Throwback Thursday: ‘A Few Good Men’


Story by Daniel Mahoney, Reporter
Photo courtesy of

“You can’t handle the truth!” Ever heard of that phrase before? I remember when I discovered the reference was from a movie. After watching this movie, it seemed fitting that such a popular line came from such a great movie. This iconic line comes from the movie “A Few Good Men.”

Released in 1992, this classic dives deep into a drama of the United States Military. Lt. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) is defending two U.S. Marines who are charged with murder of a fellow Marine at a Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Kaffee, a military lawyer who is used to plea bargaining, is challenged to take this case further by Lt. Cdr. Joanne Calloway (Demi Moore). She convinces Kaffee that the two Marines were simply carrying out an order. The one thing that stands in the way of uncovering the truth, getting through the risk of accusing Col. Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson) in an effort to uncover the conspiracy.

If you have a fundamental respect for the United States Military and love the intelligence and the manipulation of the courtroom, then this movie is for you. The film sheds a good light on the reality of the drowning work of lawyers and a real sense of the strictness and discipline that the Marines live by, as well as their code of conduct and passion for their beloved country.

The young Tom Cruise is at his best in this film, providing a vibrant presence and a charisma that controls the courtroom. His character gets drawn deeper into the case and his zeal brings you into the case as well. Tom Cruise’s representation of a lawyer is intelligent and bold. Cruise didn’t hold back, adding his twist of snarky comments and smooth phrases that gives him the charm to win you over. This is a sight to see as he goes against Jack Nicholson. Nicholson’s intimidation and no-nonsense disposition makes for a good role as a United States Marine Colonel– not to mention the heavy dosage of Nicholson’s sarcastic and bold charisma that we all know and love. Seeing the two major film stars go head-to-head is an experience unlike any other. They represent well the battle being illustrated between lawyer and colonel, justice vs. provided freedom… All in an effort to discover the truth.

The story by no means answers the deep questions of moral truths. Rather, it opens one’s eyes to fact that the truth can be something that we never thought it would be, or wanted it to be. With Kaffee’s character development and representation of a smart lawyer we see all that it takes to uncover what was there all along. The movie is a mystery that entices you to go deeper to discover the truth for yourself, even if it is something you can’t handle.

“A Few Good Men” was written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Rob Reiner. It was awarded the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Movie, and made 243.2 million dollars at the box office. Some well-known actors also seen in this film are Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland and Cuba Gooding Jr. This movie is rated R for language, and can be found online or in stores.  

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