We gave it an A-
Fifteen years after it won Best Picture, Barry Levinson’s fable still resonates. (Where, for example, would Qantas, Judge Wapner, and my flag boy and your flag boy be without it?) Rooted as much in Cruise’s unheralded performance as an emotionally bound wheeler-dealer as in Hoffman’s Oscar-winning portrayal of an autistic savant, the unusually smart movie transcends conventional drama, offering a relevant lesson in how people who don’t totally communicate can still be brothers. EXTRAS A meager lot is highlighted by some fine commentaries. Levinson reveals that Hans Zimmer’s outstanding score wisely omitted strings to avoid manufacturing further melodrama. And cowriter Barry Morrow laughs that, years after the movie came out, Qantas let him fly first-class for free — even though he wasn’t the one responsible for giving the airline that famous plug.