Main Plot Points:
- From Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures comes “The Judge,” which pairs two-time Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr. (“Chaplin,” “Tropic Thunder”) and Oscar winner Robert Duvall (“Tender Mercies,” “Crazy Heart”), starring together for the first time on the big screen. The film also stars Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air,” “The Conjuring”) and Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton (“Sling Blade,” “Friday Night Lights”), and is directed by David Dobkin (“Wedding Crashers”).
- In “The Judge,” Downey stars as big city lawyer Hank Palmer, who returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town’s judge (Duvall), is suspected of murder. He sets out to discover the truth and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before.
What We Thought:
- The Judge is a solid drama with a fantastic cast.
- People I was with said it felt like Oscar bait and sure it might be a bit, but I honesty don’t see it getting nominated.
- I personally enjoyed it and enjoyed the relationships in it. RDJ and Robert Duvall’s relationship was incredibly rocky and I like seeing rocky father/son dynamics. There’s some really funny, brutal and touching scenes between the two men and they both handle it with ease.
- I also liked the brother relationships between RDJ, Vincent D’Onofrio and Jeremy Strong. Downey left his small town upbringing and D’Onofrio criticizes him for it. Strong plays their mentally challenged brother who is probably the film’s biggest scene stealer. You really don’t struggle to view them as family.
- Plus it has a great supporting cast with Vera Farmiga as the love interest/long lost love. Billy Bob Thornton as the opposing lawyer. Dax Shepard as the hired attorney and many others.
- The film is far from perfect. It’s a bit too long. There’s some sub stories that didn’t seem necessary. The Leighton Meester character somewhat has a point, but really wasn’t necessary. Even the David Krumholtz and Sarah Lancaster characters could have been cut. They served a purpose, but could have very easily been written out/cut out.
- The Judge won’t win Best Picture. It probably won’ t be in my Top 10 of 2014, but it’s still a good film. It has great performances from a great cast. I don’t get the people who hated it. There’s nothing to hate. It’s just a solid film.
Notable Cast & Crew:
- Robert Downey Jr.
- Robert Duvall
- Vincent D’Onofrio
- Vera Farmiga
- Billy Bob Thornton
Recommended if You Like:
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- A Few Good Men
- Court Room Dramas