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A Few Good Men

Young hot shot lawyer (although he could easily be a fighter pilot/cocktail mixer) is so good/cool/sexy he beats everyone he's up against. This time the girl who falls for him is his boss and, folks, don't fear, Tom Cruise doesn't sing this time... what was the Righteous Brothers follow up to 'You've Lost That Loving Feeling' anyways...

Short plot summary

Tom Cruise plays lawyer Lt. Daniel Kaffee under Lt. Cdr. JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore) called on to defend two marines (Lance Cpl. Harold W. Dawson played by Wolfgang Bodison and Pfc. Louden Downey played by James Marshall) who murdered one of their squad. But were they acting on orders? Jack Nicholson (Col. Nathan R. Jessep) knows the answers...

What our panel of critics thought

"Top Gun without the expensive flying shots and no moments of shirt off madness."

"My, Tom does look great in a military uniform."

"Everyone complains that Leonardo DiCaprio looked too young for Titanic, but nobody ever seems to question Tom Cruise in the same way at this time in movie history."

"I did not understand the baseball references. Please tell me they didn't just add that in so Cruise could wear a baseball jacket when he was interrogating officers?"

"Tom orders a beer and the waitress doesn't ask him which one? At this time in beer history there must have been over 5 to choose from! 10 out of 10 for speed, waitress-babe, but 0 out of 10 for modern waitressing. You just can't get the staff these days..."

"I had a moment of West Wing deja vu when Tom talks to Demi about her asking him out on a date (the bit when he says something like: 'Are you asking me out on a date, because someone asked me out on a date one time and it sounded just like that'). Aaron Sorkin wrote West Wing and he wrote this movie too; did he charge West Wing again for that piece of writing? I want my money back just in case!"

Please tell me the ending.

Well, it looks like Kaffee (Tom Cruise) is determined to make a stand on principle...

In court, Kaffee calls Col. Nathan R. Jessep (Nicholson) to the stand. Kaffee's only hope is to get Jessep to admit that he ordered a Code Red (an unofficial marine order telling the accused to kill the guy they are accused of murdering).

Does Kaffee do it? After a couple of tense moments of looking at each other, a stiff drink of the finest court water and then Tom lets rip. A shouting match ensues in which Kaffee gets Jessep to admit he did order it, Jessep is then arrested.

The twist in the tail is that the two guys who followed the order to kill Santiago, whilst getting off the charge for murder, get a dishonourable discharge for conduct unbecoming a US marine.

Quotable quotes (real)

"If you haven't had a blow job from a superior officer, well, you're just letting the best in life pass you by."

"I'm a cool guy but this heat is making me absolutely f-wording crazy."

[Why Demi Moore's character is defending the marines:] "Because they stand on a wall and they say 'nothing's gonna hurt you tonight, not on my watch'."

"I'm gonna rip the eyes out of your head and piss in your skull."

Other comments

This is quite a good movie.

Trouble is, Tom Cruise plays to his annoying 20-something hot shot typecast of the time.

On the plus side, the movie is very well written and Jack Nicholson (they probably wrote the role for him in any case) is on form.

Date of review

March 7 , 2005

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