For two weeks, 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards in a prison. The "prisoners" have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the "guards" are told to retain order without using physical violence.
An eager and idealistic young attorney defends an Alcatraz prisoner accused of murdering a fellow inmate. The extenuating circumstances: his client had just spent over three years in solitary confinement.
Mitch McDeere is a young man with a promising future in Law. About to sit his Bar exam, he is approached by 'The Firm' and made an offer he doesn't refuse. Seduced by the money and gifts showered on him, he is totally oblivious to the more sinister side of his company. Then, two Associates are murdered. The FBI contact him, asking him for information and suddenly his life is ruined. He has a choice - work with the FBI, or stay with the Firm. Either way he will lose his life as he knows it. Mitch figures the only way out is to follow his own plan... Written by
Mark Harding <email@example.com>
Except for the sporadic soundtrack songs, the entire movie score is created solely on a piano, as played by its composer Dave Grusin. As a means of expanding the tonal range of his piano's percussive properties, Grusin simulated harp-like passages by stroking the naked strings of his grand and rapping the wooden frame for effects, as a drummer might beat his drums. See more »
A computer indicates it is printing to a laser printer, but a dot matrix printer is heard. See more »
Joining a law firm from hell can be detrimental to your health...
All the elements to make a hard-hitting melodrama of corruption (with FBI and Mafia aspects present) are unfolded here in a gripping yarn from John Grisham's novel. Tom Cruise is excellent as a young man who joins a small but prosperous law firm, only to discover that all the perks he enjoys come at great expense to his integrity, not to mention his life. The plot thickens when members of the firm are murdered and Cruise gets drawn into the unmasking of the firm, risking his life to reveal the criminals. Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Holly Hunter and Hal Holbrook all give strong performances, with Hunter fully deserving her Oscar nomination. The pacing is good despite the film's length (well over 2 1/2 hrs.) and there's seldom a dull moment. Especially gripping is the supercharged climax.
Not having read the book, I see where others are disappointed with the ending. Having no comparison to make, I can only say that it kept me absorbed until the final scene. Definitely a must-see if you enjoy action thrillers with a climactic punch. One of the best films of the '90s, full of suspenseful twists and turns.
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