A Few Good Men (1992)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Courtroom Drama  |   Release Date - Dec 11, 1992 (USA)  |   Run Time - 138 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Mike DiBella

Rob Reiner's military courtroom drama is rife with over-the-top acting and emotional hyperbole. Treading the familiar cinematic paths of government cover-ups, military codes and honor, new ground is broken for mindless entertainment. The intensity and seriousness with which the ultra-glam cast of Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Kevin Bacon, and Jack Nicholson carry on would suggest a film of grave import, but in actuality, this severe tone is so overblown as to render the film ridiculous. Ridiculous but fun, especially in the case of Jack Nicholson, who collected a big check for his role as a tough-as-nails mean marine without really breaking a sweat. Nicholson mails it in one scene then transforms into the brilliantly crazed Nicholson of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest in the next, giving this off-key drama some life and appeal. However, Cruise was less adolescent in Risky Business and Demi Moore is flat and lifeless. Kevin Bacon and Kevin Pollack give heads-up supporting performances to level things off a bit. Part of an early '90s outbreak of word-mincing suspense dramas, using finish-the-other guy's-sentence dialogue a great deal, A Few Good Men proved again that Reiner is a filmmaker who knows what the public likes. Of course, appealing to the masses may sell tickets but does not necessarily make for great cinema.