Jagged Edge (1985) Poster

(1985)

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Jagged editing, but some good chills.
Poseidon-327 August 2002
This courtroom thriller was one of the films that spawned a huge wave of copycats through the mid '80's and early '90's. Now, of course, these types of stories are on TV nightly in the glut of crime/law based shows. However, in 1985, audiences could still be (and were) riveted to the big screen by stories like this. Bridges plays a newspaper editor whose wife is brutally murdered along with their maid (in an opening sequence that is not overly graphic, yet is very disturbing.) Before long, he is prime suspect in the killings and is defended by a tentative, reluctant Close who is trying to redeem herself after some earlier unethical legal behavior. She squares off with slimy former prosecuting partner Coyote (in a slick, effective performance) to clear Bridges. She then, foolishly, becomes intimate with Bridges. There is constant doubt in her mind, as well as in the audience's, as to whether or not Bridges did the deed or not. Because the story is a tease and exists to manipulate and captivate the audience, there are plot holes galore. However, the film works very well on a visceral level, providing twists and shocks along the way (including one startling break-in near the end which is jarring no matter how many times it is seen.) The film's greatest strength is the acting, notably Close. Unlike later Eszterhas scripts, in which no one is sympathetic, she is a heroine to root for, despite her flaws. She brings great conviction to her poorly conceived role. Bridges does well also as the perfectly moussed, tan dreamboat who might be a savage murderer. Loggia brings a welcome salty edge to the film with his foul-mouthed portrayal of Close's investigator friend. All cussing and cigarettes, he is a stock Eszterhas character, but is acted well. There are other fine smaller roles played by Dehner as a crusty judge, Young as a haughty rich-bitch and Austin (an underrated actress) as an attack victim. Close has two annoying kids and a wimpy ex-husband to make her life that much more unbearable. Drawbacks to the film would be the illogic of the script and the bizarre editing of the courtroom scenes in which the clothing Bridges and (especially) Close wear inexplicably switch! Her hair is also consistently inconsistent throughout...(within scenes!)...flat one moment, curly the next, varying in height and swoop, etc.... The discordant music by Barry is very unsettling and his use of low piano keys doubtlessly inspired Jerry Goldsmith for "Basic Instinct". It's the same type of sound. Folks expecting a watertight story will be disappointed. Those who just want to be entertained and spooked should love it.
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10/10
days of our knives
lee_eisenberg2 January 2006
Some reviewers have called "Jagged Edge" a manipulative movie, but I didn't find it to be such at all. Granted, the plot seems to be something that we've often seen, but the director and stars know how to keep it from getting silly. When Jack Forrester (Jeff Bridges) is charged with murdering his wife, attorney Teddy Barnes (Glenn Close) defends him in court. In the process, she starts to get attracted to him. But as the story moves forward, questions start to arise: how much do we really know about any of these characters? Can an attorney get manipulated by her own client? Whom can one trust in uncertain situations? Sound hackneyed? Maybe it is a little, but the movie keeps you guessing every step of the way. Both Bridges and Close show why they're among the greatest stars of their generation. I can pretty much guarantee that you won't find this movie boring. It's hard to believe that this was directed by the same guy who did "Return of the Jedi".
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8/10
The Corona
jotix10018 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
What happens when one is given the clues that solve the murder of the wealthy San Francisco socialite early on in the film? Well, one keeps on believing that person which the guilt points to is innocent, which seems to be the premise of this tightly made film with the satisfying screen play by Joe Eszterhas.

Not having seen it since its original release, we decided to take another look as the film was shown on cable. The film has kept its original glossy look that director Richard Marquand gave to the production.

Glenn Close is the main reason for watching "Jagged Edge". She gives one of the most intelligent performances of her career as Teddy Barnes, the criminal trial attorney that is hand picked by the legal team behind Jack Forrester, even though she is involved in another case. It's clear to see from the start Teddy, who is happily divorced, finds Jack, her client, an attractive diversion. In fact, it's almost out of character that this together woman to fall in love, something that might be unethical, but fall for Jack, she does.

Jeff Bridges makes a good appearance as Jack. He is a pillar of the community and it doesn't seem he would be ready for romance after the terrible blow he has suffered. Mr. Bridges makes the best out of his character. Peter Coyote, is the intense D.A. Tomas Krasny, the man who suspects the truth but is outsmarted by Teddy in court. Robert Loggia is seen briefly as the foul-mouthed private investigator, Sam.

"Jagged Edge" will not disappoint.
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7/10
Close But No Cigar
sol-kay12 February 2004
******SPOILERS****** A brutal double-murder of prominent socialite and newspaper heiress Mrs. Paige Forrester, Maria Mayenzet, and her house-maid Consuela Martinez occurs one rainy evening at the Forrester Estate outside San Francisco.

Page's husband Jack, Jeff Bridges, who was also injured in the attack, is indited for murder by the San Francisco DA Thomas Kersny, Peter Coyote. DA Kersn feels that Jack not only murdered his wife and her house-maid but also faked his own injury to throw off the police's suspicions about him being the killer. DA Kersny also has it in for Jack personally in that being the owner as well as editor of the influential San Francisco Times he's been writing unrelentingly negative editorials about him.

Being indited for his wife's murder Jack seeks out former DA Teddy Barnes, Glenn Close, who used to work with Thomas Kersny at the DA's office. Teddy quit some four years ago because of a case that she helped him with in which a defendant Henry Styles was convicted. Teddy later found out that Kersny withheld vital evidence that would have found Styles innocent. Later in the movie Teddy finds out that Styles hung himself in his cell from non other then Kersny himself! This got her even more upset then she already was about that case.

This sets up the movies storyline: A brutal double-murder is committed and a DA who has it in for the murder suspect jumps into the case for personal more then for professional reasons. The lawyer who defends the murder suspect has guilt feelings for working with the DA prosecuting the case against her client. Added to all that she's almost driven into a serious depression when she finds out that the person that she helped the DA convict, who she later found out was innocent, has just killed himself. With all the "red herrings" flying around in the movie does the murder weapon a hunting knife with a jagged edge belong to Jack? Most of all did the affairs, by both Jack and Page, one or both lead to Page's murder?

It's also a mystery if the dashing and handsome tennis gigolo Bobby Slade (Marshall Colt),who was having an affair with Page, killed her when she threatened to leave him and then frame her husband Jack for her murder?

The movie "Jagged Edge" holds itself together pretty well until the final fifteen minutes and then just falls apart like a house of cards. The totally contrived as well as unrealistic ending hits the viewer like a solid punch right in the stomach and knocks all the wind out of him or her. It's hard to believe that the killer would end up being so careless and stupid after bing so smart and cunning during the entire movie. This after he got away with the crime Scot-free and having nothing at all to fear from the law, why did he have to blow it all in the end?

"Jagged Edge" is not a bad movie it's a very good murder/mystery/court thriller but with a terrible ending and it's a good ending that's the most important thing in a movie like it.
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7/10
Jagged Edge equals jagged movie
jamiecostelo5812 December 2006
Intriguing movie mixes the high standards of ethics and forbidden love. I like Glenn Close, and she gives a powerful character reference as lawyer Teddy Barnes, and the 'did he or didn't he?' storyline is very intriguing. The 'jagged edge' role is interestingly portrayed by Jeff Bridges, and the movie details a sensational court case and the trials and tribulations of either believing in your morals or in your heart. But sometimes your heart rules your head, and maybe that's not a good thing....

Jagged Edge is a jagged movie, a little rough around the edges, but smoothing out to a reasonable sense of conclusion.
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8/10
Murder, Conflict & Contradictions
seymourblack-122 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
"Jagged Edge" is a well written and extremely entertaining psychological thriller which unsurprisingly was also a major box office success. Essentially, it's a murder mystery which features some interesting characters, numerous unexpected developments and some great performances from an exceptionally talented group of actors. Director Richard Marquand is very effective in creating many moments of tension especially during the courtroom scenes and the whole drama keeps the audience in suspense and in a state of uncertainty about the defendant's innocence or guilt throughout the whole movie.

After wealthy socialite Page Forrester (Maria Mayenzet) and her maid are savagely murdered and Jack Forrester's (Jeff Bridges) injuries require hospital treatment, D.A. Thomas Krasny (Peter Coyote) visits the crime scene and rapidly decides that Jack (who is the sole beneficiary of Page's considerable estate) must be the murderer. Jack is the very successful editor of a top newspaper which was owned and controlled by Page.

Jack is subsequently arrested and charged with murder and seeks help for his defence from the firm of corporate attorneys with whom he has a longstanding relationship. One of their number is Teddy Barnes (Glenn Close) who is an ex-criminal lawyer who had a great track record but gave up that field of her profession because she became very uncomfortable about the unethical conduct of her colleague in the D.A.'s office (the aforementioned Thomas Krasny). She agrees to take on Jack's defence but only after a great deal of persuasion from both Jack and senior members of her firm who offer a partnership as an added inducement.

Teddy's decision then leads her into a surprising series of events which begin with her becoming Jack's lover and continue with her having to deal with a number of incidents which prove to be very challenging both professionally and emotionally before she finally gets an opportunity to publicly expose Krasny's grossly unprofessional conduct after the case reaches its conclusion.

Teddy experiences a considerable amount of conflict which starts when Jack and her firm want her to take on the case against her wishes and continues as her commitment to the case and her relationship with Jack cause conflict to develop within her own family. Her conflict with Krasny during the case is also profound because of matters that arise in the case but also because she's regarded him with utter contempt for such a long time.

Teddy and Jack are also both full of contradictions. She gave up criminal law because she was appalled by Krasny's unethical practices and yet she gets embroiled in a relationship with her client which is extremely unethical and unprofessional. She also experiences contradictory feelings about Jack's possible innocence or guilt and Jack continuously gives out contradictory impressions about himself by his various expressions and actions. The whole issue of contradictions also becomes a strong feature of the clues, the evidence and the story developments which continue to be seen as the action proceeds.

Thomas Krasny is politically ambitious and in the past had withheld evidence which would have proved the innocence of a man who later committed suicide in prison.

The characters in "Jagged Edge" are often idiosyncratic but never dull and the performances by Jeff Bridges, Glenn Close, Peter Coyote and Robert Loggia (in a wonderful supporting role) are very impressive throughout.
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7/10
thriller
kairingler31 July 2013
A man discover's his wife and maid have been murdered, an investigation ensuses and sooner rather than later he is deemed the main suspect and Is hauled in for the crime. he enlists the help of a pretty young lawyer who he eventually falls for,, the two get close,, and she let's her emotions run wild, and cleary she falls for him while defending him against the charges that he brutally murdered his wife,, apparently though his wife was cheating at the time,, and her boyfriend turns up dead later, on, but there is more to this than we think as the lawyer's assistant's dig up more information on her and the boyfriend,, classic edge of you're seat thriller , that will keep you guessing until the end.
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7/10
Sharp film, serrated ending.
hitchcockthelegend4 April 2009
Teddy Barnes is a conflicted lawyer, still reeling from the dubious methods of a colleague, she takes on the defence of Jack Forrester, who is accused of murdering his wife with a jagged edged knife. Gradually falling for Jack's seductive powers, Teddy falls in love with the man she now has to defend, her problems it seems, are about to become far far worse.

Jagged Edge, directed by Richard Marquand, starring Glenn Close (Teddy), Jeff Bridges (Jack), Robert Loggia (Sam Ransom) and Peter Coyote (Thomas Krasny), is bringing nothing new to the table of a much replicated genre. It does however boast brilliant acting, a tremendous screenplay (Joe Eszterhas) and a production value that demands it be viewed with less than cynical eyes. That it is written by Eszterhas is obvious when looking at the structure of the picture, death, sex, troubled romance, greed and that old devil called obsession (Basic Instinct anyone?), yet aided by a competent director and an exemplary cast, Jagged Edge shines brighter than most other films of its ilk.

It looks a little frayed (not jagged) around the edges now, but that is purely because of the advent of time and the ream of thrillers using this format that have followed this piece. If one (such as I) can transport oneself back to the 80s and view Jagged Edge on its original terms, then its easy to recognise just what a well put together picture it is. Close and Bridges are superb, whilst Robert Loggia steals the picture from under their noses, his interplay with Close is a particular highlight. In spite of some less than great twists and unsubtle scapegoat placings, Jagged Edge succeeds because you are there at the finale, and because its held you in its grip all along, you (hopefully) have invested yourself with these characters, you simply just have to know, for better or worse!

The ending was cause for much discussion back in the day, and viewing it now it still feels like a moment of cheek mixed in with some form of clarity, but rest assured it works well, as does, funnily enough, the whole film. No world beater here, but highly accomplished and worth the time of any thriller obsessed movie fan. 7/10
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2/10
The Movie Courtroom Drama
jpatrick196729 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Before I bash Jagged Edge for having what amounts to one of the dumbest endings in movie mystery history, I want to comment on an annoying Hollywood courtroom drama observation. Why is it that every single movie with a courtroom as it's center focus, i.e.. A Few Good Men, Suspect, Presumed Innocent, The Accused, Jagged Edge, etc., always seem to have their days last approximately 15 minutes? Has anyone else noticed that the movie cuts to the scene inside the courtroom and there is one person on the stand and both sides ask them questions and then all of a sudden, after a shocker of a revelation about the crime, the judge calls for recess until Monday morning? Does any court case in these movie have a full day or week? I mean by all accounts, if you think about it, if this is how they examine and cross-examine witnesses, they would have about 20 or 30 witnesses a day take the stand. If you watch real courtrooms, you see both side keeping the witnesses on the stand for hours sometimes days before they dismiss them. I know these are movies and they want to move the story along, but none of these courtroom dramas are ever realistic.

******MAJOR SPOILERS - Don't READ ON IF YOU'VE NEVER SEEN IT*********** Now, on to my thrashing of this piece of garbage which I have watched again this month after seeing it almost 20 years ago. Why did Jeff Bridges character, at the beginning of the movie, (we find out at the end that he is the killer), put on the black outfit with the mask if he was going to kill the only people in the house who could have identified him? This kind of audience redirection is so annoying because in real life the guy would have slaughtered his wife and maid and then faked his own injuries without the use of the costume. That first scene alone was enough to realize who the killer really was.

Now skipping way ahead, past the trial and all the over-acting done by these truly first-rate actors, we come to the ending. The part where the twist comes in. Before we even see the shocking piece of evidence that proved the accused was actually the killer, we know it will come out because the trial is over and the scenes are still going on. By the end of the trial it is so obvious that the film makers are trying to misdirect the audience into thinking it is someone else that you know who it really is. But my problem with this ending is a couple of things: first, of all the tracks that the killer has covered, why would he not have gotten rid of the typewriter? And even if he didn't, why would he leave it in his own house? Second, who the hell does Glen Close's character think she is by changing the bedding after she has just slept for almost 18 hours? Then miracles of miracles, she knows exactly where the replacement sheets are and behind them is the one piece of damming evidence that proves who the killer is. Because no one else in the world would have a typewriter like that.

OK, the shock has been put upon the "idiots" in the audience so we move to the dramatic ending. Glen Close doesn't speed away and run to the police or to her detective friend's house, she goes home alone and takes off all her clothes so she is now extremely vulnerable like all women become in these movies. Her killer lover calls and she tells this PSYCHOPATH, over the phone, that she knows he killed his wife because she found a piece of office equipment. Now Jeff Bridges, who apparently has never heard of double jeopardy, the constitutional amendment that states that a person cannot be tried for the same crime twice no matter how much evidence comes out after trial (just thought I'd help out all the "idiots"), decides that instead of either leaving well enough alone and dropping her like a bag of dirt, or going over there in street clothes to talk things over with her, decides to once again dress up in his black costume to presumably go over and once again kill the only person who could identify him...not really knowing, however, who she may have called to let know about this incredible piece of evidence she just found. Because, of course, he knows her so well that he knows she wouldn't have run to the police or her detective friend or the DA or the mailman or the homeless lady out in front of her house.

Complete garbage.
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7/10
Courtroom drama plenty of thrills , taut , intrigue and twists
ma-cortes22 February 2008
San Francisco heiress Forrester is cruelly killed by a black suit clad murderer . Her husband Jack (Jeff Bridges) , a known publishing magnate , is convicted for cold blooded murder . He contracts an advocate-in-law , Teddy Barnes (Glenn Close) , former prosecutor , and now at charge of the criminal defense , in spite of the fact she has not taken a criminal case long time . The widower is allegedly considered guilt , though freed by means a bail until trial celebration presided by an expeditious judge (John Dhener) . Then they fall in love and she's defending the man she loves . The trial takes place and there appears an accusation lawyer (Peter Coyote) , an ambitious district attorney who previously worked for her ...

This court-room drama is a Neo-noir movie with tension , mystery , surprises and , of course , a suspenseful twist in the end . Despite of the fashion-able sex and violence , this is a satisfyingly old-fashioned sort of film that avid fans of the genre will love . Jeff Bridges and Glenn Close are frankly well , there's enjoyable chemical between them . Interesting writing credits by Joe Eszterhas , a successful screenwriter (Basic instinct , Jade , Sliver , Showgirls). The flick is rated ¨R¨ for sexual scenes and some violence . Colorful cinematography by Matthew F. Leonetti and sensitive musical score by John Barry . The motion picture was professionally directed by Richard Marquand . He was hired by George Lucas after seeing ¨Eye of the needle¨ and only non-American to direct a Star Wars film: ¨The return of the Jedi¨, though his career failed with flops such as , ¨Until September¨ and ¨Hearts of fire¨ until his early death.
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7/10
Sometimes a husband IS the first to know.
michaelRokeefe6 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Richard Marquand directs this emotional crime thriller. Your heart and mind get involved as a very wealthy socialite(Maria Mayenzet) is found slaughtered in her blood splattered bedroom and the word 'Bitch' written on the wall. Of course, the first suspect is her manipulative newspaper editing husband(Jeff Bridges). With his best charm, he insist his innocence. The current prosecutor(Peter Coyote)has locked horns with the editor before and wants a conviction badly. Returning to court room law, an undefeated attorney(Glenn Close)decides to defend the man set to inherit more of his wife's fortune. She didn't plan on falling in love with him. This is not an action movie, but a thinking movie. Bridges and Close are perfect. The supporting cast features: Robert Loggia, Lance Henriksen and Leigh Taylor-Young. One thing for sure; Mr. Mustard did not do it with a candlestick in the library.
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6/10
Manipulative, but not bad at all
danielll_rs30 September 2000
JAGGED EDGE (1985)-- Grade: B

I don't know why JAGGED EDGE is known as one of the best mystery films of the '80s. Let's face that this decade was not amazingly great for movies, but of course there were better mystery films: DRESSED TO KILL, BLOW OUT, HOUSE OF GAMES, BODY HEAT, just a few that come to mind. JAGGED EDGE is not able to escape from most of the clichés of courtroom drama and what it's worst: it shamelessly manipulates the audience. The main comment here has the same complaint, so I think many people agree with me. The one that should be blamed is Joe Eszterhas, who would write the screenplay for BASIC INSTINCT, a worldwide success, seven years later. He knows how to manipulate audiences, to make them stay aware and to keep their attention tightly without a shame, purposing questions with only two answers: yes or no. Did he kill her or didn't he? Eszterhas makes us believe in both possibilities several times during less than two hours. Using, of course, not very credible plot twists. ....... OK! So JAGGED EDGE is cliched and manipulative. It's difficult to forgive the first, but why shouldn't we forgive the latter? Don't we like to be cheated in some cases?

If you think it's difficult to forgive the way this film grabs you, there are other ways to like it. The story, even cliched, is still interesting and suspenseful. The directing is great and the actors are pretty good. Glenn Close is reliable as the lawyer and Jeff Bridges, who has made a career of hits (ARLINGTON ROAD) and misses (KISS ME GOODBYE), is convincing as the mysterious client.

JAGGED EDGE is a flawed film, but its manipulation has a good side. At least we care about the characters and the story. This is not a good way to write screenplays. This is not the best thriller of the '80s. But it is far ahead of some cheap productions of the '90s (BODY OF EVIDENCE, SLIVER, both with similar situations to JAGGED EDGE).
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7/10
Written by prolific screenwriter Joe Eszterhas...
MarieGabrielle24 November 2006
that can be a good or bad thing, depending on the material, and actors involved.

In this instance Glenn Close gives a worthy performance, although she seems to be using one facet of her many sides; she has so much more to offer. For a talented actor, the role of hard-boiled lawyer Teddy can hardly be challenging.

Peter Coyote is also good as prosecutor, albeit a bit crude and seems a bit too well dressed, considering he works for the prosecution. Robert Loggia as Teddy's investigator, determining whether Jeff Bridges is a sociopath or not. Would he kill his wife for money?. Seemingly no. He seems a decent, narcissistic, handsome newspaper publisher.

The sub-theme of Teddy, shirking her career, and attending the funeral of a young (innocent) man who hangs himself in jail seems gratuitous. These days, any lawyer who is successful defending criminals most probably would not attend a funeral in these circumstances. It is nice to humanize the attorney, but not at the expense of reality. I am certain audiences today have a hard time empathizing with any attorney.

That being said, the story is intriguing, although now redundant. The courtroom scenes a bit too protracted, but Close and Bridges have a believable chemistry in this. Supposedly Eszterhas wrote this with intimations of the Manson killing; rather strange considering the fact that that was SUPPOSEDLY a random, violent killing, According to Mr. Vincent Bugliosi, author and prosecutor in 1969. 7/10.
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8/10
Real people, human drama, top suspense
gcd701 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
A pure class act is 1985's "Jagged Edge", one of the best psychological thrillers to ever be brought to the big screen.

The original story by Joe Eszterhas is brilliantly manipulative and fabulously handled by all concerned. Its twists and turns are intricately inter-weaved, with a sensational double twist saved for the nail biting conclusion. Eszterhas' virtual rehash of this ingenious story in 1991, that of "Basic Instinct", paled in comparison and was of course terribly directed by the gratuitous Paul Verhoeven. Not so for the superior "Jagged Edge" however.

Our director is Richard Marquand, no stranger to thrillers ("Eye of the Needle"), he was also responsible for the third "Star Wars" instalment, "Return of the Jedi". In helming "Jagged Edge" he has excelled himself by allowing the perfect amount of each of the film's elements to come to the surface, whilst creating tension from the outset and maintaining a steady tempo throughout. There's never too much sex, lots of intrigue and legal complications, and we get plenty of opportunity to delve into some fascinating characters, all brought to life by outstanding performances.

Jeff Bridges' charming, seemingly harmless murder suspect Jack Forrester is very well portrayed by the leading man. You're always doubtful, but never sure, whether it could have been he who brutally murdered his wife for financial gain. Reluctantly defending him is corporate lawyer Teddy Barnes (a first rate showing from Glenn Close), who makes a return to criminal law after four years away from that arena. She is uncompromising and demanding, yet all too often lead by her heart. As her old pal and investigator friend, Robert Loggia lends strong support (an Oscar nominated role) as does a menacingly convincing Peter Coyote as D.A. Crasny, a ruthless public prosecutor who'll stop at nothing to get a conviction. All other cast are splendid.

Maestro John Barry's "Jagged Edge" suite sets the mood with ease as it continually makes use of recurring themes. Rounding off this most effective of double edged thrillers is the top class editing from Sean Barton and Conrad Buff which keeps everything extremely taught.

One of this picture's strongest points is the fact that its characters are real people and Eszterhas treats us with a human drama we can wholly believe, unlike "Basic Instinct" with its over the top style and idiotic players. Of course the plot is the mainstay of the entire show, and its razor sharp narrative along with the afore mentioned talent and technical brilliance make for one of the best suspense films in town.

Saturday, January 7, 1995 - Video
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10/10
Jagged Edge is truly a tense and gripping film with excellent performances from its stellar cast
ed5625 January 2005
Directed by the Richard Marquand (Eye of the needle) this fascinating court-room thrilling Drama inspired a lot of films since. The story follows the murder of a woman from a rich family that owns a newspaper. The prime suspect is her manipulative husband (Jeff Bridges). He hires a successful lawyer (Glenn Close) and an affair is developing between them. The film has exciting twists and never let's up. The acting is the real star of this show: Jeff Bridges brings one of the best performances in his long career and Glenn Close also shines as the tough but sensitive lawyer. In the supporting roles special appreciation goes to Peter Coyote as Thomas Krasny and Robert Loggia who gives a memorable performance. Overall one gem of a film you shouldn't miss. Highly Recommended. 10/10.
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6/10
Neat Courtroom/Romance Drama
rmax30482330 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The plot's probably familiar. Man seems falsely accused of killing his wife. Hires attractive woman as his defense counsel. They seem to fall in love. She discovers he's guilty. Justice is served.

What separates this from a Lifetime Movie Network flick is that it's actually pretty well thought out and splendidly acted.

Glenn Close is fine as the defense attorney. Watch her expression as the early victim from Santa Cruz describes her ordeal in the witness chair. She's a good actress. She has a nice figure too, although wardrobe seems to have cinched her waist so that her rump seems too pronounced. Jeff Bridges always brings something interesting to the party. Here he plays it relatively straight as the accused husband, relying on a relaxed sort of charm that is appropriate to the character. Pete Coyote as the villainous but clever prosecutor is surprisingly good. John Dehner is as reliable as a war horse as the judge. I can't think of a role that he hasn't invested with a certain dignity. Leigh Taylor-Young has only a single scene but she's devastating. It isn't simply that she has aged a bit and yet looks fine. The delivery of her lines is splendidly matched with her body language. The director is a big help with her scene but elsewhere seems to condescend to the audience. A woman testifies to being trapped by a masked stranger at her home, tied up, and having he breasts carved. It's a horrifying story. Being that, it can carry its own weight but the director has the witness sobbing from the beginning instead of showing the gradual rise in the trajectory of her emotions. And when Glenn Close, watching her, projects that exquisite empathy, the camera slowly dollies in closer so that we don't miss it. We wouldn't have missed it anyway, even without the director's hitting us over the head with it.

There isn't much of a score and what there is of it is effectively programmatic, kind of like an updated version of Max Steiner's "Mickey Mouse" score for King Kong, in which the music imitates the events and situations we're watching on screen. (During the requisite silent wait for the jury to come back with a verdict we don't actually hear a clock ticking. Instead, the music imitates the ticking of a clock.)

I wonder if this isn't the kind of movie that will be seen differently by different audiences. For men it might be a story about conflict in the courtroom with a romance thrown in. For women, on the other hand, it might more likely be seen as a story of the emotional relationship between Bridges and Close that is tested in a courtroom.

I'm not at all sure that men would read it the way women would. Close's attraction to Bridges would seem -- not exactly inexplicable but rather taken for granted. Women might be able to tap into Bridges' appeal more effectively. They're better at reading these kinds of situations than men are. (I am speaking to you as your psychologist. That will be fifteen cents.)

Look at Jeff Bridges from a woman's point of view. He has all the qualities it takes to attract an unattached young woman. He is -- in no particular order -- rich, powerful, handsome, casual and unpretentious, polite, athletic (plays racquetball, which replaced tennis as the game de jour of the aristos), sensitive (he weeps when he enters the room where his wife was killed), intelligent (she quotes Oliver Wendell Holmes and he identifies the source), doesn't smoke tobacco, and he's misunderstood by everyone else. Oh -- and he LOVES horses, which women also love. What more could you ask for in an alpha male -- pheromones? Well, he's probably got them too, with more flavors than Baskin-Robbins.

After the verdict is in, the movie kind of collapses in upon itself. Close finds irrefutable evidence that Bridges is the murder and rushes home with it. She tells Bridges on the phone that she has it. Of course this puts her in immediate danger of being slaughtered by him. Then she calls her friend and investigator, the vulgar but empathic Robert Loggia, and hysterically tells him, "Sam! I need to talk to you! I need you right away!" He asks her what it is, but she abruptly falls silent. Loggia urges her to tell him what it is, but she smiles and replies, "It's nothing, Sam. I just wanted to thank you." It's a cheap, old way of getting the audience to squirm and urge her to TELL HIM for Bog's sake! Nobody can get through a scene like that and make it believable yet again. As for Bridges' motive for trying to murder Close at the end, what is it? Even with her new evidence he can't be tried for the same crime again.

Still, nicely done. Well worth watching.
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10/10
If Basic instinct and Fatal attraction had a baby!
tarekofsyria10 September 2020
This is a wonderful compelling drama thriller. So many twists and turns and Glenn close is breathtaking in this role. The story is written with attention to detail, the direction has kept the film fresh and it has aged very well. Highly recommended!!
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2/10
Dumb and Dumber
arode30 May 2006
I just watched this turkey on cable television. Contrived plot with some of the most hackneyed court room scenes this side of "Leave her to Heaven". The story is bad enough, but the script and acting are so absurd that by the time the killer is revealed at the end of the film I no longer cared. Totally unrealistic nonsense. Glenn Close as a lawyer whose well-being is based on her client's innocence on which she swings back and forth like a metronome during entire film. Peter Coyote plays the most incompetent D.A. on celluloid, and his horse's behind of an assistant who can only make dumb faces when things fall apart in court is just a terrible, terrible actor.

Just awful. Go watch a rerun of Perry Mason instead.
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Not bad at all
darth_sidious5 March 2001
If you have never seen this film, then stop reading reviews and watch it because the film really works better if you don't know anything about it.

Now, the film is certainly flawed, but it's still interesting to watch.

I love courtroom thrillers, and there's plenty of court drama here, but not enough to make the picture work. I think another 20 minutes would've added much more depth to courtroom sequences.

The acting is excellent, but the direction could've been sharper. I found the romance to be contrived, never had a flow to it, it just happened.

Some blame must go to the screenplay, it wasn't strong, not enough depth to the characters, and some of the courtroom stuff was unrealistic.

The photography is excellent, it hooked me into the picture.

Overall, a good film, but I think the writing was a bit lazy.
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6/10
highly overrated movie elevated by a great performance from Close but very predictable
triple815 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS THROUGH:

This isn't going to go down in history as one of my favorites. While not dreadful I did think it was overrated and not nearly as unpredictable as has been said. The movie is tension provoking, I'll give it that and Close is wonderful but the movie, for me, wasn't much more then average or slightly above.

I really did not think this was as unpredictable as has been said. I kind of knew this guy really did it and though I had a few moments thinking it could have been the gigolo, by and large I figured it had to be Bridges because that's the way movies of this type almost ALWAYS end. I think, in a way, it would have been way more unpredictable to actually make the gigolo the murderer and let Close and Bridges live happily ever after. With this movie you are almost guaranteed the final twist. Not very unpredictable overall.

And there were such a large amount of clichés in this movie that it was difficult to believe at times. The court scenes were not believable. The scene near the end, where Close learns the truth and then runs home alone was so purely fake it was almost annoying. The movie turns into a horror toward the end. And overall, though it is watchable it never became all that interesting to me. The twists and turns it takes are to predictable and I think it would have been better at the end, when the mask is taken off, to have it be someone else. I see this in movies where a woman is an accused murderer too. For me it was a very predictable thriller type of movie, elevated by a great performance from Close. But I did not think it ever became really great.

It makes for decent watching though, definitely not terrible. I'd rate this about a 6 out of 10. Watch any movie with Close in it and one is almost guaranteed a great performance though this wasn't her best picture.
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8/10
A tense thriller with a great cast
NewEnglandPat13 September 2005
Picture is a fine murder mystery, courtroom drama and romantic thriller as attorney Glenn Close defends client Jeff Bridges against murder charges. Also aiding Close is Robert Loggia as a tough private investigator who uncovers some disturbing information about Bridges during the proceedings as Close becomes involved with her client on a personal level. The film shows Close juggling her professional career and personal life as a single mother and Bridges is all boyish charm and good looks and make quite a handsome couple. The movie has a solid supporting cast that includes Peter Coyote, John Dehner and Leigh Taylor-Young and a nice music score by John Barry.
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7/10
Decent 80's thriller
MattyGibbs16 September 2014
Jagged Edge is a glossy 1980's courtroom thriller about a man accused of murdering his wife. The lawyer he hires falls in love with him as she tries to clear him of murder.

It is a simple plot and much of the enjoyment comes from trying to guess whether the husband is guilty or not. Both the leads Jeff Bridges and Glenn Close put in good performances especially Bridges who is all charm without ever seeming too innocent. Peter Coyote adds excellent support as the prosecuting lawyer.

There are a few negatives, the courtroom scenes all seem a bit clichéd, clumsy and predictable and at times in the middle the film does lose momentum however the last half an hour is engrossing and pulls it back.

I found Jagged Edge to be an entertaining thriller with a good pay off. Well worth watching.
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8/10
A Forbidden Affair In This Taut Thriller
Desertman8430 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
A prosecuting attorney-turned-defense lawyer falls in love with a rich, charming client who's been accused of murdering his wife and her maid with a hunting knife in this film,Jagged Edge.The story is about a taut mystery about an attorney who defends a newspaper publisher accused of murder.It stars Jeff Bridges and Glenn Close together with Peter Coyote and Robert Loggia. It is a courtroom thriller, written by Joe Eszterhas, and directed by Richard Marquand.

When an unknown assailant gruesomely slays San Francisco newspaper heiress Paige Forrester, her husband and business partner, Jack Forrester, turns to corporate attorney Teddy Barnes for counsel. Teddy, who quit her job with the district attorney's office four years earlier over an ethical dilemma, has reservations about returning to criminal work; nevertheless, she accepts the assignment, convinced of Jack's innocence and eager to face off in court against her old boss, DA Thomas Krasny (Peter Coyote), who's about run for attorney general. With the help of investigator Sam Ransom, the recently divorced Teddy builds a strong defense for her client, though the work and her incipient romance with Jack cause strain in her relationship with her children. When Jack's innocence and his romantic intentions come into question, Teddy feels her life slipping back into a moral quagmire until a series of courtroom denouements set the stage for even bigger surprises.

Slick and manipulative, the movie is nonetheless a vastly enjoyable psychological thriller due to the expert turns from the talented cast.Although the screenplay does what it can to throw up a smokescreen, but the viewer will probably be well ahead of the story's final resolution.It is best when it's seen with a minimum of analysis as it becomes supremely effective.
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7/10
Doubt
raulfaust21 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Movies which people try everything to find out who is the real killer are usually interesting. Nowadays they are all very predictable, but "Jagged Edge" isn't. It's a good movie in showing aspects of the professions of lawyer and prosecutor; I work for a local judge, and I can understand why Teddy wanted to leave this area so bad. Working with people's destiny is hard to our conscience and requires much responsibility. Maybe teaching in a law school is much less stressful. It's interesting to notice how good the acting used to be in 80's; the whole cast is very professional and I can't see one scene they're overacting. Jeff Bridges and Glenn Close steal the show and were probably very rewarded back when this film was released. It is also interesting to notice how they could live without a computer-- how on Earth would Teddy discover he was the killer if there wasn't the writing machine? To sum it up, "Jagged Edge" is a great and entertaining mystery thriller, do not miss it!
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7/10
I recommend this movie especially for "legal beagles."
macpherr2 November 1999
A gripping story of a man "Jack Forester," Jeff Bridges (The Mirror has Two Faces) accused of murdering his wife. I had the privilege of watching this movie as an assignment for a class. When I mentioned privilege, I really meant it. Those days when I was in Law School it was a real treat! Our Professor/Judge gave us that as a class assignment for Professional Responsibility/Legal Ethics. I can tell you something! Between watching this movie and reading a one hundred and fifty page assignment for a class, I take this movie anytime! It sticks with you, like the plague, to see in what troubles an attorney can get into by getting involved, especially "emotionally involved, " with a client. Well the fact that I had free time due to the lack of mandatory reading for a class in itself, made me biased in favor of the movie. The Professor had the class spot the ethical rules that were broken in the movie: such as never get involved with a client. Well "Teddy Barnes," Glenn Close( The Natural) did just that. I am not going to teach the legal issues in this movie to you. But I respectfully disagree with Leonard Maltin. I think that the characters are very believable, specially if you are in law school and you are hanging in there by a thin tread of fear thinking what I am going to do if I have to defend a man like that? This movie was reality to me. It sure was! Just image one of the members of the defense team falling in love with O.G. Simpson. That is where this movie goes. It can be watched in multi-level fashion. I watched it about twelve years ago and watched again on television last week. It scared me to death both times. It is a very powerful movie! Actually the story without the romance has a similar fact pattern to the Simpson case. Coming to think of it, it is like: life imitating art! I recommend it, especially for the "legal beagles."
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