Ryan and I would like to once again welcome you to another review for our Argumentative August Blogathon.
This next film, A Few Good Men (1992) is being reviewed by Sherise of The Girl Who Loved to Review
Let’s see what Sherise thought of this movie….
A Few Good Men (1992)
“It doesn’t matter what I believe, it only matters what I can prove!”
This is one of those films that is always on TV. That means it must be good right? Yet I’ve never seen it until now (And I say I’m a Tom Cruise fan…). Also courtroom drama expert Aaron Sorkin wrote both the screenplay and the play the film is based on. So it HAS to be good. And overall A Few Good Men is a good film. Solid writing paired with even better acting.
This film is a somewhat typical courtroom drama. It is about two Marines stationed at Guantanamo who are accused of murdering a fellow Marine. While this court case is the basis of the plot the real focus is on lawyer Danny Kaffee (Tom Cruise) and his struggle to become a good lawyer and man by sticking his neck out for these Marines. The film is procedural, like a real life court case. We see the defense lawyers interviewing potential witnesses, then build their case, and finally we see everything that occurs in the courtroom itself.
The biggest strength of this film is it’s superb actors. Everyone is good here, yes, even Demi Moore. Tom is of course my favorite. Here he is doing what he did best in the early part of his career, before he became an action star. As Danny he is cocky, charming, a bit of a prick… but you can’t help, but like the guy. Jo (Demi Moore) hates him at first, but even she comes around to liking him. Tom injects the film with a lot of energy and keeps the legal jargon from getting boring or overwhelming. Demi is perfect as Jo, she is smart on a bookish kind of way, but is not so good in an actual courtroom. But the other big star is, you guessed it, Jack Nicholson. Jack is perfect as the arrogant Nathan Jessup. He only has about three scenes, but they are memorable. My favorite scene is of course the one everyone remembers and still quotes to this day:
One major problem I have with this film is its terrible score. It seems straight out of the 80’s (even though the film is from the early 90’s). It is distracting and just plain terrible. The film works much better when there is just dialogue between the characters. There are also a few sexist lines thrown at Demi Moore’s character Jo. They just seemed completely unnecessary to the story.
A Few Good Men is a surprisingly interesting film. At first a strict courtroom drama sounded boring to me. But the skilled actors and precise screenplay made it an enjoyable experience. It’s easy to see how Aaron Sorkin was able to start his writing career with this film. It in no way reinvents the courtroom genre, instead just doing a really good job without adding anything new. While A Few Good Men isn’t a perfect film, it’s a near perfect courtroom drama. 7.5/10