When he pours, he reigns.

Romance Drama Comedy
104 min     6.105     1988     USA


After being discharged from the Army, Brian Flanagan moves back to Queens and takes a job in a bar run by Doug Coughlin, who teaches Brian the fine art of bar-tending. Brian quickly becomes a patron favorite with his flashy drink-mixing style, and Brian adopts his mentor's cynical philosophy on life and goes for the money.


CinemaSerf wrote:
There was something about Tom Cruise in this film that shows him at his most engaging and fun. His character "Brian" wants to get on in life - but at every turn his limited of education gets in the way. Despondent, he heads to a bar where he encounters "Doug" (Bryan Brown) and next thing we know, he is a cocktail barman. A bit slow to start off with, but soon he has the clientele eating out of his hand as his charm and cheekiness soon show he has a real skill for this job. The first half hour or so are actually quite lively and entertaining. We also get a sense of just how hard - manic, even - it is to be behind the bar in a busy venue - maybe I will show a little more patience next time I have to wait for my Sauvignon Blanc (though probably not!). The bulk of the film, though, is really weak and feeble. He falls in love, cheats, falls out of love, drops the bottle, does he or doesn't he get the girl (Elisabeth Shue)? Then the film is tinged with a little bit of tragedy just in case the fluffiness of it all was making us light-headed. The ending is sort of imposed upon us, and after 100 minutes it took it's time to deliver the obvious. If you don't drink, you'll almost certainly hate it. If you do drink, then you will probably still not rate it much, but at least you will learn how to put fruit juice in a martini!
Wuchak wrote:
**_Fun 80’s flick starts shallow, gets deeper_** Bent on financial success, a young ex-soldier (Tom Cruise) becomes an expert bartender in Manhattan while attending college in order to make it on Wall Street. Then a dream surfaces to establish a nightclub in Jamaica. Bryan Brown plays his cynical mentor while Elisabeth Shue and Lisa Banes are on hand as romantic interests. “Cocktail” (1988) is an entertaining Cruise-led 80’s flick that starts energetic, amusing and shallow but, thankfully, fleshes out the characters for something deeper. It’s fun in a snappy way, yet hindered by a feeling of unreality in the first half, which is resolved in the second. Brown is reminiscent of Michael Caine while Shue is in her prime, although her beauty isn’t fully captured as it was in “The Karate Kid” and the later “Leaving Las Vegas” (the fools). Laurence Luckinbill shows up in the last act; he would go on to superbly play Sybok in “Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” the next year. The ending is fine, but a bar is a bar, a place where people get soused. You can make a good living from it, sure, but does that benefit or deter humanity in the grand scheme of things? The film runs 1 hour, 43 minutes, and was shot in Toronto and Ocho Rios, Jamaica. GRADE: B