Starring: Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Jack Nicholson
Director: Rob Reiner
Running Time: 138 mins
A Few Good Men is an American film about a maverick US Navy lawyer who is tasked with defending two Guantanamo Bay Marines accused with the murder of their colleague.
An all-time classic for very good reason, there’s no denying that A Few Good Men is a masterpiece of the courtroom genre. Featuring a gripping, intricate legal story that ties in with enthralling character drama and a collection of magnetic performances, I did not take my eyes off the screen for one moment here.
While it runs for a fairly long time and not at the fastest of paces, A Few Good Men is one of those rare spectacles that grab you from the very first instant and never let you go, with a pitch-perfect screenplay full of charisma and dramatic depth, making this an unforgettable ride right to the finish.
There’s a lot to talk about with A Few Good Men, but there’s nowhere better to start than its fantastic array of leading performances. Tom Cruise, Demi Moore and Kevin Pollak are a brilliant team in their pursuit of the truth, with more than enough personalities in that trio alone to make this film an enthralling watch.
But while their characters clash on their own, the opposition to their case, found in the form of Kevin Bacon as the prosecuting lawyer and most notably Jack Nicholson as a Guantanamo Bay colonel, is equally formidable, with Nicholson in particular stealing the show despite appearing in only a few short but spellbinding scenes.
Such is the depth of the story here that every moment really matters. Not a second of screen time is wasted, with the progression of Cruise’s character from fast-moving maverick to passionate defence lawyer the pinnacle of the many enthralling subplots that this film has to offer.
A Few Good Men is best-known for its climactic scene in the courtroom, as Nicholson screams “You can’t handle the truth!” to a questioning Cruise, but the legal proceedings are just as enthralling throughout the film, with a significant portion of the story taking place inside the courtroom itself.
Functioning as a puzzle for you to unlock along with the main characters, A Few Good Men is a masterpiece of intricate screenwriting, patiently unfolding and revealing important details at opportune moments to make the progression of its story all the more exhilarating.
With captivating emotional depth beneath the surface and a thought-provoking take on the morality of war and national defence, this film is ripe for repeat viewing after repeat viewing, to discover more of what its incredible screenplay has to offer, and to experience what is undeniably an all-consuming watch once again.
Overall, I was hugely impressed by A Few Good Men. One of the very best courtroom dramas out there, the film counts on exceptional performances, brilliant screenwriting, captivating depth, patient pacing, and a puzzle of a story to deliver an utterly enthralling watch from beginning to end. So, that’s why I’m giving the film an 8.5.