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Cocktail

Cocktail (1988)

tomatometer

5

Average Rating: 3.8/10
Reviews Counted: 40
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 38

There are no surprises in Cocktail, a shallow, dramatically inert romance that squanders Tom Cruise's talents in what amounts to a naive barkeep's banal fantasy.

0

Average Rating: 4.8/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 12

There are no surprises in Cocktail, a shallow, dramatically inert romance that squanders Tom Cruise's talents in what amounts to a naive barkeep's banal fantasy.

audience

59

liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 106,248

My Rating

Movie Info

Tom Cruise juggles Martini shakers and ice cubes as the materialistic Brian Flanagan, a bartender who drops out of school to search for the perfect "rich chick" who will bankroll him into luxury. Brian meets up with bar veteran Doug Couglin (Bryan Brown) and they put together a dance-duo bar-tending act, taking five minutes to a mix a drink as they dance and toss gin bottles behind the bar to cutting-edge rock music circa 1988. The patrons, instead of demanding the booze, are dazzled by their

R,

Drama, Romance

Aug 13, 2002

Touchstone Pictures

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All Critics (40) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (2) | Rotten (38) | DVD (4)

Cocktail is a bottle of rotgut in a Dom Perignon box.

May 21, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The pairing of old-hand Brown and young-hand Cruise may have been meant to remind us of Cruise and Paul Newman; if so, think of this as The Color of Counterfeit Money.

May 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It may not be a megaton bomb, but Cocktail is definitely of the Molotov type.

May 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Very, very stupid.

May 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cruise is beguiling with his smile and his swagger, but the script doesn't take us anywhere fresh when it leaves the barroom.

May 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This vacant, misshapen film is basically an extended beer commercial that presents the world as a ludicrous place populated by sex-and-cash-and-booze-crazed zomboids. Cruise, meanwhile, comes off as a somewhat taller Spuds MacKenzie.

May 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Perhaps the best one can say for this bland concoction mixed by agents and the studio executives is that every bartender in Hollywood wants to be Tom Cruise and that suffices as an ironic subtext.

May 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

The philosopher Hannah Arendt once wrote a book about the banality of evil. After seeing Cocktail, I want to write one about the evil of banality.

May 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

If they gave you this in a bar, you'd send it back.

May 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

With no fewer than 17 of Donaldson's favorite rock songs and a complete lack of dramatic impetus, Cocktail would fare better as an extended-play music video.

May 21, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

If some other drug were treated this way in a movie, lots of outraged people -- including parents and politicians -- would be up in arms. But it's only alcohol, the reasoning seems to go, so it's all harmless fun.

May 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

Cruise oozes as much charm as in Top Gun and The Colour of Money, but the mix of bar-acrobatics and Caribbean love isn't anywhere near strong enough to get you drunk.

May 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Cruise's name on the marquee is plenty to insure the success of the film, even if it is lopsided, shallow, and slips the audience a Mickey Finn at the outset.

May 21, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

It's the bartending antics and musical backdrops that make the film entertaining. Without them, "Cocktail" is just another beer gone flat.

June 29, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

A Razzie Award winner for Worst Picture (over Burt Reynolds' non-nominated Rent-a-Cop? Please.) and Worst Screenplay (more deserving).

June 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Stupid vanity film for Cruise at his worst.

September 11, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Cocktail

What has Mr Cruise done to blokes over the years huh. He made us all wanna join the military so we could play with fighter jets and have a cool nickname, play/hustle nine-ball for a living, be a NASCAR driver...but at one point he also made all men wanna become bartenders. The image...behind a slick neon lit bar, fast money and easy sex, who would say no?.

Well the plot in this ever so 80's flick is a cocktail of drama in itself!. Kicks off as a loose dumb story about a young guy who learns to be a bartender and throws bottles around awful looking swanky yuppie/suit type bars. From there we get cheating, backstabbing and escapism to Jamaica where a soppy love story breaks out.
More backstabbing follows as we proceed to more heartbreak and the involvement with older rich women, much more fun then. Yet more breakup, death of a friend and eventual makeup leading to the obvious happy ending.

A veritable rollercoaster of a plot which is totally uninteresting and rather cringeworthy. Watching Cruise pose and strut around with his wide toothy grin and hair that can't decide to be straight or curly is somewhat painful at times. The bar scenes are really quite crap looking back, I remember how people thought this stuff was sooooo cool (laugh out loud!).

The cast is also another odd cocktail of choice. Aussie Bryan Brown who never really made much of a splash in Hollywood is a bizarre choice. Whilst Shue was never very attractive in my book and hardly sells her character, so dreadfully vanilla and dull!! geez!!. Brown is just totally uncool and annoying whilst Shue is a wet fish. Add to that the constant flow of hyped over acting and mugging by Cruise...oh god it makes you wanna vomit in your Singapore Sling!.

A film for the ladies I think as the only things that interested me was a few female arse shots and the thought of what life would be like as a sex toyboy for a rich middle aged business woman (I would of stuck it out). In places this film is very awkward to watch, bordering on embarrassing. So completely and utterly dated (in a bad way) and serves no purpose other than a history lesson on 80's social gatherings and what people thought was cool employment at the time.

A time when Cruise's ego was sky high alongside his over acting, mind you what's new.
September 21, 2012
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

It's always an eye opening experience when you enjoy a film that you know you should hate. Such is the self hatred roller coaster of Cocktail, a very basic and uninspiring premise, also poorly executed, but way too much fun with its camp and cast of characters to incite the usual villagers with torches effect. Yes, the eighties were an especially grotesque time for cinema, including sex fueled debauchery, consumerism going hand in hand with Reagan economics, and some mind altering soundtracks and scores, all synth, all the time. Cocktail gravitates towards these pitfalls with great ease, but never quite makes it into awful, mostly because of the intriguing cast. The plot itself is nauseating, starting off as a great story of a bartender following his dream of wealth and power. Instead of climbing the ladder, or at least cultivating a "there's more to life than money" mentality, our protagonist becomes ever more unlikable, a lady's man so in your face it's an ugly portrayal. Somehow we bounce between New York City and Jamaica, but not in a timeline that makes any sense, including a romance with Elisabeth Shue's character. It's because Tom Cruise can pull off cocky in almost all roles, and Shue is the obliged girl next door, that this is a cult success. Even though the story, with all the rags to riches mentality, but none of the follow through, is based on Cruise's character, it just isn't juicy enough for the audience. There's so much materialistic buildup from our hero, that his subsequent behavior and that of the other characters is sickening, especially Shue's. Still, anything with Cruise in the eighties includes an eyeful of neon and that quirky grin, which is enough for any woman with an open mind.
August 22, 2011
FrizzDrop

Super Reviewer

One of the best romantic films ever made. I'm in love with this film and Tom Cruise was exceptional.
June 23, 2011
murphmann93
Bethany Murphy

Super Reviewer

    1. Brian Flanagan: It always ends bad, otherwise it wouldn't end.
    – Submitted by Jessica G (22 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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