Sunday, October 12, 2014

Movie Review ... The Judge


308555id1i_TheJudge_FinalRated_27x40_1Sheet.inddCourt-rooms have fascinated people for decades.  Within its confines lies a cauldron of truth, lies and drama.  Hardly a surprise court rooms have fuelled many films and TV shows.  ‘The Judge’ utilises dramatic vistas by mixing a familial conflict within the mystery.  A solid tale of past regrets and current predicaments, ‘The Judge’ shows why the people’s court continues to enthral.

Successful lawyer Henry (Robert Downey Jnr) enjoys tackling tough cases.  His most perilous involves his father Joseph (Robert Duvall), a respected judge arrested for murder.  Father and son team to solve the crime despite their strained relationship.  Facing zealous prosecutor Dwight Dickham (Billy Bob Thornton), they sift through the clues.  Attempting to mend their broken bond, they try to make peace with the past and forge new horizons.

Directed with insightful flair by David Dobkin, ‘The Judge’ is engaging.  In spite of a long run-time and over-abundance of sub-plots, it’s an intriguing examination of familial connections.  Henry and Joseph are equally stubborn with their ragged personalities continually pushing them apart.  Only when they confront their issues can they aim for a successful judicial outcome.  The court-room scenes match the intensity of the personal dramas with both providing fascinating viewing.

None of this would succeed without the strong performances.  Downey Jnr and Duvall show why they are such good actors.  You truly believe in their character’s fractured association even though it’s often uncomfortable to witness.  Like the multi-layered screenplay, their interplay is funny, sad, frustrating and moving.  They are aided by an excellent supporting cast whose quest for creating a quality production is evident.

‘The Judge’ ensures court-room dramas can still captivate.  Whilst benefitting with some studious editing, it successfully expresses the many themes.  As long as there are people, courts will always mete out justice and provide fodder for TV and movies for years to come.


Movie Review Rating out of 10:  7

Movie Review by Patrick Moore

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