Writer: Nick Schenk, Bill Dubuque (Screenplay)
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard, Leighton Meester, Ken Howard
Plot: Big-city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his father, the town’s judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his estranged family.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Pleasant Surprise
Story: The Judge starts when big time lawyer Hank Palmer (Downey Jr) has to return home when his mother dies while his own marriage is falling apart. Hank gets to have time with his brother’s Glen (D’Onofrio) and Dale (Strong) while he has to rebuild his broken relationship with his father Judge Palmer (Duvall).
This reunion gets thrown into a direction Hank wasn’t ready for when Judge gets accused of murder and the victim just so happens to be from the only mistake of his career. Now Hank must put aside their differences and let his father pick his own lawyer C.P Kennedy (Shepard) to defend his father against a big time lawyer Dwight Dickham (Thornton) and re-connect with his family. Once the case goes to trial Hank has to defend his father in a case that looks very much against him.
The Judge is a film I covered on my Do we care about the Oscars feature a few months back and I was left wondering if I would be interested in seeing this film at all. What I found was one of the better family dynamic films of recent years as we do follow the men who do struggle to show their emotions with each other few such a difficult time. The case itself does come off all very predictable which I will say does get buried behind the relationship with Hank and his Father which is the driving force of this film. Performance was Duvall and Downey Jr shine in the leading roles while all of the supporting case give wonderful performance not trying to steal the spotlight off anyone.
Overall: Enjoyable film that even at over 2 hours flies past without you needing to check the clock.