Critics Consensus

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.



Total Count: 43


Audience Score

User Ratings: 106,993
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Movie Info

After being discharged from the Army, Brian Flanagan (Tom Cruise) moves back to Queens and takes a job in a bar run by Doug Coughlin (Bryan Brown), who teaches Brian the fine art of bartending. Brian quickly becomes a patron favorite with his flashy drink-mixing style. Brian adopts his mentor's cynical philosophy on life and goes for the money. He leaves his artist girlfriend Jordan Mooney (Elisabeth Shue) for Bonnie (Lisa Banes), a wealthy, high-powered executive. Brian soon must chose between the two, as he evaluates his options. Scriptwriter Heywood Gould displayed his sense of humor when assigning the character name "Mr. Mooney" to Lucille Ball's real-life son-in-law, actor Laurence Luckenbill. Television fans of The Lucy Show will recall Mr. Mooney, played by Gale Gordon, as Lucy's fussy financial boss. The film is more memorable for the 17-song soundtrack and plays like a series of MTV videos. Cocktail was a big draw at the box office in 1988.


Tom Cruise
as Brian Flanagan
Bryan Brown
as Doug Coughlin
Elisabeth Shue
as Jordan Mooney
Lisa Banes
as Bonnie
Kelly Lynch
as Kerry Coughlin
Ron Dean
as Uncle Pat
Ellen Foley
as Eleanor
Jack Newman
as Economics Teacher
Paul Benedict
as Finance Teacher
Diane Douglass
as Mrs. Rivkin
George Sperdakos
as English Teacher
David Chant
as Chinese Porter
Larry Block
as Bar Owner
Kelly Connell
as Yuppie Poet
Luther Hansraj
as Ambulance Attendant
Kim Nelles
as Artist
Chris Owens
as Soldier
Justin Louis
as Soldier
John Graham
as Soldier
Robert Greenberg
as Job Interviewer
Harvey J. Alperin
as Job Interviewer
Sandra Will Carradine
as Job Interviewer
Allan Wasserman
as Job Interviewer
E. Hampton Beagle
as Job Interviewer
Parker Whitman
as Job Interviewer
Paul Abbott
as Snotty Customer
Rick Livingston
as Job Interviewer
Bill Bateman
as Job Interviewer
Jean Pflieger
as Job Interviewer
Rosalyn Marshall
as Job Interviewer
Jeff Silverman
as Job Interviewer
Rich Crater
as Job Interviewer
Marykate Harris
as Job Interviewer
Lew Saunders
as Job Interviewer
Dianne Heatherington
as First Waitress
Arlene Mazerolle
as Second Waitress
Ellen Maguire
as Bar Patron
Joseph Zaccone
as Bar Patron
Ken McGregor
as Sculptor
Gerry Bamman
as Tourist
Reathel Bean
as Tourist
Peter Boyden
as Tourist
Liisa Repo-Martell
as Young Couple in Deli
Gregg Baker
as Bouncer
Adam Furfaro
as Young Couple in Deli
Richard B. Livingston
as Job Interviewer
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Critic Reviews for Cocktail

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (2) | Rotten (41)

Audience Reviews for Cocktail

  • Sep 25, 2016
    A classic that helped launch Tom Cruise's career. I have never seen this before but I really enjoyed it and I can see why many others also enjoyed it.
    Ian W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 20, 2015
    So hilariously bad I can't even explain it. There aren't words to describe how awful this is, but I think it's at least deliberately awful...there's no way anyone could've thought this wasn't going to be terrible while they were making it.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 12, 2013
    This is actually one of my favourite Tom Cruise films.
    Beth M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 21, 2012
    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.
    Phil H Super Reviewer

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