23 Best 'A Few Good Men' Quotes

Some of the 'A Few Good Men' quotes are very intense

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A lot of different pieces need to come together to make a good movie, and even more to make a masterpiece.

'A Few Good Men' is a work of art that is a consequence of passionate acting, brilliant direction and some impeccable dialogue. So much so, that quotes from the movie are still cited regularly to this day.

Released in the year 1992, this masterpiece directed by Rob Reiner is an adaptation of a Broadway play written by Aaron Sorkin. In the film, Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee is tasked with defending two US marines accused of murdering a member of their unit in Guantanamo Bay. As the court martial progresses, and more facts come to light, the movie poses some seriously complex moral and ethical questions.  

‘A Few Good Men’ has a satisfying ending to one of the most tense situations in Hollywood courtroom history. With so many people putting everything on the line, the whole movie essentially boils down to a final battle between two characters. Everyone involved on both sides has so much riding on the verdict of this case. That is how you know the quotes from this movie are nothing short of a masterpiece.

When done right, dialogue can add so much more to a movie and 'A Few Good Men' is the perfect example to show this. It is what makes the movie so iconic with many of its quotes leaving a lasting impression on us. Let us have a look at the quotes that really struck a chord with us.

We have in this list the best quotes from 'A Few Good Men', including some great Tom Cruise quotes. The 'A Few Good Men' cast all did a fantastic job to make the movie iconic, and the verbal encounters between Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson are electrifying at times. Most of the 'A Few Good Men' movie quotes are quite famous. The quotes from Joanne Galloway will make you think and some of the Rob Reiner quotes are funny. Enjoy!

If you love these quotes, check out these Tom Cruise quotes and Jack Nicholson quotes too!

Colonel Jessup Quotes

Hollywood legend Jack Nicholson delivers one of his best performances ever as Nathan Jessup. As the perceived villain in the movie, Nicholson does a great job of capturing the sinister character of Colonel Jessup. Jessup is an important officer who also happens to be smart and skilled at emotional manipulation, he is arrested by military police at the end of the movie. The ‘A Few Good Men’ speech in the courtroom is downright one of the most gripping scenes in movie history. It wouldn't be wrong to say that some movie quotes from this movie are the most iconic Jack Nicholson quotes ever.

1. “We’re in the business of saving lives, Matthew. With every degree that we allow ourselves to move off the mark of perfection as officers, more people die- that’s a responsibility that I take pretty seriously.”

- Colonel Jessup.

2. “I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it.”

- Colonel Jessup.

3. “I hate casualties Matthew. A Marine smothers a grenade and saves his platoon, that Marines doing his job. There are casualties. Even in victory."

- Colonel Jessup.

4. “We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as a backbone to a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline.”

- Colonel Jessup.

5. “We live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You?”

- Colonel Jessup.

6. “My existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You can’t handle it. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about, you want me on that wall. You need me there.”

- Colonel Jessup.

7. “I’d prefer you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I’d suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post.”

- Colonel Jessup.

8. "The fabric of this base, the foundation of the unit, the spirit of the Corps, these things are worth fighting for. And there’s no one who doesn’t know that who’s ever made the choice to put on the uniform.”

- Colonel Jessup.

9. “You see Danny, I don’t want money and I don’t want medals. What I do want is for you to stand there… and with your Harvard mouth, extend me some courtesy. You gotta ask me nicely.”

- Colonel Jessup.

Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee Quotes

The hotshot lawyer with a track record of 44 plea bargains in nine months, played by Tom Cruise has the odds stacked against him in this film. Lieutenant Kaffee is pushed out of his comfort zone as he has to go to trial when his clients refuse to accept the plea deal. The stakes are really high with the lives of the accused and the professional reputation of Kaffee both on the line. Apart from this, with his father being a former renowned trial lawyer, Kaffee is under pressure to succeed and live up to the Kaffee name. The tension builds up into one of the most tense climaxes in movie history accompanied by great quotes.  

'A Few Good Men' is a classic movie with great actors.

10. “I’m not going to trip him. I’m gonna lead him right where he’s dying to go.”

- Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee.

11. “This is a sales pitch. It's not going to be won by the law, it's going to be won by the lawyers.”

- Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee.

12. “Why does a Lieutenant junior grade with a track record for plea bargains get handed a murder case? Could it be so it never sees the inside of a courtroom?”

- Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee.

13. “You don't need a patch on your arm to have honor.”

- Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee.

14. “You and Dawson, you both live in the same dream-world. It doesn't matter what I believe. It only matters what I can prove. So don't tell me what I know, or don't know. I know the Law.”

- Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee.

15. “Oh, I forgot. You were sick the day they taught law at law school.”

- Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee.

Other Famous ‘A Few Good Men’ Quotes

Apart from the previous characters, the movie also has a strong supporting cast that offer some meaningful quotes. These quotes carry a lot of weight in context of the movie. This subcategory will also include conversations as the discussions between characters add a lot of nuance to the quotes.

Find the best 'A Few Good Men' quotes about justice here.

16. “We didn’t join the Corps ‘cause we felt like it, we joined ‘cause it was a life decision. We wanted to live by a code, sir. And we found it in the Corps.”

- Lance Corporal Harold Dawson.

17. "Lieutenant Kaffee: Colonel Jessup, did you order the Code Red?

Judge Randolph: You don't have to answer that question!

Colonel Jessup: I'll answer the question! You want answers?

Lieutenant Kaffee: I think I'm entitled to.

Colonel Jesse: You want answers?

Lieutenant Kaffee: I want the truth!

Colonel Jessup: You can't handle the truth!"

- 'A Few Good Men'.

18. "Lieutenant Kaffee : Did you order the code red?

Colonel Jessup : I did the job I…

Lieutenant Kaffee : [interrupts him]  Did you order the code red?

- 'A Few Good Men'.

19. “Lieutenant Kaffee, I believe in God, and in His son, Jesus Christ. And because I do, I can say this: Private Santiago isn’t dead because of a Code Red. He’s dead because he had no honor. He’s dead because he had no Code. And God was watching.”

- Lieutenant Jonathan James Kendrick.

20. "Louden Downey: Colonel Jessup said he ordered the Code Red! What did we do wrong?

Joanne Galloway: It's not that simple…

Louden Downey: What did we do wrong? We did nothing wrong!

Louden Dawson: Yeah, we did. We were supposed to fight for people who couldn't fight for themselves. We were supposed to fight for Willie."

- 'A Few Good Men'.

21. "Lieutenant Kaffee: Colonel Jessup, if it’s not too much trouble, I would like a copy of the transfer order. Sir.

Colonel Jessup:  [Smiles] No Problem."

- 'A Few Good Men'.

22. "Lt. Sam Weinberg: Why do you like them so much?

Joanne Galloway: Because they stand on the wall, and say “Nothing is going to hurt you tonight, not on my watch.”"

- 'A Few Good Men'.

23. "And now you’re asking me to sign a piece of paper that says we have no honor. We have no Code. You’re asking us to say we’re not Marines."

- Lance Corporal Harold Dawson.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for the best ‘A Few Good Men’ quotes,  then why not take a look at these ['Top Gun' quotes] or '12 Angry Men' quotes for more great quotes?


Written By

Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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