“I strenuously object?” Is that how it works? Hm? “Objection.” “Overruled.” “Oh, no, no, no. No, I STRENUOUSLY object.” “Oh. Well, if you strenuously object then I should take some time to reconsider.” – Lt. Sam Weinberg
Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (Theater in 1992, video, DVD, 3 Nov 2013)
Brief Synopsis – Courtroom drama centered around the murder of a soldier stationed on a US Army base in Cuba
My Take on it – This was one of Aaron Sorkin’s first scripts (based on his own play).
We have all come to love him for his dialogue, and this movie proves that he has always had a knack for it.
The story is told so well that right from the beginning you are drawn in and want to know what’s going to happen. The snappy Sorkin-esqe dialogue helps it move along with his usual wit, humor and intensity.
The acting is top notch and this movie sports an all star cast with Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland, J.T. Walsh, Kevin Pollack and small but important roles by future stars Noah Wyle, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Matt Craven.
It’s quite interesting that although there is chemistry between Cruise and Moore, this movie chooses to keep away from doing anything romantic between them which shows that they truly want to tell the courtroom story and they don’t need to add a love story to become successful.
This movie was originally a play and Rob Reiner’s directing takes a courtroom drama and gives it width and depth by taking the characters to different locations within the parameters of the story.
If you can, I suggest watching the DVD extra explaining the changes they made to enhance the story of a play when transferring the action to film. It is quite insightful on the difficult process of the transfer since in a movie you can use visual clues that cannot be done in a play.
Most people will remember Nicholson’s courtroom outburst of “You Cant Handle the Truth“, but there are many great lines here that make this movie quite memorable.
Bottom Line – Excellent movie, great acting, great story and dialogue. Highly recommended!
Rating – Oscar Worthy