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.
In the late 1960s/early 1970s, a San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac Killer, an unidentified individual who terrorizes Northern California with a killing spree.
Robert Downey Jr.,
Hank Palmer is a successful defense attorney in Chicago, who is getting a divorce. When His brother calls with the news that their mother has died, Hank returns to his childhood home to attend the funeral. Despite the brittle bond between Hank and the Judge, Hank must come to his father's aid and defend him in court. Here, Hank discovers the truth behind the case, which binds together the dysfunctional family and reveals the struggles and secrecy of the family.Written by
The Judge tells the accused to go to Indianapolis in early August to see the worlds largest steer. While any "Hoosier" will tell you it's the worlds largest hog at the state fair, it's clearly established in the film that the Judge is suffering from memory loss and lapses in his mental condition. See more »
[stomping into the mens room]
You're not getting away with this. Palmer, you asshole!... Hey!
[turning toward him getting him wet]
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Firstly I have to say that the trailer I saw for The Judge advertised it as a courtroom/family drama with some comedy thrown in. Who doesn't love the family feud type films, where the black sheep of the family returns home for a funeral/wedding/divorce etc? And I was looking forward to seeing Robert Downey Jr in a different role from Tony Stark/Iron Man. What I didn't expect was a bit of a tearjerker.
The story itself is fairly clichéd. A lawyer (Robert Downey Jr) in the middle of a messy separation returns home for his mother's funeral. His estranged father (Robert Duvall) doesn't want anything to do with him. He rekindles romance with an old flame (Vera Farmiga). It's the performances though that make it engaging and stop it from potentially being just another straight to DVD release.
The film is beautifully directed by David Dobkin. Downey Jr and Duvall are both excellent. Their scenes are strong and emotional. I also loved Vincent D'Onofrio and Jeremy Strong (as Downey Jr's older and younger brothers respectively). They are terrific. Farmiga, Dax Shepard and Billy Bob Thornton are all great, but I felt they were somewhat underused.
Even though I think that there was a bit too much going on and at times it got a bit too sentimental, I still very much enjoyed The Judge for the most part. It is a touching and absorbing film, that will make you laugh and cry, and if you are a fan of either Downey Jr or Duvall you'll love it.
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