While the story delves into some interesting ideas concerning themes like honor, and various philosophical issues like authoritarianism, it was still hard for me to get past some of the lesser aspects of the script. Some of the dialogue comes across as simply laughable, and there are tons of problems within specific plot points (lack of authority figures in the school, stupid response from law enforcement over easily avoidable problems, etc.). Truth to be told though, these issues don't really matter. Instead of dealing with inconsequential story developments, the movie draws its focus on the characters (and it's through these characters that the movie delivers its important messages).
All of the performances in the film, including the younger kids, are strong. Most notable of which is Sean Penn (giving his feature film debut in fine form) and Tom Cruise (adding his second feature to his filmography in an equally powerful performance). They aren't the main characters though, as it's Timothy Hutton who shines in the lead. These are the actors that make TAP what it is, helping the movie to push past its faults and just allow the audience to enjoy the journey.
Commentary (by director Harold Becker): This relatively interesting and in-depth commentary delves into various aspects of the production, including casting and various elements concerning the script and story. Unfortunately, dead air starts occupying the later scenes, as Becker seems to run out of things to say.
Sounding the Call to Arms: Mobilizing the Taps Generation (29:44): Normally I don't like featurettes like these, because all they are is a bunch of interview footage on top of footage from the film. However, there's some particularly interesting about this one, as it goes over how the actors came to get their parts in the film (for example, Tom Cruise started out as a bit player and then was bumped up to a major role). Also discussed is the academy they used, what the did to change the original story, and even things like how they managed to incorporate the weather problems they were having into the actual movie.
The Bugler’s Cry: The Origins of Playing ‘Taps’ (6:54): Historian Jari Villanueva remarks on the well-known military bugle call, and discusses its history.
There are also a number of Trailers (4 of them) and TV Spots (2 of them) for the film.