The Star Chamber (1983)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama, Mystery


The Star Chamber (1983) Poster

Disgusted with criminals escaping the judicial system via technicalities, an idealistic young judge investigates an alternative method for punishing the guilty.


6.3/10
5,914

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  • David Proval and James Sikking in The Star Chamber (1983)
  • Hal Holbrook in The Star Chamber (1983)
  • Michael Douglas in The Star Chamber (1983)
  • Michael Douglas and James Sikking in The Star Chamber (1983)
  • Michael Douglas in The Star Chamber (1983)
  • Michael Douglas and Hal Holbrook in The Star Chamber (1983)

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Cast & Crew

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Director:

Peter Hyams

Writers:

Roderick Taylor (screenplay), Peter Hyams (screenplay), Roderick Taylor (story)

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User Reviews


1 February 2004 | davideo-2
Fairly impressive early effort from Douglas
STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead*Avoid At All Costs

In one of his earlier features,Michael Douglas plays a young judge who becomes disillusioned with the law system he used to so admire when he finds himself continually having to aquit particularly dispicable criminals on the grounds of ridiculous technicalities.Sensing his frustration,a close friend (Hal Holbrook) informs him of a secret judicial society that meets and dishes out the appropriate punishment to those who have escaped the clutches of the law.However,events take a turn for the worst as the wheels get set too far in motion and he finds himself having to turn against this group and bring them down.With the aid of an inquisitive detective (Yaphet Kotto) this proves easier than anticipated.

The whole thing weirdly ends up emerging as some sort of left-wing statement against the death penalty and the complications that could arise with it,in much the same way as the Kevin Spacey/Kate Winslet thriller The Life of David Gale would 20 years later.In this sense,it makes it's point fairly well,although the plot does seem to borrow rather too heavily from Clint Eastwood's Magnum Force to have the full lasting impact it could have had and it has a kind of far-fetched,unintentionally surreal feel to it that ultimately clouded my judgement.The odd title is never really explained or delved in to with much detail either.

Still,for all these criticisms,it's riveting and consistently exciting enough to sustain your interest till the end,which,ironically for how unbelievable the plot is in some respects,is extremely believable and satisfactory.This star chamber is lucky enough to be granted two more from this generous benefactor.***

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Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Crime | Drama | Mystery | Thriller

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