29 user 8 critic

Saint Judy (2018)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 1 March 2019 (USA)
2:26 | Trailer
The story of immigration attorney Judy Wood, and how she initiated the change in U.S. law of asylum to save women's lives.


Sean Hanish


Dmitry Portnoy
1,417 ( 4,458)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michelle Monaghan ... Judy Wood
Leem Lubany ... Asefa
Common ... Benjamin Adebayo
Alfred Molina ... Ray Hernandez
Alfre Woodard ... Judge Benton
Ben Schnetzer ... Parker
Gabriel Bateman ... Alex Wood
Waleed Zuaiter ... Omar
Mykelti Williamson ... Dikembe Mustafa
Peter Krause ... Matthew
Aimee Garcia ... Celi
Kevin Chapman ... Officer King
Gil Birmingham ... Michael Bowman
Roxie Hanish ... Young Asefa
Rob Brownstein ... Prosecutor


The story of immigration attorney Judy Wood, and how she initiated the change in U.S. law of asylum to save women's lives.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The fight to save thousands begins with one woman See more »


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material and language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:






Release Date:

1 March 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Saint Judy See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$39,275, 3 March 2019, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$78,498, 31 March 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cannonball Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Saint Judy is a straightforward portrayal of humanity and heart
21 March 2019 | by nivekj1See all my reviews

Saint Judy isn't your typical courtroom drama, eschewing most of the tropes and trimmings that come with this sort of fare. There's no prosecutor shouting at the top of their lungs, frothing at the mouth about injustice. There are no miraculous discoveries of facts right in the nick of time to save the accused. Indeed, its climatic ruling takes place inside of a trailer. This commitment to honest verisimilitude not sets Saint Judy apart from other films about the law, but serve to highlight its sense of humanity, warmth, and do-gooder tenacity in the face of a harsh, jaded and broken criminal justice system.

Michelle Monaghan plays Judy Wood, an Angeleno immigration attorney who takes it upon herself to represent Asefa Ashwari, an Afghan schoolteacher seeking asylum from her own nation, played by Leem Lubany. These two form the beating heart of the film, treating their scenes with a nuanced balance of Wood's optimism and Ashwari's reticence. Alfred Molina plays attorney Ray Hernandez whose law office employs Wood; Molina also executive produced the film. The rest of the supporting cast (Common, Alfre Woodard, Peter Krause, Ben Schnetzer, Mykelti Williamson) give performances just as direct and unshowy, letting the Kafkaesque nightmare of the scenario speak for itself.

Director Sean Hanish and writer Dmitry Portnoy have the right approach for Saint Judy, keeping focus on its characters facing off a world that seeks to dehumanize its most vulnerable. The filmmakers resist the temptation to sermonize, lionize or demonize; they seek only to humanize, sidestepping the usual mythologization one finds in a Hollywood film of this nature. Time and time again, Wood is placed up against the ropes, struggling to balance her family-work-life situation while earning the trust of her client and supporting herself in Los Angeles. The ending does indulge in a bit of schmaltz, reminiscent of those sentimental Hollywood dramas. But the coda is a delight, and a potent reminder of those still fighting the good fight, especially in these troubled times.

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