HollywoodChicago.com RSS   Facebook   HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter   Free Giveaway E-mail   

Film Review: Inauthentic ‘The Judge’ Guilty of a Stale Confrontation

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
Average: 2.7 (3 votes)

CHICAGO – Here comes “The Judge,” here comes “The Judge.” That 1960s catchphrase gets new meaning in the film featuring Robert Downey Jr. and veteran Robert Duvall, in a angry generational face-off that makes little sense and provides a stiff courtroom drama that felt like bad TV.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

This is supposed to be a platform for two great film actors, Downey and Duvall, to troll for Oscar nominations in a familiar Daddy-doesn’t-love-me-because-he’s-an-angry-guy story. There is nothing authentic about the reasons regarding their disdain for each other, except the type of misunderstandings that could have cleared up with one phone call. The centerpiece courtroom sequence, in which Lawyer Downey must defend Judge Duvall, was the height of fall-into-place narrative convenience, and should never have gone to trial – but the prosecutor character played by Billy Bob Thornton (naturally) has it in for the arrogant Downey. It all concludes with a tacked-on hackneyed ending, with symbolic syrupy strings and hosannas.

Hank Palmer (Downey Jr.) is a slick Chicago lawyer, whose specialty is defending guilty people, and making them legally innocent. He gets a call that his mother has passed away, and travels to his small Indiana hometown to attend her funeral. There is tension there, as his father Joseph (Duvall) – the tough but beloved local judge – hasn’t forgiven Hank for a past transgression.

After several clashes involving the father and son during the mourning period, and run-ins with brothers Glen (Vincent D’Onofrio) and developmentally disabled Dale (Jeremy Strong), a mysterious dent in their father’s car causes alarm. The Judge doesn’t remember hitting anyone with the vehicle, but the evidence is clear. Hank will take the case, and at the same time woo a local ex-lover named Samantha (Vera Farmiga).

“The Judge” opens everywhere on October 10th. Featuring Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard, Leighton Meester and Ken Howard. Screenplay by Nick Schenk and Bill Dubuque. Directed by David Dobkin. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Judge”

Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall
The Defender: Hank (Robert Downey Jr.) and Joseph (Robert Duvall) in ‘The Judge’
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Judge”

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing

TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Bobby Pin Girls

    CHICAGO – The “breeder years” are difficult on everyone, as the biological imperative becomes overwhelming and the couplings that result yield both discovery and misadventure. Nothing Without a Company’s new play “Bobby Pin Girls” highlight two such Millennial women, roommates who are having man trouble, although the argument can be made that it’s eternally “boy trouble.” The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through December 3rd, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

Advertisement



HollywoodChicago.com on Twitter

archive

HollywoodChicago.com Top Ten Discussions
referendum
tracker