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Every one-star review for every number one box-office movie of the 1990s

A Few Good Men

1992 A Few Good Men
Directed byRob Reiner
Produced byRob Reiner / David Brown / Andrew Scheinman
Screenplay byAaron Sorkin
Based onA Few Good Menby Aaron Sorkin
StarringTom Cruise / Jack Nicholson / Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kevin Pollak, James Marshall, J. T. Walsh, Kiefer Sutherland
Music byMarc Shaiman
CinematographyRobert Richardson
Edited byRobert Leighton
ProductioncompanyCastle Rock Entertainment
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release dateDecember 9, 1992 (Westwood)December 11, 1992 (United States)
Running time138 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$33–40 million
Box office$243.2 million

A Few Good Men

A Few Good Men is a 1992 American legal drama film based on Aaron Sorkin‘s 1989 play of the same name. Directed by Rob Reiner, who produced the film with David Brown and Andrew Scheinman was written from a screenplay by Sorkin himself and stars an ensemble cast, including Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kevin Pollak, J. T. Walsh, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Kiefer Sutherland.

The film revolves around the court-martial of two U.S. Marines charged with the murder of a fellow Marine and the tribulations of their lawyers as they prepare a case to defend their clients.

Produced by Castle Rock Entertainment, the film was released by Columbia Pictures on December 11, 1992 and premiered on December 9, 1992 at Westwood. The film received universal acclaim for its screenwriting, direction, themes and acting (particuarly that of Cruise’s, Nicholson’s and Moore’s) and became a box office hit with grossing over $243 million against a budget of $40 million.

In addition to its critical and commercial success, the film was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture.

IMDb’s One Star reviews from the last decade

Disgraceful

ldmawit 8 January 2021

Warning: Spoilers

I have watched this movie several times. Although it had big names like Kevin Bacon, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Tom Cruise, Kiefer Sutherland and others. This film was a total disrespect to military protocol and tradition and dishonors those who served. The most disrespectful portrayal was by To Cruise, he should never play a military person! Kevin Bacons performance was excellent just like his portrayal of a Marine officer in “Taking Chance”

0 out of 3 found this helpful.

Thought Provoking

sundaresh-a 22 February 2019

Warning: Spoilers

Aside from raising the obvious questions concerning the nature of the relationship that often does and perhaps should exist between a subordinate and his superior, cordial and friendly to a point, but always within limits or bounds, but never tolerant of insurrection or insubordination, which consequently give rise to further questions about the nature and the rule of law and the attitude one often adopts toward it , particularly that of being a stickler for it, and that of always doing things by the book , the answers to all of which are found in a surprisingly short interplay/dialogue between the two prominent characters in the movie itself, Lt Kendrik, played by (Last name) Baldwin, and the central character surname Kaffee played by Tom Cruise. As I vaguely recollect, the remarks and statements are these. Lt Kendrik, “I have two books by my bedside Colonel, The Marine Core’s code of conduct , and the King James Bible. The only proper authorities I am aware of are the Orders of my commanding officer Nathan R Jessop and the Lord our God ? ” . Notice the order in which he cites or mentions these two books, which clearly reveals that his priorities are not in the right order. We always need to get our priorities straight.We always need to consult and be guided by our own conscience, first and last(veto), rather than by popular opinion, or even the opinion expressed by our superiors or even of our own near and dear ones, although all of these opinions can and should come in between(vote). The other statement is the counter question posed by Kaffee back at Lt Kendrik, which resonates somewhat like this in my mind, “Because he made a command decision. Because he decided to exercise his own set of values which was in conflict with an order of yours, he was punished ?” . A better directive, should always supersede and overrule a bad one or even a good one, for that matter and there is always a loftier ideal, there is always a higher calling/moral standard, there is always a nobler motive, there is always a grander design, there is always a greater purpose. I would like to think, if not overtly, at least in passing, as a subtext, this movie also attempts to address more fundamental ethical and moral issues and raise more deeper questions such as, Is an individual always truly free or is he always bound by law ? Can that which is binding possibly also be freeing and liberating ? Can one possibly be bound to freedom ? If that which is liberating is never binding and that which is binding is never liberating, one can only choose to be free never be bound and be compelled to be free. Having said that just as freedom and bondage are opposite concepts, albeit very real ones, so also are the concepts of lawfulness and order, propriety and sobriety as well as lawlessness and chaos, oligarchy or anarchy. If freedom is indeed good and therefore desirable, and lawfulness is also good and equally desirable, could there possibly be a law which is not only meant to but also always ensures and always sets people both individuals and institutions free ? If such a law does exist, is it innate, natural, moral, constitutional, non-partisan , inviolable and eternal, or is it artificial, temporal, legal and a legislation ,full of amendments and loopholes meant more to circumvent and bypass itself, meant more to dispense injustice than to deliver justice, more to keep people bound and enslaved than to set them free ? Although technically there is no difference between the letter and the spirit but if there is such a perfect Law, Is the spirit of such a perfect law more important than the letter of that law or is it the other way around ? Should one try ones best to obey and to uphold such a law to the letter, or should one try ones best to abide by its spirit. In this context of course, the Hindu/Hindutva doctrine, “Dharma Rakhshito Rakhitah”, which roughly translates as, “The Law which you (choose to) uphold , upholds you”; is always suspect and is never really applicable or even really true especially if the Law is an unconscientious and an immoral one, no matter how legal and democratic it is. If all the peoples of this earth, past, present , and future including Newton himself decide to vote the Law of Gravity out, the Law would not cease to apply. Although the other obvious question of how the ideal of an individuals freedom apparently if not also actually conflicts with the ideal of collective/societal/social well being, about how an individual choosing and deciding to act out of his own narrow self interest for self advancement or even perhaps self betterment or self improvement, whose repercussions or effects are clearly felt on the rest of the world, versus him choosing and deciding voluntarily, out of his own free-will and volition act for the interests and for the well being of the community and of the world at large of which he is a part hoping to be a positive contributing member of it, in order to enrich and to empower the lives of its other members; is not touched upon.

Isn’t it interesting and at the same time also ironic that the solutions and the answers to the problems and the questions posed by the outside world are always contained on the inside of us and always have to be sought and found by looking within ourselves.

I am always thrown into a moral quandary, whenever making a public review and a public rating. Do these reviews and ratings really mean anything ? Should I echo popular opinion/sentiment and follow accepted norms and conventions and practices, abide by the rules, pander to popular taste even though we all know what that gravitates toward, or should I , as they proverbially say, stir the hornest’s nest and upset the apple cart ?

On a lighter vein, A patient with a severe tooth-ache goes to dentist and has his decayed tooth extracted, and at the end of the procedure asks the dentist for the extracted tooth, and the dentist hollers, “Tooth !, You want the tooth !, You can’t handle the tooth !”

1 out of 7 found this helpful.

Absolutely impossible.

nathanfrigerio 18 February 2015

First, a Lt. Col. would NEVER question a superior in front of a junior officer, if ever. Second, a Colonel would NEVER order a code red. As if a name other than blanket party exists. The whole premise is ridiculous. Obviously written by a civilian that never served in the Armed Forces. Those were the points that stuck in my craw. Those were the points that stuck in my craw. What else do I need to add, in order to reach ten lines of text? The acting wasn’t bad. Just too much overacting by the hack Cruise and the ham John Joseph Nicholson. Jack is just a name folks use when they’re too afraid of using their own name, or he wants to sound tough. Hence Hollywood tough guy name Doug McClure. Why not Jack McToughguy? Is that enough? Now I risk offending folks ’cause I had to write filler, did I need to put a 15 minute fight scene and a love story?

15 out of 37 found this helpful.

A Few Good Eyebrow Closeups

flackjacket 9 March 2014

First let’s start with Jack Nicholson. He simply plays himself, mean, slightly deranged, demented and angry. Demi Moore’s role is totally pointless, other than you can’t have a Tom Cruise movie without a female in a supporting role.

Just search Rich Hall’s stand-up routine on Youtube about Tom Cruise movies for a better explanation… “He’s a cocktail maker, a pretty good cocktail maker too. Till he has a crisis of confidence and can’t make cocktails anymore. Then he meets a good looking woman who talks him into being a better cocktail maker…. Then he’s a race car driver, a pretty good race car driver too. Till he has a crisis of confidence and can’t race cars anymore. Then he meets a good looking woman who talks him into being a better race car driver… Then he’s a jet pilot, a pretty good jet pilot too. Till he has a crisis of confidence and can’t fly jets anymore. Then he meets a good looking woman who talks him into being a better jet pilot… Then he was a sports agent…

Anyway, I’m glad the screen I watched this on was only 32″. Even at that size, the constant incessant series of closeups of his eyebrow (singular) were so extreme, one could count the hairs. I can’t imagine having to witness his eyebrow on the big screen.

But this film does leave food for thought. It makes you step back and ask yourself… Why doesn’t somebody buy Tom Cruise a pair of tweezers? Why doesn’t he buy a pair? Why wouldn’t an actor who makes millions not be able to afford a hot wax to clean things up a bit?

14 out of 31 found this helpful.

Boring

utahman1971 1 March 2014

I can’t remember a good drama movie that I have seen. This one just drags about taking two guys to court to see what really happened to a guy that died. I like tom cruise in action, not stuff like this. I have to put 10 lines of rubbish. Geez, some movies are just boring, and this is one of them. I hate watching court stuff, and this is just court stuff.

I rather take a nap than watch this, but it is only thing on TV. Crap is what television is lately. Good for those that like this stuff. Enjoy the boring debate in the court room movie. How many lines do I have to put in this review again? Oh that is right. 10.

3 out of 26 found this helpful.

Bad, bad, bad

paintingariver 14 August 2012

Despite its success at the box office, A Few Good Men falls flat because of Cruise’s weak acting, the melodramatic and overly-mechanized plot and the cliché characters. The film is also plagued with military errors–for example, Cruises’s angry rants at Moore and her failure to tell him what’s what are not consistent with the fact that she is his superior, and she has presumably worked hard to achieve the rank she now holds. Wouldn’t she logically rebuke him when he screams in her face? Another major flaw with the film is the fact that soldiers do not have the duty to obey an unlawful order–so, the defendants should have refused to obey the order in the first place. The fact that they caved in under emotional pressure probably wouldn’t be enough to get them off the hook in real life, making the plot of this movie inaccurate. The most painful aspect of this film, besides Cruise’s infantile and unprofessional rants, is the scathing villainy of Nicholson’s character, who has the blackest of hearts and the coldest of glares. Although it may be a good way to pass the time when you’re confined to a hospital bed or locked up in a jail cell, this movie is 138 minutes of guaranteed suffering and should be avoided at all costs.

bitesizemoviereview.blogspot.com

6 out of 15 found this helpful.

1992 A Few Good Men

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