Jake Vig (Burns) is a consummate grifter about to pull his biggest con yet, one set to avenge his friend's murder. But his last scam backfired, leaving him indebted to a mob boss (Hoffman) and his enforcer.
A Navy navigator is shot down over enemy territory and is ruthlessly pursued by a secret police enforcer and the opposing troops. Meanwhile his commanding officer goes against orders in an attempt to rescue him.
Wendell Rohr is a torts lawyer taking on the gun lobby. Rankin Fitch is the jury consultant for the Defendants and between them the battle is for the hearts and minds of the jury. But there is someone on the inside. Nicholas Easter is a juror with a girlfriend, Marlee, on the outside. they have a past ..... and their own agenda. Written by
Awesome Performances by Hackman, Cusack, Hoffman & Weisz.
Not since Primal Fear have I seen a court room thriller that was really good. Given the actors, I suppose you can't really go wrong. Usually I can find some actor or actress that wasn't very good, bothered me in some way or was flat out horrible. This movie featured superb acting by all those involved. Even Jeremy Piven (who I can't help but picture as the Dean in Old School or his characters from PCU or Very Bad Things) delivered a respectable performance, and very different from the other movies mentioned.
Runaway Jury doesn't throw in a lot of needless plot twists and unexpected happenings just for the sake of throwing off or fooling the viewer. In fact, it pretty much goes in the direction you think it will, with only a couple of exceptions which are needed.
I'm usually the type that likes my movies to get it all done in around 90 minutes or so. Seems to me that most movies that go over 2 hours have a lot of needless "filler" material for no real reason, which, more often than not, results in slow, dragging scenes in the movie or just a boring movie altogether. This particular movie clocked in at just over 2 hours and used every minute wisely. Nothing boring and nothing seemed to drag on forever. I found the beginning with the jury selection particularly interesting. I thought the whole concept of knowing how to get exactly who you want on your jury, even before they actually show up to jury duty, was a little mind blowing. After seeing those scenes, I knew it was going to be a great movie. I highly recommend this movie, especially if you enjoyed movies like Primal Fear, although this is a completely different movie with different kinds of surprises.
Overall, Gene Hackman stole the show in this one and proves why he's been working in movies and television for over 40 years now. I give this 9 out of 10.
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