6.7/10
3,958
29 user 16 critic

True Believer (1989)

Trailer
0:30 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
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

Learn more

More Like This 

The Boost (1988)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Lenny Brown moves to California to find his fortune in tax shelter investments. When the federal government changes the tax laws, poor Lenny finds himself $700,000 in hock with nowhere to ... See full summary »

Director: Harold Becker
Stars: James Woods, Sean Young, John Kapelos
Cop (1988)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An obsessive, insubordinate homicide cop is convinced a serial killer is loose in the Hollywood area and disobeys orders in order to catch him.

Director: James B. Harris
Stars: James Woods, Lesley Ann Warren, Charles Durning
Best Seller (1987)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A hitman approachs a writer to help him create the next best seller on his career, but the violent world he was a part of has other plans.

Director: John Flynn
Stars: James Woods, Brian Dennehy, Victoria Tennant
Restoration (1995)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The exiled royal physician to King Charles II devotes himself to helping Londoners suffering from the plague, and in the process falls in love with an equally poor woman.

Director: Michael Hoffman
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Sam Neill, David Thewlis
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An unhappy businessman finds a new sense of purpose after he's tasked with helping a quartet of ghosts fulfill their last wishes before moving on to the afterlife.

Director: Ron Underwood
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Charles Grodin, Alfre Woodard
Chances Are (1989)
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A reincarnated man unknowingly falls in love with his own daughter from his previous life. Once he realizes this, he tries to end their relationship before angels erase his memory.

Director: Emile Ardolino
Stars: Cybill Shepherd, Robert Downey Jr., Ryan O'Neal
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An LA police officer is murdered in the onion fields outside of Bakersfield. However, legal loopholes could keep his kidnappers from receiving justice, and his partner is haunted by overwhelming survivor's guilt.

Director: Harold Becker
Stars: John Savage, James Woods, Franklyn Seales
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A womanizer meets his match when he falls for a woman in debt to the mafia.

Director: James Toback
Stars: Molly Ringwald, Robert Downey Jr., Dennis Hopper
Tuff Turf (1985)
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The new kid in school must battle a gang of street toughs after stealing the gang leader's girl.

Director: Fritz Kiersch
Stars: James Spader, Kim Richards, Paul Mones
Rented Lips (1988)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

A documentary filmmaker, who has spent the last 15 years making films like "Aluminum: Our Shiny Friend," is finally given the chance to make the documentary on Indian farming he has always ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Downey Sr.
Stars: Martin Mull, Dick Shawn, Jennifer Tilly
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:

Drama | Crime

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 February 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das dreckige Spiel See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$8,742,750
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The character Shu Kai Kim is based on Korean-American Chol Soo Lee, who was imprisoned for nearly ten years after a wrongful conviction for a murder he did not commit. See more »

Goofs

When Eddie fights with Chucky, he rubs the painted tears off Chucky's face with his right hand, leaving black marks on his index and middle fingers. A while later, while looking through a mug book at the cop shop, he looks at the marks on his fingers, which have now switched to his left hand. See more »

Quotes

Shu Kai Kim: My mother find you?
Eddie Dodd: That's right.
Shu Kai Kim: [disgusted] Figures.
See more »

Connections

Spin-off Eddie Dodd (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Busload of Faith
Written and Performed by Lou Reed
Courtesy of Sire Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Taut action supersedes continuity troubles
19 May 2004 | by sartrejpSee all my reviews

Eminently watchable drama from 1989 with Woods as burned-out lawyer Eddie Dodd, formerly idealistic & successful civil liberties attorney who's now a callous defender of drug dealers ("No, pot possession cases are free. Coke dealers pay cash: that subsidizes the pot possession cases." Character reputably based on real-life S.F. lawyer J. Tony Serra; hence the long hair), & Rbt. Downey, Jr., as his idealistic law clerk, fresh out of school. (Downey, Jr.'s, @first incredulous: "You were my age when you defended that case," to which Dodd retorts, "I was never your age.")

There're a few continuity problems here, mainly which fingers the charcoal is on after Dodd's tussle with Chuckie, but they're pretty much overshadowed by some great sub-plots (Manhattan D.A.'s [Kurtwood "70s Show" Smith] curious interest in an 8-year-old murder case, Dodd's faded romance with P.I. Margaret Colin, the sadly schizoid Vietnam vet ["Cecil, are you what heroes are made of?"]) & the main story line, the case of a convicted murderer. Dodd @first dismisses Downey, Jr.'s, suggestion that they take the case but later becomes so emotionally immersed in it that when Roger (Downey, Jr.) spins the futility here with "We all think it's a good fight," Eddie pounces on him with some memorable oratory: "Don't give that liberal, yuppie b***s**t about a good fight; this isn't f*****g Yale! A good fight is one you win!"

Directed by Joseph Ruben, with a nice, incidental orig. score by Brad Fidel & some slick ambient tunes (Doors's Crystal Ship, Lou Reed's Busload of Faith).


12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 29 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed