7.7/10
146,167
255 user 83 critic

Primal Fear (1996)

An altar boy is accused of murdering a priest, and the truth is buried several layers deep.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1,350 ( 240)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Abel Stenner
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Martinez
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Alex
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Storyline

Courtroom thriller about a slick, hotshot lawyer who takes the seemingly unwinnable case of a young altar boy accused of murdering an eminent catholic priest. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sooner or later a man who wears two faces forgets which one is real. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief grisly violence, pervasive strong language and a sex scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

3 April 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Iskonski strah  »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

JPY 115,361,300 (Japan) (15 November 1996)

Gross:

$56,116,183 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both Wil Wheaton and Leonardo DiCaprio turned down the part of Aaron Stampler. Wheaton turned down the role because he did not want to put off his acting school, and when his manager urged him to take the role anyway, he told him, "It is like Luke Skywalker when Yoda told him not to go and save his friends, but to stay on Dagobah and learn to be a Jedi instead. Luke didn't listen to him and that's why he never became true Jedi master." Later, Wheaton regretted turning this role down, saying that this was a crucial factor why his career never got to be a successful one. See more »

Goofs

The video recording of both psychiatrist's interviews with Aaron do not match the meetings we originally saw. See more »

Quotes

Judge Miriam Shoat: [to Marty Vail] You are making a mockery of my courtroom and I'm not going to allow it. I suggest you start representing your client and stop representing yourself.
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Connections

Featured in The Hour: Episode #7.159 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Incidental Source Music
by J. Peter Robinson
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User Reviews

 
Edward Norton Shines
23 September 2006 | by (utah) – See all my reviews

In this strong, twisting court room crime drama thriller, a young Edward Norton shines with this performance that makes the movie a strong, unsettling movie. The dynamic tension between Richard Gere and Laura Linney lends to the underlying swirling dance of political and emotional turmoil that lies beneath the surface of District Attorney and high-profile attorney Gere. While by today's standards (2006) the storyline is now pretty typical, it retains a resonance because of the plot and storyline as well as the acting. Still, the edges of the movie are almost too polished. Some of the technical matters overlooked. Alfre Woodard has a credible role as the courtroom judge and Frances McDormand provides a decent hand as a psychologist (though this key role was a bit weak in comparison to the rest of the movie in terms of the crucial nature that it plays). Gere's tangled relationship with his own team is also fascinating to watch though again a bit torn and tattled with a few lose ends but the supporting cast does well. Overall, this is a solid courtroom crime drama with a nice ripping ending. Eight out of Ten Stars.


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