The 90s were a great era for thriller movies, and legal thrillers especially. And Tom Cruise appeared in two amazing ones, back-to-back. First, there was Rob Reiner’s A Few Good Men with Jack Nicholson in 1992, then came Sydney Pollack’s The Firm with Gene Hackman in 1993. And you can now watch The Firm on US Netflix.
Tom Cruise‘s The Firm was a huge success, making $280 million and was the fourth highest-grossing movie of 1993. It kickstarted a sub-genre of thriller movies that would go on to rule the 90s – the John Grisham adaptation. And nearly every single one was great. Between 1993 and 2003, eight Grisham adaptations were released including The Pelican Brief starring Denzel Washington, A Time to Kill starring Matthew McConaughey, and The Rainmaker starring Matt Damon.
Grisham adaptations attracted a variety of brilliant directors including Pollack, Alan J. Pakula, and Joel Schumacher. And even auteurs like Francis Ford Coppola and Robert Altman. But The Firm set such a high benchmark as one of the best Tom Cruise movies, it was hard for the subsequent movies to compete.
In The Firm, Cruise plays Mitch, a young, idealistic lawyer who joins a Memphis law firm, only to discover that they are embroiled in extensive tax fraud and money laundering for a crime family. Mitch cooperates with the FBI to try to ensure the top lawyers in the firm are prosecuted, but things do not go smoothly.
While The Firm is a great legal thriller, it isn’t actually a courtroom drama and features no courtroom scenes like Cruise’s famous showdown with Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men. It has become notorious for featuring a scene in which Mitch inexplicably backflips down a street while on a double-date – a classic Cruise moment.
Check out our guides to the best spy movies and the best detective movies, where you’re sure to find more brilliant crime thrillers. Check out our guide to the best Netflix movies and find out what’s new on Netflix. We’re also looking forward to Reacher season 2 and Wednesday season 2.