Box art for Officer and a Gentleman

Officer and a Gentleman

drama, romance

Once in a great while a movie comes along that truly grips and uplifts its audiences.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 15
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
5 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
5 out of 5
3 out of 5

So-so coming-of-age military flick; not for kids.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this film contains some brief nudity (female breasts and buttocks, male buttocks) and explicit sexual dialogue. The military training sequences involve homophobic and racial slurs as well as fistfights. Several of the female characters are depicted as trying to get soldiers to impregnate them. Characters drink heavily. In addition, one of the main characters commits suicide.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the relationships that Zack has with his father and with Sgt. Foley. Who do you think he looked up to more? Is Zack treated fairly by Sgt. Foley? Families could talk about the depiction of female characters in the movie. How are Paula, Lynette, and Seeger portrayed differently? Why did Seeger have a hard time in the military? How is she different than both Paula and Lynette?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: Taylor Hackford's 1982 film is an awesomely, stiflingly professional piece of work, with a fleet, superficial visual style, perfectly placed climaxes, and a screenplay that doesn't waste a single character or situation.

- Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fresh: Blue-collar fairy tale for adults: Richard Gere is the frog-prince and Debra Winger is Cinderella in this extremely old-fashioned yet utterly enjoyable movie, whose few modernist touches are a black sergeant, rougher lingo, and more vivid sexuality.

- Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rotten: Macho, materialistic, and pro-militarist, it's an objectionable little number made all the more insidious by the way Hackford pulls the strings and turns it into a heart-chilling weepie.

- Geoff Andrew, Time Out, Thursday, January 26, 2006

Audience Reviews

4 stars

What a wonderful and honest film with splendid performances from the entire cast, especially Louis Gossett Jr., who is fantastic and deserved the Oscar he won. And it grows so much in us along two hours that we end up embracing its clichs without the slightest reservation.

- blacksheepboy, Thursday, September 19, 2013

3 stars

An Officer and a Gentleman is a good drama that relies on a predictable story, but manages to be entertaining due to the performances of its cast. I thought that the film was a bit overrated, but nonetheless it's worth seeing, if you're looking for an engaging drama, this is a film worth seeing. I really felt that the actors salvaged the film due to the fact that this is a film that we know exactly how it will conclude. The chemistry between Richard Gere and Debra Winger is wonderful, and it's what keeps you involved in the film. In terms of Romance films, I guess this is one of the better ones, compared to those of today, which are peppered with clichs and highly forgettable. Where An Officer and a Gentleman differs is that the romance is set within a well constructed story. Like I said, the actors salvage this one, as some may find it a little dull. For me, I felt it was a good film, but one that doesn't necessarily warrant multiple viewings. Even with the fact that it's a bit predictable, An Officer and a Gentleman is far better than many other genre films. The cast is good, the plot is well thought out, and the direction is well done and keeps you engaged from start to finish. So if you want a romantic drama film that is a bit predictable, yet better filmed than many of today's films, this is your best bet. The film is far from perfect, but it does manage to deliver an engaging plot, mixed with effective performances to make it a film worth seeing.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Sunday, January 19, 2014

3 stars

One of the greatest chick flicks ever.

- FilmFanatik, Monday, December 21, 2009