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

5 stars

Fantastic! Not only is there a good story to it, the message this movie sends sticks with you saying that if someone seems to be trying to teach you a lesson it's only because they care. Great performances by Richard Gere,and Debra Winger. The ending song makes this movie just phenomenal!! Just absoulutly love this movie!!!!!!! Very good movie!!! I can watch this over and over again! :)

- movieguru12, Thursday, July 29, 2010

4 stars

Full Review coming soon... I have to admit that I didn't expect to like this as much as I did. What I love about this film is that despite looking like a chick-flick it's not all about their relationship. Plus, Richard Gere was pretty attractive in his 30's.

- SarahG1988, Saturday, September 12, 2009

4 stars

OK, I know I tend to be anti-chick flick. Most of them are repetitive pieces of garbage that bank on a hot male star to hold up a pathetic script. For years I've though that An Officer and a Gentleman was the king of chick flicks. All we've seen is that last scene with RichardGere carrying Debra Winger out of her factory job in his military dress. It feels like pure chick flick. But it turns out to be much more than that. The film follows Zack Mayo (Richard Gere), a recent college grad who shocks his boozing and whoring father by declaring that he had joined the Navy to learn to fly jets. Mayo ends up being under the thumb of Gunnery Sergeant Foley (LouisGossett, Jr.) while entering into a romance with local factory worker Paula Pokrifki (Debra Winger). The film folows the ups and downs of this group of officer wannabes. You see their pain. Gere's character may seem confident, but he realizes he's landed in his last chance. You see the hell and the happiness when he's with Paula. It's sort of aying yang portrayal between the cold as ice trainee and the lover. Gere pulls it off, as does Winger. Winger's character is almost like a lost soul who knows that the operating procedure in her town is to trap and officer and see the world, yet she knows that she actually wants to love whoever her mate is supposed to be. The key performance is Louis Gossett, Jr. His portrayal of Sgt. Foley is a masterpiece and sets the standard for all other Sergeants (sans real drill instructor R. LeeErmey ) that followed him. He's a prick, but there are a few cracks in that armor. Just a few and they don't show very often as they're almost felt like a ghostly presence. A great performance that deserved the Oscar he won. After seeing An Officer and a Gentleman I almost have to call it Full Metal Jacket Light. Instead of being a romance, which seems to be a secondary plot point, it's more of an examination of the human spirit beingtwisted and distorted by forces all around the characters. Like I said it may be a chick flick, but it's a good chick flick.

- sononothing, Saturday, March 7, 2009