Saw this movie on cable a few years after it came out. I didn't think too much of it back then--but what a difference 20 years makes! Taps is, without a doubt, one of the best teen angst movies ever made. The unique twist here is that teens are (literally) fighting for increasingly anachronistic ideals: duty, honor, and country. Partly due to their methods & partly due to their militaristic demeanor, the society outside the school gates (good symbolism here) spurns their cause. In the time since 1981, the trend has been to tolerate, defend, and even reward, abberrant behavior. As a result, the film gets high marks for correctly predicting that these kids are on the wrong side of history. The casting was also extraordinary with outstanding performance all around. Cruise's performance was especially strong--perhaps the best he's ever done. I also find it uncanny that this film was able to cast two of today's top stars (Penn & Cruise) as leads. These factors have actually helped Taps improve with age--an extremely rare achievement.