Melodramatic and unrealistic even as far as courtroom dramas go, but does it ever get you fired up. Sorkin scripts a slick psychological game of cat and mouse, with whip-crack dialogue thundering off courtroom walls as the likes of Cruise (in one of his best performances), Bacon (in one of his best performances) and Nicholson (you get it), square off. Every bit as rousing as its reputation suggests.
one of the few tom cruise movies that i can watch more than twice without being reminded that he's a somewhat creepy person in real life. i like this performance as a smarmy JAG attorney who doesn't really give a shit except about baseball. Kevin Pollack is fantastic as the comic relief AND i love the fact there there may be sexual tension between cruise and moore BUT it never happens! YAY!!
The cross-hearing of Jack Nicholson is this film's signature moment, but the court room drama itself ends unsurprisingly with a predictable outcome where the "villain" bursts out in anger stuff he shouldn't say" and it would have been an anti-climatic scene had it not been that it is THE Jack Nicholson doing the scene. Up til that point the film is absorbing to watch due to good acting and a gripping murder story.
Tensions between branches of the military bring an extra charge to this courtroom drama. Cruise, ostensibly the lead, is used more as a utility player recruited to present other performers with the opportunity to take the spotlight.
It's got the stars, the predictable plot, the contrivances, the glossy sheen, the overall competence and solidity that makes it serviceable, but nothing at all special (with the exception of Nicholson). Sometimes bordering on the sentimental and hilariously contrived, it at least has a solid cast and a good script to help take away the cloying sense of unoriginality and overriding banality of the whole thing.
Isn't it one of the greatest courtroom dramas ever existed? First of all, they have an interesting case. Then, it is so f-ing well-written. That argument between Nicholson and Cruise was remarkable. Moreover, you can't deny its perfect cast and script. Plus, Tom Cruise in a uniform??? Hell yes I could watch this movie for over and over again.
Cheesy and Aaron Sorkin trying too hard to steal the show.
But damn if it isn't one of the most entertaining films about cock fights and blinded men mistaking stupidity for honour and patriotism.
And forget Jack Nicholson, the acting masterclass is given here by Tom Cruise.