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Drama - Court Room

A Few Good Men (1992)

Duration2h 18m
RatingsUK: 15, USA: R, Denmark: 11, 
Source of storyA play for the same name by Aaron Sorkin
DirectorRob Reiner
Writers/ScriptAaron Sorkin
StarringTom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland, J.T.Walsh, Cuba Gooding Jr, 
RatingsIMDb: 7.7/10 by 252,165 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 83% by 65 reviewers. Review2view: 7/10.

Elevator Pitch: At the marine base at Guantanamo on Cuba a weak marine is “disciplined” by two of his squad mates, which accidentally results in his death. The two marines who carried out the act claim that they were ordered to do so and are therefore not guilty of murder, and we the viewer have witnessed a meeting between the base commander and the corps commander where the former has demanded that something should be done about the marine. A defence team of Lt Daniel Kaffee, Lt Cdr Joanne Galloway and Sam Weinberg are assembled to defend them and between them they develop a plan, but when the corps commander, who they were relying on, commits suicide how will they manage?

Content: There is no sex or nudity, but a lot of beer drinking as the defence team get together to sort out their plans. Galloway is earnest and cerebral, Kaffee is often seen playing or watching baseball and they seem to be at odds. Hence there is a lot of shouting. We do see the attack before the opening credits. Kaffee also drives about in a crappy old car about the size of an aircraft carrier. They appear in as many different versions of the naval uniform that can be managed.

A View: I quite liked this, although it is far from perfect. There is an opening sequence of a cadet squad doing very elaborate rifle drill, which I thought totally unsuitable, and a lot of shouting. Some critics thought that too much time was spent telling us what was going on, but even so the final speech by Jack Nicholson is really impressive. I gave it a seven, which in terms of my informal criteria means it is worth a watch.

Other courtroom dramas which may be of interest include:  The Verdict, Side Effects and My Cousin Vinny .

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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