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A Few Good Men

Starring: Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson
Director: Rob Reiner
Genre: Drama
Year: 1992
Rating: 5 / 5

"Deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall." If ever there was a movie that practically screamed to be quoted, A Few Good Men is it. This Rob Reiner film assembles one of the greatest casts to share the screen in decades, memorable characters, and a compelling story line. All of these things combine to make this one of the greatest movies of all-time, not to mention a steady favorite of mine for years. This film has an aura about it that allows the viewer to watch it again and again, and it never loses its appeal.

Marines Loudon Downey (James Marshall) and his commanding officer Harold Dawson (Wolfgang Bodison) are arrested for the murder of a fellow Marine, a charge to which they claim innocence. Assigned to the case is hotshot attorney Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise), one year removed from law school with a knack for successfully negotiating plea bargains. Assisted by Internal Affairs agent JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore) and Sam Weinberg (Kevin Pollak), Kaffee jumps into this murder case as he has many cases before it. Listen to the case, sort through the unnecessary details, and obtain the best plea terms for his clients. Yet Kaffee soon comes to learn that this case is not nearly so simple.

As soon as the phrase "code red" - referring to the act of soldiers "disciplining" their peers - is uttered, some doubt covers the investigation. After all, if Dawson and Downey's assault was the result of a direct order, are they really to blame for the unfortunate death? Is this really a simple murder investigation, or does it go much higher than that, all the way to rising star Col. Nathan R. Jessep (Jack Nicholson)? As facts are uncovered and witnesses appear and disappear, one painful truth begins to make itself known. Dawson and Downey are on trial for their lives, and Daniel Kaffee is the only chance they have.

A Few Good Men is a triumph on so many levels, but the excellent acting performances are truly worth noting. Tom Cruise delivers what I feel is the best performance of his career - though some might say that is no grand achievement! We watch his Daniel Kaffee grow from a cocky, brash lawyer to a brave, honorable Naval officer. Jack Nicholson brings maniacal brilliance to the role of Col. Jessep, much as he did with the Joker in Batman a few years before. Even beyond these two, the secondary roles are superb. Kevin Pollak, Kevin Bacon, and Keifer Sutherland excel as strong supporting characters. Even bit parts by then-unknowns Cuba Gooding, Jr., James Marshall, and Noah Wyle are impressive. A Few Good Men is, quite simply, a masterpiece. "Are we clear?" "Crystal."

Tom Cruise..........Lt. Daniel Kaffee
Jack Nicholson..........Col. Nathan R. Jessep
Demi Moore..........Lt. Cmdr. JoAnne Galloway
Kevin Pollak..........Lt. Sam Weinberg
Kevin Bacon..........Capt. Jack Ross
Keifer Sutherland..........Lt. Jonathan Kendrick

Certification: Rated R.
Running Time: 132 minutes.

Additional Info: Internet Movie Database
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