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An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)

tomatometer

81

Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 27
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 5

Old-fashioned without sacrificing its characters to simplicity, An Officer and a Gentleman successfully walks the fine line between sweeping romance and melodrama.

50

Average Rating: 9/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 3

Old-fashioned without sacrificing its characters to simplicity, An Officer and a Gentleman successfully walks the fine line between sweeping romance and melodrama.

audience

81

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 50,481

My Rating

Movie Info

Richard Gere plays Zack Mayo, an aloof, taciturn man who aspires to be a navy pilot. Once he's arrived at training camp for his 13-week officer's course, Mayo runs afoul of abrasive, no-nonsense drill sergeant Emil Foley (Louis Gossett Jr.). Mayo --or "Mayonnaise," as he is dubbed by the irascible Foley -- is an excellent cadet, but a little cold around the heart. Foley rides Mayo mercilessly, sensing that the young man would be prime officer material if he weren't so self-involved. Zack's

R,

Drama, Action & Adventure, Romance

Dec 12, 2000

Paramount Pictures

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All Critics (27) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (5) | DVD (16)

It is full of bang-on melodramatics and simple, romanticized characters with carefully supplied motivations.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Taylor Hackford's 1982 film is an awesomely, stiflingly professional piece of work, with a fleet, superficial visual style, perfectly placed climaxes, and a screenplay that doesn't waste a single character or situation.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Rarely does a film come along with so many finely-drawn characters to care about.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Macho, materialistic, and pro-militarist, it's an objectionable little number made all the more insidious by the way Hackford pulls the strings and turns it into a heart-chilling weepie.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An Officer and a Gentleman is the best movie about love that I've seen in a long time. Maybe that's because it's not about "love" as a Hollywood concept, but about love as growth, as learning to accept other people for who and what they are.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comment (1)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A conventional but hugely compelling drama.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a straight-out drama in the old Hollywood style. As such, it works fairly well, though its lapses in taste are sour reminders of the subtlety Hollywood has lost in recent years.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

Phenomenally successful at the time of its release, but increasingly dated-looking.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Not even the combined talents of Debra Winger and an Oscar-winning Louis Gossett Jr can turn this one into a great movie, but if you're in the mood for a wallow, it's perfect.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

An Officer and a Gentleman is a 1980s version that doesn't tamper much with the formula, but it does revitalize it, thanks to the erotic teamwork of Richard Gere and Debra Winger.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

The performances are uniformly strong, with Gere offering some of his best work -- though it pales in comparison with Gossett's tour de force as the tough, principled Sgt. Foley.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

So-so coming-of-age military flick; not for kids.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Its famous ending may be hokey, but in a movie this honest, it couldn't feel more right.

March 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Blue-collar fairy tale: Richard Gere is the frog-prince and Debra Winger is Cinderella in this extremely old-fashioned yet enjoyable movie, whose few modernist touches are a black sergeant, rougher lingo, and more vivid sexuality.

November 3, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

This movie is made for the romantic in all of us, as well as the loners that we've all experienced being at one point in our lives.

November 13, 2004 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

An Officer and A Gentleman succeeds as both a magical love story and as a convincing portrait of one individual's passage into manhood.

February 4, 2004 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

The evident, laudable earnesty of the performances can't disguise the overall thinness of the film.

August 15, 2003 | Comments (3)
Nick's Flick Picks

Overhyped - but worthwhile

September 18, 2002
Moviehole

Audience Reviews for An Officer and a Gentleman

An Officer and a Gentleman is a good drama that relies on a predictable story, but manages to be entertaining due to the performances of its cast. I thought that the film was a bit overrated, but nonetheless it's worth seeing, if you're looking for an engaging drama, this is a film worth seeing. I really felt that the actors salvaged the film due to the fact that this is a film that we know exactly how it will conclude. The chemistry between Richard Gere and Debra Winger is wonderful, and it's what keeps you involved in the film. In terms of Romance films, I guess this is one of the better ones, compared to those of today, which are peppered with clichés and highly forgettable. Where An Officer and a Gentleman differs is that the romance is set within a well constructed story. Like I said, the actors salvage this one, as some may find it a little dull. For me, I felt it was a good film, but one that doesn't necessarily warrant multiple viewings. Even with the fact that it's a bit predictable, An Officer and a Gentleman is far better than many other genre films. The cast is good, the plot is well thought out, and the direction is well done and keeps you engaged from start to finish. So if you want a romantic drama film that is a bit predictable, yet better filmed than many of today's films, this is your best bet. The film is far from perfect, but it does manage to deliver an engaging plot, mixed with effective performances to make it a film worth seeing.
January 19, 2014
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

What a wonderful and honest film with splendid performances from the entire cast, especially Louis Gossett Jr., who is fantastic and deserved the Oscar he won. And it grows so much in us along two hours that we end up embracing its clichés without the slightest reservation.
September 19, 2013
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

An Officer and a Gentleman is probably most famous for its ending scene with the song 'Up Where We Belong' playing and Richard Gere in his immaculate white suit. It's probably the best bit. It's somewhere between Full Metal Jacket and Heartbreak Ridge but with a romantic storyline. It's much cheesier than I thought it would be but as long as you ignore David Keith's horrible performance you will enjoy, Louis Gossett Jr's performance should more than make up for it.
April 16, 2012
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Way better than I had imagined and one of the best romantic dramas I've ever had the pleasure to see. It would'nt even have been half as great though, if it wasn't for the stellar performance by Richard Gere (along with the wonderful chemistry he has with Debra Winger). Sparks seem to be flying whenever they're together on screen. And although I knew beforehand how things would end, it's still a very interesting journey with some unpredictable sub-plots. A breath of fresh air when compared to modern-day "chick flicks", which too often are riddled with clichés and stereotypes. There are some scenes where it gets a little slow, which made it somewhat hard to rate. But with a third act so powerful and genuinely moving, I do think it's entitled itself to fours stars on the uniform. An uplifting, gripping and beautifully scored motion picture, with an ending so memorable that it'll stay with you forever.
June 20, 2011
CloudStrife84
Mike S

Super Reviewer

    1. Sgt. Emil Foley: There's not gonna be any liberty for you, boys, because you'll be going home by then.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
    1. Paula Pokrifki: You know something, you ain't nothing special. You got no manners, you treat woman like whores and if you ask me that you got no chance of being no officer.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
    1. Sgt. Emil Foley: In every class, there's always one joker who thinks that he's smarter than me. In this class, that happens to be you. Isn't it, Mayonnaise?
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
    1. Topper Daniels: Who the hell is that guy?
    2. Perryman: That's your momma and daddy for the next thirteen weeks.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
    1. Sid Worley: Look at some bodacious set of tatas.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
    1. Zack Mayo: I am talking to you, motherfucker!
    2. Sgt. Emil Foley: What did you call me?
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (3 months ago)
View all quotes (9)

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