Review: THE JUDGE

By Renee’ Collins

Rating: 4.5 (Out of 5 Reels)

Big city lawyer Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) returns to his childhood home where his father (Robert Duvall), the town’s judge, is suspected of murder.  Hank sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his estranged family (IMDB).

To say Duvall and Downey are great actors is an understatement.  Even though Downey is better known for the Iron Man blockbuster franchise he has also done superb work in other lesser known films such as Restoration and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang which should be seen by all.  Downey and Duvall are excellent choices for this film because their strong heartfelt performances complement each other.  Billy Bob Thornton’s delivers a powerful portrayal of a prosecuting attorney named Dwight Dickham which also adds to the depth of this film.

At its core this film is a simple family story with an estranged son who unwittingly returns home for a funeral and tries to come to terms with the good and mostly bad that happened in the past while trying to make amends and move on with their lives before it is too late.  The characters are well written because they all have depth and an identity which is rare in today’s fast moving movie realm.  It is refreshing to slow down a bit and watch a families story unfold in an intelligent and meaningful way.

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