Under pressure to accept a plea bargain resisted by a street-wise client, public defender Carter stands by his client, angering the judge, then his boss. At home, Carter's wife Sharice, a ... See full summary »
Under pressure to accept a plea bargain resisted by a street-wise client, public defender Carter stands by his client, angering the judge, then his boss. At home, Carter's wife Sharice, a socialite who grew up in the suburbs, chafes at the financial and personal strain of raising two young children in the inner city. Sharice pushes Carter to use her uncle's connections to get a job in a fancy downtown law firm. Carter agrees to leave the defender's office for a new job, though not to join a fancy law firm. Instead, following his conscience, he opens a law office in the inner city to fight against a criminal justice system that prizes efficiency over real justice. When Carter and his team of lawyers and activists launch a controversial direct action campaign targeting the court system, Sharice must decide whether to stay with her husband or take their two young children to the suburbs. Carter struggles to keep his family together, expand the direct action campaign, and survive a ... Written by
Jujitsu Films, LLC
"Justice" is a "message" film that's heavy on the message, light on the script and direction. Simply put, it just doesn't work. The concept is sound: African American public defender fed up with the system starts his own firm to take on the system. His plan: shut the system down by not taking any plea bargains. The concept is sound but the script is too simplistic and in your face. Roger Guenveur Smith, in the lead role, actually does a competent job with what he's been given--which isn't much. But his character is too self-righteous for the viewer to care about what happens to him or his clients. Although we get to see him interacting at home with his wife, Smith and Monica Calhoun don't really have much chemistry together.
The film contains a lot of preaching about how the system incarcerates black men but no mention that many of these men are guilty; in fact, they're repeat offenders who deserve to be incarcerated. My verdict: "Justice" is guilty of being boring in the first degree.
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