The Judge (2014)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama


The Judge (2014) Poster

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.

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7.4/10
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  • David Dobkin at an event for The Judge (2014)
  • Brianne Howey at an event for The Judge (2014)
  • Robert Duvall in The Judge (2014)
  • Leighton Meester in The Judge (2014)
  • Dax Shepard in The Judge (2014)
  • Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey at an event for The Judge (2014)

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10 October 2014 | streamofstars
7
| Worth seeing for Downey Jr and Duvall
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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