(with 4 star performances by all)
Starring: Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, John Cusack, Rachel
Weisz and Jeremy Piven
Directed by: Gary Fleder
Based on: John Grisham's novel
jogged from the car to the theater, my brow wet with perspiration,
my fear of being too late to snag my coveted fifth row center
seat consuming my mind."Why did I go left at that
stupid light?" I thought.
could make me this crazy you ask? Look at the cast dear reader!
It's an actor sniffing addict's dream
and I didn't want
to miss a single frame. Gene
Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, John Cusack, Rachel Weiz and Jeremy Piven
- YUM! Naturally the acting did not disappoint, but alas the film's
all-too-often soapbox styled message hidden within a thriller/drama
based on corporate novelist extraordinaire John Grisham's book
of the same name - so it's a smart and ultimately complex story.
The snafu preventing true greatness for the film - even with these
gigantic talents as its characters - is the film's need to preach
and distinctly pick a side. The ending however is truly unexpected
and delightfully delivered.
video store clerk Nicholas Easter (John Cusack) has
been summoned for jury duty. He's tried everything to get himself
excused but ends up upon one of the most important gun trial cases
in the history of the Right to Carry Arms amendment's history.
wife of a murdered man is suing the gun manufacturing company
for millions. If she wins the civil suits against gun manufacturers
will be rampant and ruin the industry. Therefore they'll do almost
anything to ensure they don't lose
a man who makes it a tad easier to get a jury to vote for your
side. His name is Rankin Fitch (Gene Hackman) and for him losing
is not an option. He doesn't kill or threaten people though. He
researches them - the would-be jurors - and "guides"
the lawyers at the start of a trial in the selection process.
His command unit looks like a wartime bunker with all the latest
in surveillance and technology the client's money can buy. He
studies the people, their lives, checks their beliefs, and basically
knows before they know themselves, how they'll vote on a case.
time another professional at jury "altering" confronts
him. (Rachel Weisz) She's not interested in the out come she just
wants money - and lots of it. She knows this case is worth billions
and claims she can push the jury either way on the verdict and
offering both Rankin and the woman's attorney Wendell Rohl (Dustin
Hoffman) the same deal. Who ever pays up first wins the case.
über adorable yummsicle John Cusack I've come to expect more
what with his recent brilliant script choosing of both Identity
then again my mum always says, "If you have nothing nice
blame the director." I do.
Weisz is just an amazing and versatile talent. And Hackman and
Hoffman? This was almost too easy for the mega talent. Hackman's
great as a soulless sleazstack and Hoffman is uncomfortably exact
as a deceptively dim prosecutor. And I have a non-relenting crush
on Jeremy Piven so I am biased - but smit vision aside, he's just
wonderful as the guy who knows more then he lets you know he knows
If you are a fan of any one of the principles you've got to see
it - they are all pristinely invisible in their characters
Jury is just a tad melodramatic, opinionated (though I even
agreed with its message) and telegraphed for my tastes.
Recommendation: Johnny Cakes and Piven Pie.