Devil’s Advocate (1997)

logoDirector: Taylor Hackford

Writer: Jonathan Lemkin, Tony Gilroy (Screenplay) Andrew Neiderman (Novel)

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron, Jeffrey Jones, Judith Ivey, Connie Nielsen, Craig T Nelson, Tamara Tunie

 

Plot: An exceptionally adept Florida lawyer is offered a job to work in New York City for a high-end law firm with a high-end boss – the biggest opportunity of his career to date.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Damned if you, Damned if you don’t

 

Story: Devil’s Advocate starts with defence lawyer Kevin Lomax (Reeves) defending a paedophile who Lomax knows is guilty but he hasn’t lost a case before isn’t prepared to give up his undefeated streak. After doing the seemingly impossible Kevin proves himself to be one of the best trial lawyers in Florida.

This latest win grabs the attention of Milton, Chadwick & Waters attorneys in New York and along with his wife Mary Ann (Theron) head of firstly to just pick a jury for them. Kevin gets the case won in record time which leads him to meet John Milton (Pacino) who offers him a job in the firm. Kevin gets all the perks of a partner and gets put on his first case which is a simple health code case, which of course he wins with ease.

When one of the biggest clients on the books gets charged with triple homicide Alex Cullen (Nelson) get given Kevin to prove he is innocent even when the city has already decided he is guilty. Kevin is being a success Mary Ann is struggling to cope with the lifestyle in New York and her only to friends are all about the spending their husband’s money and starts to have the beginning of a breakdown.

The further Mary Ann falls into madness the more Kevin discovers that he is in fact working for a company that doesn’t do everything by the books and maybe after something else.

Devil’s Advocate manages to put the characters that could be conceded evil in defence lawyers be turned into the actual home of the devil. It is hinted heavily throughout and the lack of real involvement in what actually is happening in the case shows us the cases are not the most important side of the story. Showing the mental stat of Mary Ann works well because as she loses her mind and the parallels between Mary Ann and Kevin’s transformations become important to the final outcome. This is a very well told story that tries to keep you guessing throughout. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Keanu Reeves: Kevin Lomax hot young lawyer who doesn’t seem to lose a case, he gets recruited by one of the top law firms in New York where he continues to shine in the courtroom. Keanu gives a good performance and shows he can have the intense scenes. (7/10)

 keanu

Al Pacino: John Milton the senior partner of the firm who has taken an interest in Kevin, he shows him around and becomes part father mentor to Kevin, John decides to give Kevin the biggest case in the city. Al gives a good performance who makes the scenes look effortless. (7/10)

pacino

Charlize Theron: Mary Ann Lomax, Kevin’s wife who loves the idea of moving to the big city but she soon starts to become unhinged by being alone in the apartment and making no new friends. Charlize does a good job showing she was a rising star in the business. (7/10)

 charlize

Support Cast: Devil’s Advocate has a supporting cast that includes fellow lawyers, clients and wives who mislead Mary Ann. They all help our characters end up with the decision they have to make.

 

Director Review: Taylor Hackford – Taylor does a good job directing by balancing between the two changes the married couple go through. (7/10)

 

Mystery: Devil’s Advocate does keep you guessing throughout to what is really going on. (8/10)

Thriller: Devil’s Advocate keeps you at the edge of your seat with how the case could go. (8/10)

Settings: Devil’s Advocate uses New York as the primary setting showing how easily looks can be deceiving. (9/10)

Suggestion: Devil’s Advocate is one to try, I don’t think it will be for everyone but it can be enjoyed. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Kevin’s ability to turn any case.

Worst Part: Slightly too long.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $152 Million

Budget: $57 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 24 Minutes

Tagline: Don’t trust the devil

Trivia: Originally the film was a more special-effects oriented, blockbuster-type movie and was turned down by Al Pacino five times. But when Taylor Hackford went through a few script re-writes he offered it to Pacino again. Pacino liked it, but didn’t think he could portray Milton properly, and suggested Sean Connery or Robert Redford instead.

 

Overall: Devil’s Advocate is one of the most interesting films because it shows how it is about how far you would go for success.

Rating 72

Rose Red (2002) Mini Series

logoDirector: Craig R Baxley

Writer: Stephen King (Screenplay)

Starring: Nancy Travis, Matt Keeslar, Kimberly j. Brown, David Dukes, Judith Ivey, Melanie Lynskey, Matt Ross, Julian Sands, Kevin Tighe, Julia Campbell, Emily Deschanel

 

Plot: Rose Red is one of the most haunted mysterious houses in America, with people disappearing and dying mysteriously for a century. Professor Joyce Reardon (Travis) wants to prove the existence of the paranormal. Along with the last remaining family member Steve Rimbauer (Keeslar) she arrange for a team of different type of psychic to investigate. Her team includes Cathy (Ivey), Emery (Ross), Nick (Sands), Victor (Tighe), Pam (Deschanel) and an autistic girl Annie (Brown) and her non-psychic sister Rachel (Lynskey). Spending the weekend in the house how will they cope with all the haunting going on and how many secrets does the house hold?

 

Verdict: King delivers another wonderfully creepy story

Story: Not many people can create a large cast and develop the characters so well, King knows how to do this and this proves it again. With plenty of mystery involved and secrets from the house and the characters we get a genuine creepy story. (9/10)

 

Actor Review: Nancy Travis – Joyce her obsession with Rose Red will push her to professional limits and personally limits. It is a good performance from Nancy showing how an obsession can take over you goals. (9/10)

 joyce

Actor Review: Matt Keeslar – Steve the last remaining family member of the house who has also experienced the houses power as a child. Good performance as one of the voices of reason who seemingly doesn’t suffer from the hauntings compared to the rest. (8/10)

steve

Actor Review: Kimberly J. Brown – Annie the autistic girl with the strongest powers of all the psychics. Good performance from the young actress who is important to the story. (8/10)

 annie

Actor Review: Melanie Lynskey – Rachel one of the non-psychics who also doesn’t seem to suffer from the hauntings but is only there to protect her sister. Good performances with a calm protective domineer. (8/10)

 

Actor Review: Julian Sands – Nick a mind reader who is the one of the nicest characters involved always knowing more than the rest but unwilling to share to protect the rest. The star of the show here, dominating the screen every time he is on it. Star Performance Award, Scene Stealer Award, Favourite Character Award (9/10)

 sands

Actor Review: Matt Ross – Emery a very unlikeable character who only cares about himself but has a power to make the spirits disappear. Great performance to create such an unlikeable but important character. (9/10)

 emery

Actor Review: Judith Ivey – Cathy she believes that god will protect her against anything in the house and with her power she also is an important to the final showdown. Good performance to show a good character that has to deal with all the anti-good in the house. (8/10)

Director Review: Craig R Baxley – Great direction to turn this great story into such an interesting visual experience. (9/10)

 

Horror: Great build for horror that doesn’t scare you silly but offers enough jumps to keep you on the edge of your seat. (8/10)

Thriller: it may be four hours long but you just want to keep watching to see what will happen next. (9/10)

Special Effects: Some great special effects but some poor or dated effects. (7/10)

Believability: Many people believe at haunted house but this goes to the extremes. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Rose Red is an excellent setting for the film showing that isolation even in the middle of a big city can create extra scares. (10/10)

house

Suggestion: Stephen King fans have to watch this most horror fans have to watch this but just don’t expect gore. This is a great series that people will enjoy watching. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Cathy gets lost in the house.

Worst Part: It could be too long for some.

Oscar Chances: No but got nominated for Prime Time Emmy.

Chances of Sequel: No

 

Overall: Great miniseries that has plenty of scares.

Rating 85