After being discharged from the Army, Brian Flanagan (Tom Cruise) moves back to Queens and takes a job in a bar run by Doug Coughlin (Bryan Brown), who teaches Brian the fine art of bartending. Brian quickly becomes a patron favorite with his flashy drink-mixing style. Brian adopts his mentor’s cynical philosophy on life and goes for the money. He leaves his artist girlfriend Jordan Mooney (Elisabeth Shue) for Bonnie (Lisa Banes), a wealthy, high-powered executive. Brian soon must chose between the two, as he evaluates his options.

What people are saying:

“There are no surprises in Cocktail, a shallow, dramatically inert romance that squanders Tom Cruise’s talents in what amounts to a naive barkeep’s banal fantasy” 3 stars

“This vacant, misshapen film is basically an extended beer commercial that presents the world as a ludicrous place populated by sex-and-cash-and-booze-crazed zomboids. Cruise, meanwhile, comes off as a somewhat taller Spuds MacKenzie.” 3 stars

Cocktail is Tom Cruise fluff. No necessity to do a good job of acting just act like a jerk, I do not think that takes much acting for him. A film about drinking your way to the top somehow seems a little inane and this movie is inane. But if you like drunks and socialite harlots, snobby poets and elitists, as well as watching the mighty fall, then this movie is probably your martini.” 2 stars

“Coughlin’s Law: “Any thing else is always something better.” This film won Golden Raspberry Awards for Worst Picture and Worst Screenplay and Tom Cruise was nominated for Worst Actor…and that recognition is justified. This is not one of Cruise’s best roles, nor one of his better performances. He is adequate, as is Bryan Brown. The best acting in the film is by a young and beautiful Elizabeth Shue; and she is a joy to watch in this. The film was a big box office hit, which should tell you that it is at least entertaining…and it is. So watch it for its entertainment value and for a memorable performance by Shue. Don’t watch it, looking for something deep and meaningful…or even shallow and meaningful, for that matter. You won’t find it” 3 stars

Cocktail is frustrating to watch. It almost feels like this movie has nothing to offer other than annoying and unpleasant people arguing with one another. No one treats the other characters with any respect other than Elisabeth Shue, and her presence in the film just accentuates the fact that everyone else is unlikable. Plus I end up worrying about her because of all the awful decisions she makes for this one guy. The most notable thing that everyone remembers about this film is the flair bartending. Now I appreciate that Tom Cruise and Bryan Brown clearly do a lot of these tricks themselves, but they aren?t the greatest at it and flair bartending makes up a very small part of the movie. Most of the film is made up of depressing relationship drama that will probably end up with Tom Cruise?s character following in the footsteps of Bryan Brown?s character. They don?t do anything that makes sense with their choices for the future, and yet I think I?m supposed to be celebrating with them at the end. It?s a sad film filled with the worst kinds of characters. I?ll be happy to never watch it again.” 1 1/2 stars


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