A new appointee suddenly finds himself the center of attention as his other eight justices have split their votes down the middle on a case involving a woman who is charged with murder ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph Michael Kirkland
Will Dunn
Chief Justice
Justice Clore Cawley
Daniel Morissey
Justice Sara Marie Brandwynne
Justice Harlan Greene
Justice Hank Banks
Justice Eli MacCorckle
Justice Benjamin 'Rip' Ripley
Virginia Mapes
Linda Kirkland
Tracey Ellis ...
Marley Terrell


A new appointee suddenly finds himself the center of attention as his other eight justices have split their votes down the middle on a case involving a woman who is charged with murder after she had an abortion. Garcia refuses to make a rapid decision and studies all sides before rendering his opinion. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

abortion | courtroom | See All (2) »




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Release Date:

19 April 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El quiebre de la ley  »

Filming Locations:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Great idea, weak execution
28 August 2010 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

A movie that discusses about abortion and the decisions made by the Supreme Court of Justice was a excellent subject but in the case of "Swing Vote" was a poor execution, very similar to a staged play with some inauthentic lines and a melancholic, poor and cheesy soundtrack. But it was a nice film though.

Andy Garcia plays the young Judge Kirkland, a newcomer into the Supreme Court after the retirement of other judge (Milo O'Shea). Kirkland is the responsible for the Swing Vote in the difficult case of creating the laws over abortion. He's pressured by the other members of the court to make up his mind quickly, even though we already know (in some moments) his position on the subject but he wants to hear all sides of the story, including met a reporter who is totally against it, and a woman defender of abortion and the women's rights.

The religion discussion, the women's right issues, the law issues, all the sides of this controversial subject was showed; Garcia's character wants to make up his mind on the issue but he must consider all the aspects and all the pros and cons. The text is overwritten, has many gasps, weak and boring in many points.

Andy Garcia is quite bad in some scenes and that's something rare to say about him or his performances. The scene where he shouts at Harry Belafonte is a terrible example of an actor trying to rise above the other but with no trace of skills. In other moments he is decent but for the most part of the story it was a poor character for him to play. The supporting cast is good, including names like Robert Prosky, Kate Nelligan, Ray Walston, Bob Balaban, James Whitmore, John Aylward, Lisa Gay Hamilton and Michael O'Keefe. But what amazed me was that none of them exceed the other, nothing was so fantastic that could earn an Emmy nomination, and the movie wasn't nominated for one actually. They're good, but not that much.

It is a good film in the sense that it impels the viewer with some moralistic opinion or politically incorrect views on the controversial subject; it shows the different aspects and points of view and who's behind of such opinions. Well made but not much as I expected. 6/10

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