A Few Good Men

Directed by Rob Reiner / Written by Aaron Sorkin

few good men cover

This military justice drama tackles an age-old tension in our country’s military between the need for obedience to hierarchy and authority on the one hand, and the need to honor the values of our democratic society, with its respect for the sanctity of individual human life, on the other. The case arises from the death of a young Marine recruit during a hazing ritual that turns out to have been payback for a troublemaker — authorized from the top of command. Tom Cruise plays a callow Navy lawyer who has made his way by plea bargaining, but this time finds himself caught up with a female co-counsel (Demi Moore) who shames him into trying the case. Cruise’s character has a monkey on his back in the form of the memory and legacy of his father, also a Navy lawyer, which drives him forward into some memorable courtroom examination moments with Jack Nicholson, who plays the CO of the Guantanamo base where the death occurred.