A group of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq struggle to integrate back into family and civilian life, while living with the memory of a war that threatens to destroy them long after they've left the battlefield.
In 1940, Thurgood Marshall is a young lawyer for the NAACP who criss-crosses the country defending innocent African-Americans from unjust indictments in court. His latest case is in Bridgeport, Connecticut where an African-American chauffeur is accused of rape of a wealthy white society woman. To admit Marshall into the local Bar, insurance lawyer Sam Friedman is picked over his objections to do introductions in court. However, Friedman's commitment changes drastically when the racist judge forbids Marshall to speak in court, forcing Friedman to act as lead counsel. Now in an intolerable situation for the pair, Marshall must guide his new compatriot through this criminal trial even as Friedman endures not only this unfamiliar area of law, but also the bigoted pressure he now must share. However, the case proves more complex than either anticipates with unexpected twists and turns even as it becomes a vital one that would define two careers as well as the fight for justice in America.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The synagogue that Sam Friedman is shown attending with his family is called Temple Rodeph Shalom. "Rodeph shalom" (sometimes spelled "rodef shalom") is Hebrew and means "pursuer of peace." The Talmud applies this label to a person who stands for justice, as Friedman's character does in this movie. See more »
After services at Temple Rodeph Shalom, the congregants, including Sam Friedman and his family, depart for home. The actual name of that synagogue, then and now, is Congregation Rodeph Shalom. It has always been a Conservative synagogue, and "Temple" has never been part of its name. See more »
Whether it's the Godfather of Soul, the first black baseball player, or the first black superhero, it's fair to say Chadwick Boseman is becoming one of the best actors of his generation.
So there was high hopes for this bio-pic about NAACP Civil Rights lawyer and first black supreme court justice Thurgood Marshall.
The film looks at one of the first cases of his career; a black chauffeur accused of rape by his white employer in Connecticut. Josh Gad is also in the film as a Jewish lawyer roped into being lead on the case when a judge decrees Marshall can only assist. This is important as the Gadd character has never tried a criminal case before.
You keep expecting Boseman to get that nomination sooner or later, "Get on Up" should have been his ticket, but "Marshall" while pretty good in most areas, just doesn't feel like it has enough weight to it.
I wish they did go with a bigger case of his, or just go all out and go with the one he's known most for- Brown v. Board of Education.
The movie becomes another case of a black man being railroaded by a biased and corrupt system built on fabrications. For some that may be enough to hold them; the court room scenes that take up most of the movie are often rousing if not predictable.
This is all pretty easy-going though- by the second half it's pretty much a comedy the lengths most of the white people in this movie will go to to hide their prejudices.
At times it almost feels like their trying to start a Thurgood Marshall movie Universe here- like this one may not be that good but we'll tease you with some of the better stuff to come if you want it.
But even so, Boseman brings life to this character, whether it's Marshall's perceptiveness or his gift of gab, he's cool because he knows he's the smartest guy in the room at any given time.
Josh Gad has his moments but he still can't seem to fully get out of the goofy sidekick role. We'll have to see how he does in "Murder on the Orient Express".
Oddly enough this is a bio-pic that comes across more as a crowd-pleasing good time than something that's going to be remembered at the end of the year, which is fine.
I laughed, I was invested in the court trial mostly, the performances, including from Sterling K. Brown as the chauffeur are very good. Yet you just feel like it should have done more.
So the score is 7 out of 10. If you guys liked this, check out Craig James Capsule Reviews on Youtube for more.
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