The besties review
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As a diehard Mission: Impossible fan, I have always appreciated Tom Cruise more for his athletic ability than his acting ability. But after watching Jerry Maguire, I have to say— Tom Cruise is a great actor! I know this probably isn’t a hot take, but I was legitimately surprised by how entertained I was. I knew a lot of classic moments from the movie just by being on the Internet 24/7, but one thing I didn’t know was this is the “you had me at hello” movie. Neat!
A Few Good Men
Holy crap, this was awesome! I never knew I loved courtroom dramas until I watched this and realized I love courtroom dramas. Tom Cruise’s smartest-guy-in-the-room routine doesn’t really get old for me, and that’s good because it seems like that’s kind of his “thing” at this point in his career. I thought Aaron Sorkin’s script and the supporting cast (specifically Moore, Nicholson, and Bacon) were great, but it’s really Cruise’s dynamite performance that seals the deal for me.
Okay, now I’m just thinking I have a soft spot for Tom Cruise or something, because I don’t think The Firm is known for being one of the actor’s best films… but I was still so freaking into it. As I sort of discovered with A Few Good Men, I apparently love a well done legal thriller. I thought this was going to be another epic courtroom showdown, with Tom having to take down the whole firm single-handed, but I actually enjoyed the way this movie dealt with the law outside of the courtroom. A lot of this movie is cheesy 90s stuff, but I kind of dug it. I don’t know, man… I think I’ve discovered my new favorite “guilty pleasure” genre.
For being one of Tom Cruise’s most famous films, this isn’t really about Tom Cruise. Obviously, it’s Dustin Hoffman’s Oscar-winning performance as Raymond that most people remember, or the fact that it won Best Picture (was this a weak year or something?), but I still think Cruise holds his own. Honestly, I wasn’t as enamored with this as I was with the others, even though I definitely enjoyed it. I guess my one main complaint is that the first half felt a little slow and predictable. That said, I think the sweet ending kind of made up for it.
This movie has not aged well at all. I guess the law must have been different back in the early 1980s, because I don’t think it’s A-okay for high schoolers to have sex with call girls anymore. I know this is supposed to be a classic, but nothing in this movie sat right with me. Tom Cruise was good in it, I guess, but the whole premise (especially the ending) just felt really stupid.
What is 5 Film Film Festival (5FFF)?
In short, 5 Film Film Festival is an ongoing personal project to help me watch more classic films. For each mini “festival,” I will choose a random theme (be it a genre, actor, director, etc.) and curate five movies that fit that theme to watch for the first time. When I started this journey, I posted my brief, unpolished thoughts on Letterboxd. I like this more informal, less pretentious mode of watching older movies, so as I begin documenting the project here on the site, don’t expect a lot of in-depth analysis— every “review” will read more like a “first reaction.”
If you’re like me, and you have more than a few blind spots in your cinematic knowledge, then consider joining me on this lifelong endeavor. Watch along, recommend themes, and organize some mini festivals of your own!