Big-city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his father, the town's judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his estranged family.
Hank Palmer is a successful defense attorney in Chicago, who is getting a divorce. When His brother calls with the news that their mother has died, Hank returns to his childhood home to attend the funeral. Despite the brittle bond between Hank and the Judge, Hank must come to his father's aid and defend him in court. Here, Hank discovers the truth behind the case, which binds together the dysfunctional family and reveals the struggles and secrecy of the family.Written by
First feature release from "Team Downey", Robert Downey, Jr. and wife Susan Downey's production company. See more »
The Judge tells the accused to go to Indianapolis in early August to see the worlds largest steer. While any "Hoosier" will tell you it's the worlds largest hog at the state fair, it's clearly established in the film that the Judge is suffering from memory loss and lapses in his mental condition. See more »
[stomping into the mens room]
You're not getting away with this. Palmer, you asshole!... Hey!
[turning toward him getting him wet]
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What happens when you go back to that small town that was home? Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) reluctantly goes back home to honor his mother at her death and faces the battles that he strategically retreated from when he went to college. This film takes an unmitigated look at Midwestern family life from the point of view of the returning son. Prodigal or survivor?
The disputes and other scenes of life are realistically represented with Hank facing his father, Joseph, and the rest of the town the way every battle-hardened small-town returnee would love to do. The strong disputes and unflinching negotiations that Hank and Joseph go through lead to an imperfect peace.
Robert Duvall does a superb job of portraying Hank's father. Where others would let Hank soften under his father's pressure and training, Robert Downey Jr. keeps Hank strong and sharp. In his best role yet, Robert Downey Jr. shows us that he has matured into one of the solid actors working today. You will see them both at the Oscars.
The Judge is one of those rare films that tell a strong story without selling out to the usual Hollywood exaggerations. I saw this movie at TIFF through the eyes of a small-town daughter who made her break to the city to get out from under the strong influence of her father. This film evoked the strong emotions that I keep buried.
Thank you Robert Duvall, Robert Downey Jr., and every individual involved for giving a voice to people like me! Thank you Robert Downey Jr. for keeping Hank strong with a good heart.
The Judge will prove to be a classic. See it! You will be glad you did.
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