A retired F.B.I. Agent with psychological gifts, is assigned to help track down "The Tooth Fairy", a mysterious serial killer. Aiding him, is imprisoned forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter.
In Canton, Mississippi, a fearless young lawyer and his assistant defend a black man accused of murdering two white men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, inciting violent retribution and revenge from the Ku Klux Klan.
Samuel L. Jackson
Martin tells Tommy "Aaron" should be in a psychiatric hospital not in jail, murder in the first degree sentences are sent to prison not jail. See more »
[in Judge Miriam Shoat's chambers]
Am I ok? Do I seem ok? I get attacked by this sick twist, I've lost the case and out of a job so no I'm not particularly ok but you won justice was done so who the hell cares right? Congratulations you knew didn't you? You knew if I went after him he'd wig out up there
I knew he'd come out if he was threatened.
Who better to do that than me? You used me.
Yeah I did. I had no choice, what did I use that was so terrible? I knew you'd do your job and I ...
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Edward Norton delivers the chills...(POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD)
PRIMAL FEAR is a good old-fashioned thriller with a modern twist. The plot concerns an altar boy accused of killing a clergyman who molested him and a sleazy lawyer who sees a chance to make tabloid news by taking the case. What he doesn't know is that his client can be just as cunning as he is.
RICHARD GERE seemed to specialize in playing these kind of low-down heels (typecasting does have its perils), and LAURA LINNEY as the prosecuting lawyer has her hands full trying to play a game of one-upmanship against him during an intense courtroom trial.
The story ends on a chilling note, thanks largely to the clever, intense and totally convincing performance ED NORTON gives in his film debut. As the guy who seems to have a devious split personality driving him to do bad things, he's the kind of actor who makes the audience sit up and take notice of his abrupt mood changes. It's no wonder he pulls the wool over so many eyes.
Having said that, it's the climax of the film that is most stunning and brings the story to a totally unexpected conclusion. It's the kind of chilling twist that only the most clever scriptwriters can devise and make seem probable--but it succeeds here.
Summing up: The kind of film you'll want to revisit once you know the whole score. Gere, Linney and Norton deserve high praise.
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