Tom Cruise is a brilliant but lazy Navy lawyer assigned to defend two young Marines accused of murdering a member of their own platoon on a military base in Cuba.
Only a year out of law school, Cruise is cocky, arrogant, and so afraid of being compared with his father – who was himself a great military lawyer – that he’s never even seen the inside of a courtroom. He’s a fast-talking, ambulance-chasing smartass whose major talent is making fast deals and plea bargains.
Demi Moore, as a fellow lawyer who got passed over in the case because she’s a woman, is not as skilful but she’s got passion.
It’s her unshakable faith in the defendants’ right to a fair trial that pushes Cruise to delve deeper into the case, and in the course of their investigation, they uncover some shocking evidence that damns the commanding colonel himself, a vicious, dangerous psycho who defends his men no matter what they do.
Jack Nicholson’s quiet, insolent, corrosive rage, controlled behind a smiling mask of contempt, is one of the film’s most harrowing elements.
Despite all of the military jargon about “code reds” and ethics under orders, this is cracking good stuff about people who grow up when they learn how to fight overwhelming odds because they believe in something.
It is challenging and suspenseful, its issues timeless and universal.
It’s also nice to see Demi Moore with some clothes on for a change.
Lt Daniel Kaffee
Col Nathan R Jessep
Lt Cmdr JoAnne Galloway
Capt Jack Ross
Lt Jonathan Kendrick
Lt Sam Weinberg
PFC Louden Downey
Lt Col Matthew Markinson
J T Walsh
J A Preston
Lt Dave Spradling
Lance Corporal Harold W Dawson
Corporal Jeffrey Barnes
Corporal Carl Hammaker
Cuba Gooding Jr