A Few Good Men (1992)



Critic Consensus: An old-fashioned courtroom drama with a contemporary edge, A Few Good Men succeeds on the strength of its stars, with Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, and especially Jack Nicholson delivering powerful performances that more than compensate for the predictable plot.

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A fast-talking, charming Navy defense attorney must prove that a pair of Marines are innocent of murdering a fellow fighter in this taut and provocative courtroom thriller. The lawyer's biggest obstacle is a conniving base commander who wants the whole affair swept under the carpet.
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Columbia Pictures

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Tom Cruise
as Lt. Daniel Kaffee
Jack Nicholson
as Col. Nathan R. Jessep
Demi Moore
as Lt. Cdr. JoAnne Galloway
Kevin Bacon
as Capt. Jack Ross
Kiefer Sutherland
as Lt. Jonathan Kendrick
Kevin Pollak
as Lt. Sam Weinberg
James Marshall
as Pfc. Louden Downey
J.T. Walsh
as Lt. Col. Matthew Markinson
Christopher Guest
as Dr. Stone
J.A. Preston
as Judge Randolph
Matt Craven
as Lt. Dave Spradling
Wolfgang Bodison
as Lance Cpl. Harold Dawson
Xander Berkeley
as Capt. Whitaker
John M. Jackson
as Capt. West
Noah Wyle
as Cpl. Jeffrey Barnes
Cuba Gooding Jr.
as Corp. Carl Hammaker
Lawrence Lowe
as Bailiff
Joshua Malina
as Orderly
Oscar Jordan
as Steward
John M. Mathews
as 1st Guard
Aaron Sorkin
as Man in Bar
Al Wexo
as 2nd Guard
Frank Cavestani
as 1st Agent
Jan Munroe
as Jury Forman
Harry Caesar
as Luther
Michael DeLorenzo
as Pfc. William T. Santiago
Geoffrey Nauffts
as Lt. Sherby
Arthur Senzy
as Robert C. McGuire
Cameron Thor
as Cmdr. Lawrence
Mathew Saks
as David
David Bowe
as Cmdr. Gibbs
Gene Whittington
as Mr. Dawson
Maud Winchester
as Aunt Ginny
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News & Interviews for A Few Good Men

Critic Reviews for A Few Good Men

All Critics (57) | Top Critics (17)

By pitting Cruise against Nicholson in the film`s final courtroom confrontation, Sorkin and Reiner are pitting two notions of masculinity and two notions of stardom against each other.

Full Review… | April 30, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

A brisk and familiar courtroom drama of the old school, as pleasant to watch as it is predictable, Men more than anything else is a tribute to pure star power.

Full Review… | April 30, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The whole film, with its steady, important-picture pacing, its foursquare visual style, and its pseudo-profundity, is a piece of glorified banality.

April 30, 2014
New Yorker
Top Critic

The literally in-your-face camera work can easily expose an actor's weaknesses, but, with the lens framed on Nicholson's bulldog visage, he lets loose with volcanic fury. His demagoguery and gung-ho self-righteousness are something to behold.

Full Review… | April 30, 2014
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

The driving force of the story is watching Cruise`s character develop some backbone and staying power.

Full Review… | April 30, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

As you may have suspected, Jack Nicholson steals the show. His Col. Nathan Jessep isn't in a lot of scenes, but when he's there, you can't take your eyes off him.

Full Review… | April 30, 2014
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for A Few Good Men

As seen in "The Newsroom" and "The Social Network," Aaron Sorkin obviously writes some great dialogue and speeches, and Kaffee and Jessup's courtroom confrontation is indeed full of vitriol and grand idealistic views on patriotism, security, and truth. However, what bumps me about this movie and the rest of Sorkin's work is that it's too pat. A callow, legacy, navy lawyer has to defend two Marines accused of hazing a private so extremely that they kill him. Along the way, we tackle issues of whether honor means following a code of ethics or critically thinking for oneself. Will the good guys win? What does it mean to be a good guy? These are important, heady questions drummed up by Sorkin, but I think he spent more time writing slick lawyer-speak instead of developing a key part of the story: who is Santiago and why should we care about him, the circumstances in which he was killed, and the fate of his killers? Why did he even join the Marines to begin with? Where was he trying to get transferred to? Why did he break the chain of command? Why would he offer secrets for personal favors? Why was he, in short, such a bad Marine? Even if he had health conditions, he should've at least been able to keep his barracks orderly and be punctual. His death seemed so clearly an accident that I wondered why all this hullabaloo. I kept thinking there had to be more to Santiago, not just his death.

Alice Shen
Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

One of the greatest courtroom dramas out there unites a fantastic cast, an engaging case and excellent writing. Young Tom Cruise was still on the rise as a leading man here, but Nicholson is at his best, throwing out great lines by the dozen and making movie history with his final burst of anger. The way there is so smartly written and directed, it's a pleasure to behold, even if the militaristic procedures and saluting puts you off. But the battles of words and wits are exciting as Western shoot-outs. Great stuff.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

What a cast! Two U.S. Marines, are on trial for the murder of William Santiago, a fellow private in their unit. Were the men acting under orders or was it a pre-meditated decision of their own? Aaron Sorkin adapts his own 1989 Broadway play. His script crackles with intelligence as it entertains simply with words that fly fast and furious. Nowhere is this more true than in the courtroom arena. Jack Nicholson's famous line in the climatic scene is pretty much the stuff of movie legend. He got the showiest role and the Academy Award nomination. He's genuinely excellent as the proud and supercilious Colonel Nathan Jessup. But the rest of the company matches his talent. Tom Cruise and Demi Moore exhibit a witty repartee as the defense, Kevin Pollack rounds out their team with sagacious support, Kevin Bacon exudes confidence as the prosecutor and Kiefer Sutherland is all seething hostile aggression as Lieutenant Kendrick, Jessup's right hand man. Everyone is in fine form. Sorkin's writing is brilliant. A literate examination of the Marine Corps and their code of honor is at the heart of this expose. The actors give his language the dramatic weight that elevate this production into a document of military life that feels essential. 12 Angry Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Few Good Men. These are the reasons I love courtroom dramas. fastfilmreviews.wordpress.com

Mark Hobin
Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer

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