MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 38 this week

The Pelican Brief (1993)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  17 December 1993 (USA)
6.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 53,550 users   Metascore: 50/100
Reviews: 80 user | 41 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

A law student uncovers a conspiracy, putting herself and others in danger.

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 30 Jan 2011
 
a list of 41 titles
created 15 Sep 2011
 
a list of 26 titles
created 28 Nov 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 04 Nov 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Pelican Brief (1993)

The Pelican Brief (1993) on IMDb 6.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Pelican Brief.

User Polls

1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A US Army officer, despondent about a deadly mistake he made, investigates a female chopper commander's worthiness for the Medal of Honor.

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Denzel Washington, Meg Ryan, Lou Diamond Phillips
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A quadriplegic ex-homicide detective and his female partner try to track down a serial killer who is terrorizing New York City.

Director: Phillip Noyce
Stars: Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Queen Latifah
Fallen (1998)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Homicide detective John Hobbes witnesses the execution of serial killer Edgar Reese. Soon after the execution the killings start again, and they are very similar to Reese's style.

Director: Gregory Hoblit
Stars: Denzel Washington, John Goodman, Donald Sutherland
The Siege (1998)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The secret US abduction of a suspected terrorist leads to a wave of terrorist attacks in New York that lead to the declaration of martial law.

Director: Edward Zwick
Stars: Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis, Annette Bening
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A man obsessed with conspiracy theories becomes a target after one of his theories turns out to be true. Unfortunately, in order to save himself, he has to figure out which theory it is.

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, Patrick Stewart
Crimson Tide (1995)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

On a US nuclear missile sub, a young first officer stages a mutiny to prevent his trigger happy captain from launching his missiles before confirming his orders to do so.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Gene Hackman, Denzel Washington, Matt Craven
The Client (1994)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young boy who witnessed the suicide of a mafia lawyer hires an attorney to protect him when the district attorney tries to use him to take down a mob family.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Renfro
Out of Time I (2003)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A Florida police chief must solve a vicious double homicide before he himself falls under suspicion.

Director: Carl Franklin
Stars: Denzel Washington, Sanaa Lathan, Eva Mendes
Ricochet (1991)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An attorney is terrorized by the criminal he put away years ago when he was a cop.

Director: Russell Mulcahy
Stars: Denzel Washington, John Lithgow, Ice-T
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In the midst of the Gulf War, soldiers are kidnapped and brainwashed for sinister purposes.

Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber, Meryl Streep
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young woman fakes her own death in an attempt to escape her nightmarish marriage, but discovers it is impossible to elude her controlling husband.

Director: Joseph Ruben
Stars: Julia Roberts, Patrick Bergin, Kevin Anderson
The Hurricane (1999)
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a boxer wrongly imprisoned for murder, and the people who aided in his fight to prove his innocence.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Denzel Washington, Vicellous Reon Shannon, Deborah Kara Unger
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Thomas Callahan
...
Gavin Vereek
...
Fletcher Coal
...
FBI Director Denton Voyles (as James B. Sikking)
...
Bob Gminski
...
President
...
...
Justice Rosenberg
...
Smith Keen
...
Marty Velmano
...
Stump
...
Edwin Sneller
...
Matthew Barr
Edit

Storyline

Two Supreme Court Justices have been killed. Now a college professor, who clerked for one of the two men, who's also having an affair with one of his students, is given a brief by her, that states who probably, wanted to see these two men dead. He then gives it to one of his friends, who works for the FBI. When the FBI director reads it, he is fascinated by it. One of the president's men who read it, is afraid that if it ever got out, the president could be smeared. So, he advises the president to tell the director to drop it, which he does. But later the professor and the girl were out and he was drunk and when he refused to give her the keys she stepped out of the car. When he started it, it blew up. She then discovers that her place has been burglarized and what was taken were her computer and her disks. Obviously, her brief has someone agitated. She then turns to her boyfriend's friend at the FBI, he agrees to come meet her but before he does someone shoots him and takes his place... Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the author of "The Firm" and "The Client" and the director of "Presumed Innocent" and "All The President's Men." See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for momentary language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El informe Pelícano  »

Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

£2,003,591 (UK) (4 March 1994)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

F. Denton Voyles is the FBI Director in most of John Grisham's books, when the FBI plays a part. See more »

Goofs

When Darby is finished with the safe deposit box, she closes and locks its door with her key, removes the key, and leaves the vault. But safe deposit boxes cannot be locked or unlocked with only one key. Two keys are needed. Darby's key would have to be paired with a bank's master key. Usually a bank teller is present to do the 2-key locking procedure. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Justice Rosenberg: Any of those signs got my name on 'em?
Gray Grantham: Quite a few.
Justice Rosenberg: What do they say?
Gray Grantham: The usual: Death to Rosenberg, Retire Rosenberg, Cut off the oxygen.
Justice Rosenberg: [laughs] That's my favorite. Of course you, Mr Grantham, did pretty good by me your last time out: Rosenberg equals the government over business, the individual over government, the environment over everything. And the Indians? Oh, give 'em whatever they want.
Gray Grantham: Well with all due respects sir, that wasn't my line, that was a quote.
Justice Rosenberg: From one of your...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cleveland Show: Cleveland Live! (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Blues For Carol
Written and Performed by Clarence Hollimon
Courtesy of Black Top Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The best of the Grisham movies
11 August 2004 | by (Glendale, AZ) – See all my reviews



Forget the plot holes. Forget the implausibility of the story. This is Grisham, the modern-day master of legal and political conspiracy and intrigue.

This movie centers on one thing: the chemistry between the on-screen duo of Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington. And they do not disappoint. Both give absolutely stellar performances, Washington as the reporter who desperately wants his story to see the light of day but is not afraid to let his compassion show through, and Roberts as a terrified law student engulfed in a situation where she is way over her head, trying simultaneously to survive and avenge the death of her lover. There is not one scene, not one bit of dialogue, verbal or non-verbal, that doesn't make be believe everything they say, and that is a testament to the acting abilities of Roberts and Washington, two of Hollywood's best.

For pretty much the entire second half of the movie, Denzel and Julia's characters work together to find proof of the conspiracy that resulted in the assassination of two Supreme Court judges, while at the same time dodging unscrupulous lawyers, heavies and an international hitman.

In their final scene together, when Darby is taking the FBI director's private plane out of the country, the bond that has grown between her and Gray is extremely noticeable. They deplane, and Gray shows Darby the headline exposing the conspiracy. Darby smiles, shakes Gray's hand, and proceeds to walk to the car that will take her to her new location.... but no, a handshake is just not enough, not after what they'd been through... so she goes back and gives Gray a huge hug, which he returns. The mutual respect is there for all to see. No words are spoken throughout the entire scene, they are not necessary.

Having read many of Grisham's books and seen all of the movies adapted from those books, I wondered how "The Pelican Brief" would stack up against all the others in the long run. In my opinion, it is still the best of the bunch.

My score: a solid 10.


41 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Great Flaw in this story.... psaxe-2
When the movie is better than the book cifrocco
The DVD sucks! bluejay8
Bring a Blanket and a Pillow... Cate1956
Plot question Ramblingon
Questions about the film Catherine_Grace_Zeh
Discuss The Pelican Brief (1993) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?