Taps (1981) - Rotten Tomatoes


Taps (1981)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Taps Photos

Movie Info

When an exclusive military school is threatened with demolition by a rapacious real-estate company, the students take drastic action. Utilizing every bit of military know-how at their disposal, the boys take over the school, arm themselves to the teeth, and prepare to do battle against the "invading" developers.

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Timothy Hutton
as Brian Moreland
George C. Scott
as Gen. Harlan Bache
Ronny Cox
as Col. Kerby
Sean Penn
as Alex Dwyer
Tom Cruise
as David Shawn
Brendan Ward
as Charlie Auden
Evan Handler
as Edward West
John P. Navin Jr.
as Derek Mellott
Giancarlo Esposito
as J.C. Pierce
Donald Kimmell
as Billy Harris
Tim Wahrer
as John Cooper
Wayne Tippett
as M.Sgt. Kevin Moreland
Jess Osuna
as Dean Ferris
Earl Hindman
as Lt. Hanson
James Handy
as Sheriff
Jay Gregory
as Interviewer
Karen Braga
as Announcer
Jane Cecil
as Secretary
Thomas Medearis
as Male Clerk
Amelia Romano
as Mrs. Malloy
Sheila Marra
as Lori Cable
Wayne Tippet
as Sgt. Kevin Moreland
Ryan Helm
as Cadet
Tom Klunis
as Parent
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Critic Reviews for Taps

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (5)

A fascinating first hour is drowned in the clichés of siege cinema.

December 3, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Taps is a well crafted and original film about the perils of false heroes and uncontrolled militarism.

October 22, 2018 | Full Review…

A heavy dramatic portrait of military school education with a disturbing shoot 'em up climax, Taps labors at an unbearably slow pace to an inevitable, depressing conclusion.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…

Taps works as an uncommonly engrossing story, primarily because the performances are so well done.

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Though it has been seriously directed by Harold Becker and seriously written by Darryl Ponicsan and Robert Mark Kamen, the movie is less serious than absurd, though without ever being funny.

August 30, 2004 | Full Review…

An ideal script well played out makes Taps one of the more intriguing movies of the season.

May 26, 2020 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Taps

A smart and well-crafted military drama, Taps is a daring and controversial film. When a group of cadets at a military academy barricade themselves inside their citadel a standoff with the local law enforcement and National Guard ensues. The cast includes Timothy Hutton, Tom Cruise, Sean Penn, and George C. Scott; who all deliver excellent performances. The writing is also quite strong, and does a great job at showing the internal struggle that the cadets go through in questioning their cause and what they've been taught to believe in. The film also explores some provocative themes such as the Military-Industrial Complex and America's attitudes toward the military in the post-Vietnam era. Taps is compelling and incredibly powerful.

Dann Michalski
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

Taps is a decent movie but nothing spectacular. The plot is full of holes but still is entertaining. The thing that makes the movie worth the watch is the performances by Hutton, Penn, and Cruise. This is the movie that launched Penn's career and allowed him to go onto bigger and better things. This was also only Cruise's second role. The story suffers a little from the impossibilities but the performances more than make up for it and make the movie worth the watch.

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

So totally boring, I couldn't watch the whole thing. I may give it another chance one day if I hear anything good about it. There is a good cast, but other than that, it's not worth watching.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

Taps Quotes

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