Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 21
  2. Negative: 3 out of 21
  1. 100
    That the performances are uniformly outstanding is a tribute to Rob Reiner, who directs with masterly assurance, fusing suspense and character to create a movie that literally vibrates with energy.
  2. Like all courtroom dramas, A Few Good Men is gimmicky and synthetic. It's also an irresistible throwback to the sort of sharp-edged entertainment Hollywood once provided with regularity.
  3. A big commercial entertainment of unusually satisfying order. [11 Dec 1992]
  4. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Expert story construction and compelling thesping and direction make all the narrative elements pay off as if calculated by a precision instrument in which all the parts are working perfectly.
  5. Reviewed by: Emma Cochrane
    This is a timeless thriller, a reminder of how stars who have been so average elsewhere can produce excellent — some career-best — work when given a decent script and a confident director.
  6. An entertainment to be seen and appreciated in momentum. As such, it is constantly gripping
  7. If anything, A Few Good Men errs by throwing almost too many elements, themes and moral debates into the mix thus, by default, they sometimes seem shallowly developed and overly simple. Then again, that perhaps allows them to connect with more universal experiences.
  8. 75
    Works because it's able to draw so many side issues into its central conflict, spreading its concerns culture-wide. [11 Dec 1992]
  9. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Pace and performances dominate, with popped salutes going to Keifer Sutherland, Kevin Pollack, Kevin Bacon and especially Nicholson's smiling barracuda. [11 Dec 1992]
  10. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Men is a little too neat structurally, its moral and human issues a little too clear-cut: at heart it is old-fashioned melodrama. But Sorkin's dialogue is spit-shined, and the energy and conviction with which it is staged and played is more than a compensation; it's transformative. And hugely entertaining. [14 Dec 1992]
  11. 70
    About as understated as a 21-gun salute... What's missing is anything of Reiner himself.
  12. 63
    The film doesn't make us work, doesn't allow us to figure out things for ourselves, is afraid we'll miss things if they're not spelled out.
  13. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    The final scene, when Kaffee locks horns with Jessep, more than makes up for the predictability of what's come before.
  14. The film's more contrived than creditable, motivations are not always clear, and some characters, for instance Kiefer Sutherland as a praise the lord and pass the ammunition Marine, are not very convincingly acted. [11 Dec 1992]
  15. Though not terribly interesting as political philosophy, A Few Good Men makes for a passably entertaining movie. [31 Dec 1992, p.A5(E)]
  16. An engaging and sometimes gripping movie, if ultimately a superficial one. Reiner has mastered the surface skills of moviemaking, although the inner depths continue to elude him. [11 Dec 1992]
  17. Slick, overly deliberate and brimming with hammy performances...directed by Rob Reiner with glistening, uninspired competence. [11 Dec 1992]
  18. Everything falls into place, click click click. Like many a formulaic piece, this one engages a real theme--here it's the conflict between the concept of duty and the idea of the individual--and does little with it. [25 Jan 1993]
  19. I'm usually a sucker for courtroom dramas, but Rob Reiner's highly mechanical filming by numbers of Aaron Sorkin's adaptation of his own cliched and fatuous Broadway play kept putting me to sleep.
  20. The performers are powerless to bring life to this moribund courtroom drama...a snoozer.
  21. Reviewed by: Michael Sragow
    The moral discussions operate like a bad pair of elevator shoes: it's obvious that their function is to lift black-and-white melodrama into message-movie paradise. The whole film, with its steady, important-picture pacing and its bits of pseudo-profundity, is a piece of glorified banality. [14 Dec 1992, p.123]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 88 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 2 out of 15
  1. Dec 11, 2012
    You definitely enjoy any Nicholson's movie, but I have to agree with other critics, the cast could have been better, Moore's performance it's poor, why does she always seems to have tears in her eyes? is she always crying? Anyway, Tom always acts the same every time his characters belong to any of the armed forces, so maybe someone else for the job. Still a a manageable movie with an epic scene, from Jack Nicholson of course. Full Review »
  2. Discombobulator
    Feb 29, 2008
    Not a bad story, bud sadly let down by poor casting. Jack Nicholson is as highly watchable as ever, but Demi Moore proves yet again that she is one of the worst actress of her generation. She stinks in everything she's done, and dont let me get started on Tom Cruise's wooden performance. Yikes !! The courtroom scene is sadly let down by La Cruise's hambone performance, as he is outclassed by Jack. With better casting it could have been so much more. Full Review »
  3. Jul 28, 2014
    A Few Good Men is a smart courtroom drama with a brilliant story and great perfromances from Cruise, Nicholson, Pollak, Bacon and Sutherland (solid performance from Demi Moore). Also sharp direction from Rob Reiner Full Review »