Film: A Few Good Men

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Film:

A Few Good Men

Director: Rob Reiner
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Genres:
Distributor: Sony Pictures

A U.S. soldier is dead, and military lawyers Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee and Lieutenant Commander JoAnne Galloway want to know who killed him. “You want the truth?” snaps Colonel Jessup (Jack Nicholson). “You can’t handle the truth!” Astonishingly, Jack Nicholson’s legendary performance as a military tough guy in A Few Good Men really amounts to a glorified cameo: he’s only in a few scenes. But they’re killer scenes, and the film has much more to offer. Tom Cruise (Kaffee) shines as a lazy lawyer who rises to the occasion, and Demi Moore (Galloway) gives a…

Reviews

Amazon.com

A U.S. soldier is dead, and military lawyers Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee and Lieutenant Commander JoAnne Galloway want to know who killed him. “You want the truth?” snaps Colonel Jessup (Jack Nicholson). “You can’t handle the truth!” Astonishingly, Jack Nicholson’s legendary performance as a military tough guy in A Few Good Men really amounts to a glorified cameo: he’s only in a few scenes. But they’re killer scenes, and the film has much more to offer. Tom Cruise (Kaffee) shines as a lazy lawyer who rises to the occasion, and Demi Moore (Galloway) gives a command performance. Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland, J.T. Walsh, and Cuba Gooding Jr. (of Jerry Maguire fame) round out the superb cast. Director Rob Reiner poses important questions about the rights of the powerful and the responsibilities of those just following orders in this classic courtroom drama.

Barnes and Noble

A taut script and bravura performances distinguish Rob Reiner’s masterfully directed adaptation of the award-winning play written by West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin. Tom Cruise heads the powerhouse cast, portraying a callow Navy lawyer who defends two young Marines accused of murdering a fellow Leatherneck on their Guantánamo Bay base. Although he’s got only three major scenes, Jack Nicholson sparkles as the stern commanding officer, a much-decorated veteran who resents Cruise’s intimation that the accidental death resulted from the misinterpretation of orders from higher-ups. Nicholson’s fiery courtroom confrontation with Cruise precipitates a shattering climax, and it has come to rank among the most memorable sequences in any Hollywood movie. The direction by Reiner (The American President) is assured but unobtrusive, relying more on the forcefulness of Sorkin’s screenplay and the skill of a stellar ensemble cast (which also includes Demi Moore, Kevin Pollak, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland, and J. T. Walsh) than on flashy camera moves. Solid and unpretentious, albeit somewhat floridly melodramatic in spots, A Few Good Men certainly makes riveting entertainment, but it also reminds us that courage, honor, and integrity are virtues worth defending—even when the defenders themselves are the ones making mistakes. The Special Edition DVD includes a feature-length commentary by Reiner and a documentary entitled “Code of Conduct.”


Ed Hulse

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