Scripted by Aaron Sorkin from his own play, considerably less interesting than A Soldier's Story, this centres on a fatal case of bullying in the US Marines and the ensuing trial. The intellectual cut-and-thrust of the courtroom is largely absent here, and the denouement seems slick, arbitrary, and derived from the Captain Queeg catalogue. Even worse, Cruise is cast as the dilettante Navy lawyer with a brilliant legal brain, and jives about in much the same manner as he did in Top Gun. Lieutenant Commander Demi Moore wants him to get serious, praises his brain repeatedly in case we missed it, and finally gets him shouting idealistically in court. The pair of them are useless in uniform, and shown up by the highly professional Bacon, who gives a layered performance as the opposing counsel. Unfortunately, the most interesting character is little more than a cameo for Nicholson, but he does give an alarming sketch of the élitist military mind.
Cast and crew