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
When Hank comes out on the porch and eventually joins the Judge in having some bourbon, there is initially only one glass on the table (the Judge's). Suddenly, Hank has a plastic glass in his hand that he fills. See more »
[stomping into the mens room]
You're not getting away with this. Palmer, you asshole!... Hey!
[turning toward him getting him wet]
See more »
Firstly I have to say that the trailer I saw for The Judge advertised it as a courtroom/family drama with some comedy thrown in. Who doesn't love the family feud type films, where the black sheep of the family returns home for a funeral/wedding/divorce etc? And I was looking forward to seeing Robert Downey Jr in a different role from Tony Stark/Iron Man. What I didn't expect was a bit of a tearjerker.
The story itself is fairly clichéd. A lawyer (Robert Downey Jr) in the middle of a messy separation returns home for his mother's funeral. His estranged father (Robert Duvall) doesn't want anything to do with him. He rekindles romance with an old flame (Vera Farmiga). It's the performances though that make it engaging and stop it from potentially being just another straight to DVD release.
The film is beautifully directed by David Dobkin. Downey Jr and Duvall are both excellent. Their scenes are strong and emotional. I also loved Vincent D'Onofrio and Jeremy Strong (as Downey Jr's older and younger brothers respectively). They are terrific. Farmiga, Dax Shepard and Billy Bob Thornton are all great, but I felt they were somewhat underused.
Even though I think that there was a bit too much going on and at times it got a bit too sentimental, I still very much enjoyed The Judge for the most part. It is a touching and absorbing film, that will make you laugh and cry, and if you are a fan of either Downey Jr or Duvall you'll love it.
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