A Few Good Men

  • Review Date: November 10, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1992
  • Running Time: 138 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Complex military whodunit. For mature teens+.
  • Review Date: November 10, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1992
  • Running Time: 138 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Many characters are seen taking political expedient but morally ambiguous actions.

Violence

Gore is at a minimum but the movie begins with two marines forcibly tying up another and then blood is seen staining a bed.

Sex

No nudity, but one scene discusses oral sex quite explicitly.

Language

Several F-words and a graphic oral sex reference.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film's lack of gory violence or explicit sex makes it a relatively good choice for those who like political thrillers. However, the plot might be too complex and slow-paced for all but the most mature teenagers. There is some strong language and a graphic oral sex reference.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

When an unpopular Marine winds up dead after being hazed by two of his unit mates in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Navy lawyer Lt. J. G. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise) is assigned to defend the presumed murderers at their court martial, in a presumably open-and-shut case. But as Kaffee probes further under the urging of Internal Affairs' Lt. Cmdr. JoAnne Galloway (Demi Moore), he finds there's more to the case than meets the eye.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

A FEW GOOD MEN was adapted from a Broadway play and it shows; most of the film is filled with set pieces in which the actors sit at restaurants and in court rooms and offices, endlessly debating the case and the issues around it. Did the dead Marine bring on his fate by breaking the Marine's code of honor, as the base's commanding officer, Col. Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicolson), suggests? If so, does that make the dead soldier a victim or a perpetrator himself?

For adults or very mature teens, A Few Good Men brings up complex and interesting issues surround the military and the duties of soldiers in uniform: the nature of conformity, persecution of the weak, the price of unquestioning obedience to superiors. Younger teens will probably be bored by the film's lack of action, but for families looking for talking points on the military, or those who just like a courtroom drama, A Few Good Men is a solid choice.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the duties of a citizen to their family and their country. Was the death of the marine justified in favor of national security? Does Col. Jessup's military record automatically make him qualified to hold his position? How does the trial cause Lt. Kaffee to question his own values?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 9, 1992
DVD release date:May 29, 2001
Cast:Demi Moore, Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise
Director:Rob Reiner
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Genre:Drama
Run time:138 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language

This review of A Few Good Men was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written bynovachecks January 29, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Ignore the paranoia

Do the right thing. That's the message in this movie. No matter how high an official may rank, they aren't immune to the law; there are consequences. However, there's an equally interesting, and I believe persuasive, point that maybe we, as civilians, don't want to know the truth of what measures our military takes. This movie is appropriate for mature middle-school children. It's laughable that an oral sex reference was voted "inappropriate" for 16 year olds on this site. When I was in middle school, oral sex was completely out of the question. However, the children even two years after me considered it to be nothing. I graduated high school in 2003. Regardless of your opinion about the promiscuity and sexuality of middle and high school students, it's only fueling the flames of rebellion to pretend the situation is something other than what it is. And what a tragedy it would be for these young adults to miss such a powerful film. It's the kind of movie that makes you want to be a lawyer. Like I am.
What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written byRhian De Questa July 30, 2013
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

"They stand on a wall, and they say 'nothing's gonna hurt you tonight. Not on my watch."

One of my favorite movies of all time. It's one of those "it makes you think" movies. The film brings up the timeless question - do you follow your duty or your conscience? Parents need to know that there is a lot of language that include just about everything curse word ever invented, and used multiple times each, though in justifying context. A characters us VERY rude to a woman. There is no real violence but a shot of a bed where a man died is covered in bloodstains, and a man commits suicide, though nothing after him putting the gun in his mouth is seen.Tom Cruise steals the film as the sarcastic lawyer who has never been in court and is thrust into it as a defense for two Marines who are on trial for murder. Demi Moore is his aspiring assistant who wants to clear the two men from their charge, and Jack Nicholson is the Colonel Jessop, the antagonist of the film who splendidly portrays a course, sinister side but is the best at what he does - protecting the country. A supporting cast of Kevin Pollak, Kevin Bacon,and Kiefer Sutherland make it a wonderful film to discuss and a great insight into the life of the marine corps, with scenes of humor and a lot of quotable lines. The whole movie revolves around court and is mostly dialogue that might be hard for younger children to understand, but is fascinating for older teens who will be able to follow to banter of the prosecution vs. the defense. It is six out of five stars.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byJosé Pedro August 3, 2011
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

It's Fine

For me, this is not a great movie. It’s just fine, good characters, good actors… The movie talks about a trial and a murder. I think the positive point it’s the end and the way the guilty guys are punished. Worth your time.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools