6.7/10
4,352
35 user 20 critic

True Believer (1989)

Trailer
0:31 | Trailer
A cynical former civil liberties attorney now reduced to "specializing" in defending drug dealers becomes transformed by an eight-year-old murder case.

Director:

Joseph Ruben

Writer:

Wesley Strick
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Woods ... Eddie Dodd
Robert Downey Jr. ... Roger Baron
Margaret Colin ... Kitty Greer
Yuji Okumoto ... Shu Kai Kim
Kurtwood Smith ... Robert Reynard
Tom Bower ... Cecil Skell
Miguel Fernandes ... Art Esparza
Charles Hallahan ... Vincent Dennehy
Sully Diaz Sully Diaz ... Maraquilla Esparza
Misan Kim Misan Kim ... Mrs. Kim
John Snyder ... Chuckie Loeder
Luis Guzmán ... Ortega (as Luis Guzman)
Graham Beckel ... Sklaroff
Tony Haney Tony Haney ... Montell
Joel Polis ... Dean Rabin
Edit

Storyline

Eddie Dodd is a burnt out former civil rights lawyer who now specializes in defending drug dealers. Roger Baron, newly graduated from law school, has followed Eddie's great cases and now wants to learn at his feet. With Roger's idealistic prodding, Eddie reluctantly takes on a case of a young Korean man who, according to his mom, has been in jail for eight years for a murder he did not commit. Written by <Vertigus@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The killing. The conviction. The cover-up. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although much is made of Shu Kai Kim's supposedly distinctly Korean facial features, he was played by Yuji Okumoto, a Japanese-American actor. See more »

Goofs

During the prison knife fight, Kim stabs the Nazi in the chest. The knife then alternates between still being in the Nazi's chest to being (correctly) taped to Kim's hand. See more »

Quotes

Eddie Dodd: We pleaded out Clyde Gruner to five years probation.
Billy: Ohhhh, score another point for truth and justice!
See more »


Soundtracks

La Marea
Written and Performed by Rubén Blades
Courtesy of Elektra/Asylum Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

User Reviews

One of the most powerful court dramas ever made.
29 May 2002 | by Daria42See all my reviews

Okay. I'm a huge James Woods fan, so I may be a bit biased. But a lot of these reviews on this movie are pretty unfair - *especially* the one where the only comments made about the entire movie was a detailed description of the "nightmare" Woods' hairpiece inspired for the viewer. C'mon, that has nothing to do with anything. (I, personally, quite liked seeing Woods with long hair for a change - but that's not the point of this review, so I'm moving on.)

This movie's plot, about a disillusioned lawyer who has spent the latter half of his career getting drug dealers freed, and suddenly gets a chance at a case where he can really do something _good_ - namely, free an innocent man - is a story that packs a lot of power. And most of that power comes from Woods in his role as Eddie Dodd, the shambled attorney. Man, if Woods would ever find himself without work, he could always go back to school and go into law; raw passion, this guy has it. The court scenes are brilliant. Actually, all of the scenes are brilliant. You can't watch this movie without being amazed at the depths of emotion that this character is going through, all visible on his face, in his eyes, in his voice. The acting is superb. (A rarity with some more recent movies, in my opinion.) The character is superb. Woods turns him from a character into a real _person_, someone you can relate to, someone you can understand and sympathize with. Which is really what makes a movie great.

The acting is great, the story is gripping - the audience can try to stay one step ahead of the characters, but good luck! Everything unfolds at a good pace, without getting either too slow or too confusing. Robert Downey, Jr., is both amusing and poignant as a green attorney working for Dodds; and Yuji Okumoto, as Shu, has some really in-depth scenes against Dodds. All the characters are great.

It's got action, it's got power, it's got raw emotion, it's got _feeling_. The ending was poignant enough to make me cry. So, hey, if you like watching a film that will get your attention and maybe even make you re-think a few things about how America is handled, give this movie a try. Because, really, the hairpiece on Woods is actually quite attractive. ;-)


10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 35 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 February 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

True Believer See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,009,692, 20 February 1989

Gross USA:

$8,742,750

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,742,750
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed