A Few Good Men Movie Poster Image

A Few Good Men



Complex military whodunit. For mature teens+.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1992
  • Running Time: 138 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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


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


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


Several F-words and a graphic oral sex reference.

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.

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?


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, this is a solid choice. 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.

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/Streaming release date:May 29, 2001
Cast:Demi Moore, Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise
Director:Rob Reiner
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Run time:138 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language

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Adult Written bynovachecks January 29, 2010

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

"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

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