A Few Good Men
What a cast! Two U.S. Marines, are on trial for the murder of William Santiago, a fellow private in their unit. Were the men acting under orders or was it a pre-meditated decision of their own? Aaron Sorkin adapts his own 1989 Broadway play. His script crackles with intelligence as it entertains simply with words that fly fast and furious. Nowhere is this more true than in the courtroom arena. Jack Nicholson’s famous line in the climatic scene is pretty much the stuff of movie legend. He got the showiest role and the Academy Award nomination. He’s genuinely excellent as the proud and supercilious Colonel Nathan Jessup. But the rest of the company matches his talent. Tom Cruise and Demi Moore exhibit a witty repartee as the defense, Kevin Pollack rounds out their team with sagacious support, Kevin Bacon exudes confidence as the prosecutor and Kiefer Sutherland is all seething hostile aggression as Lieutenant Kendrick, Jessup’s right hand man. Everyone is in fine form. Sorkin’s writing is brilliant. A literate examination of the Marine Corps and their code of honor is at the heart of this expose. The actors give his language the dramatic weight that elevate this production into a document of military life that feels essential. 12 Angry Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Few Good Men. These are the reasons I love courtroom dramas.