollack, J.T. Walsh, NoahWyle, Cuba Gooding Jr., Christopher Guest, Xander Berkeley. Kevin Bacon isvery underrated as the prosecutor with a conscience and radiates a powerfulmagnetism in a negotiation with Cruise outside a basketballgame.All of which brings me to the single but glaring shortcoming of the movie -Demi Moore's character. For starters, Demi Moore simply cannot act verywell. I have not liked a single movie that she has ever been in with theexception of this one. However, the blame for her role must be placed atthe feet of Mr Sorkin. Moore's character is one of the most disappointingfemale leads in recent memory. She is portrayed as overly emotional,unconfident, as having 'passion but no street-smarts'. Through the courseof the movie she is clearly shown to make two major blunders through thecourse of the trial. This would all be forgiven if it was part of a majorcharacter arc, but her character does not change at all throughout themovie. At the end, she simply gazes adoringly at Cruise, presumably becausehe rescued her from her own incompetence. I suppose she was meant toprovide some sort of moral compass for Cruise's character, but it escapes mewhy passion must so obviously be married with incompetence.Still, an extremely good, well-written and well-acted film.8/10
You want the truth? This special edition DVD improves upon the bare bones version issued a while back, but how much of an improvement is it? There's a great film transfer and a great interview segment with director Rob Reiner and writer Aaron Sorkin in which they discuss how the story went from stage to screen. What's disappointing is Rob Reiner's running commentary. For the most part, he talks only when the characters aren't talking, and being that every character has a soliloquy in almost every scene, Rob doesn't get a chance to say much. When he does, it's something to the effect of "We were very fortunate to get all of these great actors," and he doesn't give much insight to the filmmaking process. It's almost as if he's watching it for the first time in a while, when he would have done better to watch, make notes, and then go back for the commentary. I've heard Rob's commentaries before on laserdiscs for "The Princess Bride" and "This is Spinal Tap," and they were great. Perhaps since most of his movies are being reissued on DVD, he recorded all of the commentaries at one time and was tired by the time the got to this one. Columbia would have done better to get someone in the room with him, like Aaron Sorkin, to play off of and to help fill the dead air time. Sorkin did participate in the 2 documentaries, but must have been too involved with "The West Wing" to do much more. If you want answers and normally look for them in the running commentary, you'll be disappointed. What you will find are a couple of nice, short documentaries, and a good copy of a good movie.
They say that every movie that Starr Jack Nicholson is a good one andwho am I to disagree but this is a masterpiece. Although it is nothingnew for good old Jack to play in the movie his amazing screen presenceand facial expression is what makes the movie work for me. I also haveto say Thumbs up for Cruise. He gets an awful lot of stick from thecritics often but I think he is a great actor and, lets face it, if youplay alongside Nicholson you have to be able to pull it off and he did.I loved the movie from start to finish. What I liked best is the factthat one can enjoy the movie without having to like the army or marineor something along those lines. It wasn't patronizing orover-dramatizing the situation, it was believable from the first minuteto the last.
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 offight for justice of two unfortunate soldiers who are pitted againstthe head of the battalion, shines in all its glory as actors like JackNicholson, Tom Cruise & Demi Moore do complete justice to it.The story revolves around the plight of two soldiers who are ordered tobasically rag a member of their battalion (informally called code red)since he hasn't been living up to the expectations of the group and isaccused of breaking the chain of command. They do as they are told butin the course of events the victim dies and the two soldiers are takeninto custody on account of murder charges.Then comes in picture, the idealistic lawyer Demi Moore who believesthat the soldiers are innocent and wants to handle the case herself.But the superiors consider a young, brash & over-confident lawyer (TomCruise) better suited to take the job. After initial ego clashes bothDemi Moore & Tom Cruise's characters decide to call it a truce.Though Tom initially believes the case to be a sure-shot defeat in hisotherwise victory laden career, he later after an emotional turmoilrealizes that he can win it and sees it as a means to make his fatherproud, who also was a respected lawyer.People who love courtroom dramas and even those who don't would enjoythis movie equally. Jack Nicholson's has given one of the mostbrilliant performance as Col. Jessup who is a stuck up, highlyegoistic, pain in the ass superior and holds respect above everythingelse. If it weren't for his character, the movie wouldn't have beenwhat it is. In fact the viewer waits for his face-off with Tom cruisein 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 ortaste.
A good adaptation of Aaron Sorkin's play, A Few Good Men. Rob Reiner does a great job creating a suspenseful, entertaining tale of a fence line shooting at a Guantanimo Bay marine base. Sorkins dialogue sparkles as it always does. The sound is particularly strong technical high point. Jack Nicholson does a great job as Col. Nathan Jessup, the base commander. This role earned him a well-deserved Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. Tom Cruise, Keifer Sutherland, and Kevin Bacon all have respectable performances. The only true weak spot in the film is yet another wooden, one-dimensional performance by Demi Moore.
This review is from: A Few Good Men (Special Edition) (DVD) A great movie that's well worth the watch and definitely for your pure entertainment value alone; see this movie now!
This review is from: A Few Good Men [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray) I am rewriting this review because I found that the problem was with my bluray player, NOT the BluRay disc. I have a Panosonic Bluray that doesn't communicate with my LG TV correctly. It will NOT show any DVD in the 16:9 ratio. Why? According to LG Panasonic software needs an update. They had the same problem with their BluRay players and an update solve it. Panasonic denies there IS a problem. So, in short, the movie is great if your hardware has the right software!I want to thank the person who wrote the comments about the aspect ratios. Because of your comments, I went to find out what was wrong. As I said, I thought it was the disc, it was the bluray player!
This review is from: A Few Good Men (Special Edition) (DVD) This is a great movie and I really like it - It is for adults though. I was pleased with my purchase!
When I was 20, I thought "The Godfather" was the best film ever madeand I was convinced, that this movie is unsurpassable. When I got 30, Isaw "The Shawshenk Redemption" and thought this is the first film,which could challenge that movie. Now, when I got 40, I saw this movieon TV and I was surprised, that I haven't seen this jewel of moviesbefore. The plot is quite simple, an American soldiers has been killedbut the army is interested to burke the murder by offering benignantpunishment to the accused delinquents. What happens is, that thetypical David vs. Goliath - situation arises, but the turnarounds,which occur, the savvy with which the characters act is incomparable. Iwonder why this movie has not received any academy awards as thismovie, with the 'artistic' highly performing actors as Tom Cruise, DemiMoore, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon and Jack Nicholson is one of thebest I have ever seen. This is an unforgettable movie. See it!
This movie is one of my all time favorites, and the acting is done so well in this movie that it makes the viewer feel very involved. This movie is longer than average, but it doesn't feel like because the viewer does not get lost. It based on true story, and who does not like these kind of movies? Our favorite bad guy (Jack Nicholson) is in it, Tome Cruise gives us one his greatest performances ever as a lawyer, and Kevin Bacon and Demi Moore give some fine performances as well. This movie is a better deal on DVD because you get the Widescreen and Full screen version on one disc. If you like Crimson Tide, The Firm, or Rainmaker, you will love this movie on DVD!
A Few Good Men" is director Rob Reiner's high octane murder mystery set against the backdrop of betrayal and protocol inside a military base. It pits clean cut military defense attorney, Lt. Daniel Kaffie (Tom Cruise) against an unscrupulous military strategist, Col Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson). After a cadet is hazed to death, the soldiers responsible are brought to a military tribunal for justice. But did the soldiers in question act alone, or was there a more sinister motive behind their action. Demi Moore costars as defense co-council, Lt. Cmdr. JoAnne Galloway. She's unimpressed by Kaffie's devil-may-care attitude toward the case but also realizes that Kaffie's skills as a legal strategist are just what's required for an acquittal. The film essentially boils down to 2 parts Perry Mason, 1 part melodrama with tensions taut and running higher as the case reaches its climactic showdown. Even if "you can't handle the truth" you'll become completely engrossed in the finely wrought performances and magnificent pacing of the whole affair. Columbia's original bare bones DVD release of "A Few Good Men" was a near pristine effort with bold, rich colors, exceptional contrast and shadow delineation, smooth deep and solid black levels and an amazing lack of edge enhancement and pixelization. This new collector's series DVD is a carbon copy of that transfer. There are a few forgivable exceptions. The original DVD contained nearly 60 chapter stops, an ample selection by any standard. On this DVD we get less than 30 chapters, presumably so that the extra added features could be squeezed onto the same side of the disc. Extras included several featurettes, theatrical trailers, audio commentaries and an isolated music track. All in all this is a nicely packaged DVD with nothing really to complain about. If any complaint can be lodged it is that Columbia ought to have provided consumers with a special edition from the start and forgo any plans to revisit this title as a remastered Superbit. The studio's theory behind multiple copies is pure profit.
I still don't understand the popularity of A Few Good Men. The story isformulaic, the acting is average (save Nicholson's performance), and thefilm looks like a TV show from an aesthetical basis. Tom Cruise and DemiMoore have no idea how to act, and their good looks are quite out of placein a film of such a nature. The only good scene is Nicholson's famousyelling toward the end of the film. But it seems to me to be a waste oftimeto watch a movie just to hear one lousy line that we've all heard so manytimes.
A riveting plot, a well-written script, and superbly acted. But full ofa number of technical military protocol gaffs. First, there was aninordinate use of first names. Even peers in the enlisted ranks of theMarine Corps, unless they hang out and party together in small numbers,seldom use first names, even among themselves. And, while officersoften used first names among themselves, they would NEVER do so withenlisted personnel, regardless of the personal relationship.Second, the movie contains a spate of improper military titles. Forexample, the two accused Marines were a PFC and lance corporalrespectively. PFC (private first class) and "private" are not the samerank, and PFC Downey was constantly demoted when he was often addressedas "private." That would never happen in the Marine Corps. And on atleast one occasion, Lance Corporal Dawson (a non-NCO) was promoted intothe NCO ranks when he was addressed once as "corporal." In fact, at onetime, LtJG Kaffee made reference to LCpl Dawson not being promoted to"full corporal" (taken, presumably, from the term "full colonel" inofficers' ranks), but an enlisted term never actually heard outside ofHollywood.Finally, at one point Tom Cruise's Lt.JG Kaffee said, "Don't look at melike I just asked you to clean a latrineÂ " (or words to that effect).There are NO latrines in the Navy OR the Marine Corps. Those facilitiesare called "heads" and only heads. At least this movie didn't repeatthe most common inter-service gaff by using "AWOL" instead of "UA."Explanation: AWOL (absent without leave) is an Army and Air Force termwhile UA (unauthorized absence) is the Navy / Marine counterpart. All of these notwithstanding, it's still an outstanding production!
This review is from: A Few Good Men [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray) This is one from the 90's an oldie but goodie for you people that may have missed out on it. Bluray transfer is good nice and crispy!
Some of my friends don't like Tom Cruise, but I don't really care what theythink because this is a great movie and Tom Cruise is awesome in it. Samegoes for the other characters as well, especially Jack Nicholson. If you arethe kind of guy that likes court room thrillers this is absolutely the moviefor you. Great acting, a great script and just in all a very entertainingmovie from beginning to end. Tom Cruise plays Lt. Daniel Kaffe, a navylawyer who gets the case of his life when two army guys get charge withmurder of a fellow soldier. In the beginning it looks like a straightforward case, but is it? I am not going to spoil anything else so go ahead,rent it or buy it. You won't regret it. And if you do, something is wrongwith you :P I rate this movie 8/10
I felt the script was very bad. Unrealistically verbose dialoguepermeates. Much cringing by the viewer ensues, assuming the viewer isof normal intelligence. It's not a good deal.It's always hard to properly apportion blame in a film like this amongscript, acting, or directing. But it's pretty clear that somecombination of all three were at work here.Amongst the performers, Demi Moore was particularly bad. Over-dramaticoften, barely able to articulate some of her longer lines, she wasnotably substandard, in part because some of her lines were just kindof stupid. Tom Cruise, not a particularly great actor by any measure, was notparticularly great here either, again with the script issue nothelping. Even Nicholson appeared to have a little twinge of unnaturalness in thefamous courtroom scene near the end. Ultimately, the director shouldhave shot some of these scenes over again. But, in fairness, it wouldhave been difficult to make a good film out of a script like this.The courtroom scenes are jarringly unrealistic, in terms of legalprocedure. The judge character had some of the dumbest lines of thefilm. The courtroom scenes are so bad that they almost appear to be aparody of the many notably unrealistic courtroom scenes in Hollywoodfilms throughout the years. Even if intended as parody, it still missedthe mark, because it's not funny, intentionally or otherwise.The plot was totally dumb. I don't want to spoil anything, so I can'tget into the details of the plot here, but it's just really dumb.Combined with the overly dramatic dialogue that no human would everactually say, the film just seemed, all-in-all, like it was intendedfor an audience of children or stupid people.There is really nothing of much value here, and you should skip thisfilm and use the 2 hours to watch a different movie. It does have somevalue however as a litmus test. Be wary of recommendations from thoseyou know who claim that this is a good film, or even an acceptable one.There is nothing acceptable about garbage like this. I have enjoyed some of Reiner's other films. I can't believe this onehas such a high rating here at IMDb. Yet another example of IMDb.com'sratings meaning nothing, at least some of the time. This film totallystinks.
This is, quite simply, a great film. Strong characters, great performancesall around, a wonderful script. Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise's exchangeinthe courtroom is already a film classic.What strikes me most, though, is the casting. Rob Reiner was eitherbrilliant and inspired in his selection of actors for this film, or he wascompletely nuts and got damn lucky. Tom Cruise and Nicholson...no bigdeal.Pretty obvious choices. But Demi Moore as Jo? Never before or since didsheplay such a heavy role, or one where her sexuality really plays no part.Kevin Pollack? Other than "The Usual Suspects" I never saw him in anythingbut comedies. But to take the risk of casting Wolfgang Bodison in the keyrole of Harold Dawson in his first film, Reiner shows incredibleinspiration. The thing is- they all work.
This was originally a play. It looks like it was written for a high school production. I mean, the final "confession" is based on such a flimsy strategy, it's RIDICULOUS! Tom Cruise sucks, as usual. I mean, acting 101 tells you that when you're trying to look strong and forceful in a scene: DON'T BLINK. And there Tom Cruise is, blinking like a stoplight in the final showdown courtroom scene, when he's supposed to appear forceful. (To anyone who doubts me, rent LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, and study Peter O'Toole's strong unblinking performance). The technicians on this film give the film a nice look, and it's they who are worth praising...and some of the actors. I can handle that truth. Can you?
This review is from: A Few Good Men [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray) This film is one the more recent "Classics" with all actors providing stellar performances, particularly the court room action. Jack Nicholson at his very best.
"A Few Good Men" is, in my opinion, the best courtroom drama ever. It hasagreat screenplay and wonderful performances from Cruise, Moore, andNicholson. it deals with complex military issues yet it is easy tounderstand and follow. How can a movie with Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholsongowrong? ****(four stars)