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Class Action
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Reviews & Ratings for
Class Action More at IMDbPro »

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20 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic

10/10
Author: markstone001 from Australia
3 April 2006

As a solicitor I normally like lawyer movies, but as a new father I loved this movie.

Most lawyer movies just have hypothetical issues which just raise my interest or remind me of my past.

This one awakened my imagination to the future.

My daughter is less than 12 months old and Hackman's character hit the exact note of feeling and pleasure, I feel when holding my daughter in my arms and watching her grow.

I can say that the scene at the end moved me to tears as I think about holding my daughter in my arms.

Hackman is by far on of the greatest actors I have ever seen. The others I can say did a fantastic job as well. You hate the villains and love the heroes.

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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Not really a courtroom drama...

8/10
Author: Joe Franke from United States
19 July 2006

As a fan of Hackman, Mastrantonio, and courtroom drama, I thought this might be another overlooked chestnut that might repay viewing. Well, I enjoyed the film thoroughly - but it was not really courtroom drama. So if that is what you're looking for, go elsewhere. People are in courtrooms, and there's some cross-examination, but that is not the core of the movie. The core is a story about a father-daughter relationship, and the ups and downs that the relationship can take. Criticized for being 'predictable' or 'smarmy', I found it to be a warm and occasionally humorous take on a plot that may have been presented before, but certainly bore presenting again, and I enjoyed the film very much.

Apted's directing is effective, though never innovative. The actors are all good - in fact, it is to their credit that they made simple lines and dialogue so effective. Hackman, of course, as always,is the professional he always is, and in Mastrantonio he has an actress who can take his words and put her own spin on them. Supporting cast is very solid, the music is early James Horner (good, but again nothing brilliant), setting and atmosphere were both average.

Overall, not a movie for a guy and his girl to watch, but a great movie for that girl and her father to watch. It would've been a great all-rounder if the drama had been in the court-room...

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16 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Class Action in A Class By Itself ****

10/10
Author: edwagreen from United States
1 December 2006

Gene Hackman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrontonio provide a perfect chemistry as a father and daughter, both of whom being attorneys in this excellent 1991 film.

The plot is twofold. Not only are the two on opposite sides of a case involving a faulty automobile but they must cope with the death of the mother, a lovely lady who chose to remain with a wandering Hackman.

Hackman argues the case for the defense. It is horrifying that a cover-up existed because it would be cheaper to deal with the lawsuits than to make the necessary improvements.

A very engrossing film dealing with the human spirit, ethics and indifference. Highly recommended.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

father and daughter, both attorneys, duke it out

7/10
Author: blanche-2 from United States
27 September 2007

Gene Hackman and Mary Elizabeth Mastroantonio are involved in a "Class Action" in this 1991 film that also stars Laurence Fishburne, Donald Moffatt, Joanna Merlin and Fred Thompson. Hackman and MEM, father and daughter, are both attorneys. "I raised you," Jed (Hackman) yells at Maggie (MEM) during one scene. "Mom raised me," she screams back. "You had a date." Maggie's resentment over her father's infidelity erupts after the death of her mother (Merlin) in a powerful scene. Although Maggie has tried to reconcile with him, she finds there is too much in the way. Maggie is in an ethical quandary when the law firm she works for wants to suppress evidence about an automobile manufacturer's malfeasance; complicating things is that her father heads the team the other side of the case.

This is a very good movie that emotionally rings true, thanks to a good script and fine performances by Hackman and Mary Elizabeth. I had the pleasure of working with Mary Elizabeth when she was a Broadway actress - a lovely woman with a great talent, shown here to excellent advantage. Grieving for her mother and unable to accept her father's love, she is blindsided by her boyfriend/boss' ethics violation and has nowhere to turn. The viewer can really feel her pain. Hackman is wonderful as a shark attorney who loved his wife deeply but made some unfortunate choices and alienated his only child. He finds himself now vulnerable and confused; Hackman expresses these emotions beautifully. There is able support from the top-notch cast.

Compelling and at times powerful.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Drama, in and out of the courtroom! Wow.

7/10
Author: dy158 from Singapore
17 June 2006

I still find it kind of a coincidence that this was aired here on the cable the day before Fathers' Day here. Father Jedediah Ward (Gene Hackman) and daughter Maggie (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) are both lawyers and coincidentally, they are on the opposing ends of a major court case.

From the start, one can see that Maggie is very driven to be successful in the lawyers' circles given she told her boss she wanted to take on the case because she is very aware of the company the law firm she works for represents. And her colleagues then told her that her father is the plaintiff for the case. Now this drove the daughter to outwin her father in the courtroom even more.

All the estrangement actually went back to the time when Maggie realised her father is not faithful to her mother. So whenever they passed by each other, Maggie often never gave her father one look. After Mrs Ward's passing, father and daughter reunite each other for a while...but! The old issues all came back.

And when along the way in researching for the case, an obstacle appeared and it almost led Maggie into trouble. Jedediah thought his daughter is almost in trouble and they managed to clear out some things between each other. It even led to surprising events which happened on the day of the big court case.

For me who has always been interested how lawyers always go about their work, this is a nice introduction. Father-daughter relationship is also being explored here. That is why I said about the movie on cable the day before it's Fathers' Day today here.

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Solid Film!!

8/10
Author: AbeStreet from Willoughby, OH, USA
19 May 2008

Sometimes I'm left with the impression that viewers think all films should be award winning material, as though the goal and worth of a film can be judged by the amount of award nominations it generates and brings home. I disagree, a good film should entertain, and that is what this film does very well. Nice on location sets give the film an authentic and attractive feel. The acting is top notch. The two main overlapping stories, the father & daughter relationship and the legal battle, tie in very nicely. This is a solid film that draws the viewer in and keeps his/her attention until final scene. There are many ways to waste two hours, this film is not one of them.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

The Verdict is in: A fine film!

Author: mlevans from Oklahoma
4 August 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Normally I am not a big fan of courtroom drama. Somehow, law & order, crime & punishment make me very uneasy. While visiting my mom, however, Class Action was coming on TV (a Fox station, so I assume it may have been uncut). Since it co-starred Gene Hackman, I decided to watch. I was well-rewarded.

Hackman is one of my favorites and never lets me down. He and co-star Mary Elizabeth Mastratonia both turn in riveting performances as a father-daughter attorneys. The film is emotionally-charged throughout, but never boils over into the sappy range. Without any spoilers, the ending is no huge surprise, but is satisfying – as is the movie as a whole.

Hackman plays Jedediah Tucker Ward, an aging lawyer who has made a national reputation as a David vs. Goliath foe of major corporations. His semi-estranged daughter, Maggie (Mastratonia) has followed his footsteps-at least into the law profession. There the similarity stops, as she is bucking for a partnership in a prestigious firm that handles some of the nation's largest corporations. Both actors turn in tremendous performances.

When the hostile father & daughter find themselves on opposite ends of a huge class action law suit over a car exploding a few years earlier, the already strained relationship is pushed to its limits. Jed's wife (Maggie's mother, of course), Estelle (Joann Merlin) tries to keep them from digging an impenetrable schism between themselves.

Some fine courtroom drama and domestic drama ensues and the winner is clearly the audience. The two leads are tremendous-even bearing some facial resemblance-and the rest of the veteran cast is very strong. I had never even heard of this film before today, but it is a definite winner.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A Compelling, Unheralded Gem

9/10
Author: jonathon_naylor from Manitoba, Canada
28 October 2007

This subdued courtroom drama starts out like an extended episode of L.A. LAW but quickly reveals itself as the unheralded gem it is. Gene Hackman is as solid as ever as a fervent lawyer battling an auto giant accused of manufacturing a faulty model. The twist is that his rival attorney just happens to be his self-reliant daughter, played by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.

CLASS ACTION is not a flashy, fill-up-the-screen-every-minute kind of film. But it is a quite compelling effort. The courtroom storyline is captivating, with director Michael Apted expertly showing the case and its various twists and turns from both sides. Anyone who was glued to the set anytime L.A. LAW came on be in heaven.

Then there's the family dynamic. Hackman and Mastrantonio are convincing as the father and daughter. He seems to know everything and she wants to prove that he does not. They begin the film miles apart in their relationship and it seems a tense court case will further drive in the wedge between them. It's a plot line that works well and helps elevate the film.

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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Worth a watch, but too slow

Author: stuprince from Tacoma, WA
12 May 2003

The idea, great. the actors, terrific. The plot, solid. the outcome, OK at best. Class Action has its moments, but spends way too much time developing the father-daughter relationship. Just as you get into the dirty dealings of the law firm, the director and editors give us more forced relationship. This is worth a look, but only if on TV.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One of the most realistic film portrayals of corporations & their attorneys...

9/10
Author: filmaven-2 from Beverly Hills, California
12 March 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You won't see a better film depiction of greedy corporations that value profits more than people. It is also an honest representation of soulless corporate defense attorneys who prostitute themselves for their corporate client. They will do anything it takes, legal or illegal, in order to win the case and keep their client happy as well as keep their millions in yearly legal fees rolling in.

Of course, it is a dramatic movie, not a documentary, and not everything is realistic. It is difficult to believe that a small boutique law firm such as Gene Hackman's has the resources to quixotically battle the defense firm representing the defendant auto manufacturer. Also, Hackman being opposed by his daughter strains credulity. It may have worked in a comedy when Tracy & Hepburn were husband and wife on opposing sides (Adam's Rib) but here it is a bit of a distraction. But it may have been necessary to humanize the film rather than only focus on the banality of evil of large corporations.

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