Movie Stats & Links
||John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin
Hoffman, Rachel Weisz
||It's an adult story.
||Bring them along.
||Cusack and Weisz have a scene,
but nothing that gratuitous.
||You don't see it, but you know
the dad gets a bullet.
||It's really a drama.
||A chuckle here and there.
||Fitch orchestrating the
investigation of the jury pool.
||Arnon Milchan, Gary Fleder,
There are some things in "Runaway Jury" that seem
totally unbelievable, yet in a scary sort of way, they might actually
be plausible. One thing, for example, is the ease at which Rankin
Fitch (Gene Hackman) can document and investigate members of a jury
pool and feed the information to the defense attorney so they can
stock the jury in their favor. Utilizing standard surveillance and
internet wizardry, along with high tech audio and video equipment,
Fitch is confident the jury he picks will always go his way. Your
first sense is "Oh, come on.", but then in the back of your head you
might actually wonder if this stuff goes on. Alright, Iím getting a
little ahead of myself in this review, so letís get you up to speed on
A Movie Review
"Runaway Jury" is based on the book with the same name
from the great courtroom and lawyer writer John Grisham. It opens with
a birthday party, dad going to work, and a mass shooting at work where
dad gets killed. Well, lets not blame the dude doing the shooting,
lets blame the gun manufacturer, and so itís a New Orleans lawyer
versus the might of the gun manufacturers. But the movie isnít a
simple as that, no this movie centers around jury selection and if
itís possible to stack a jury in your favor by investigating the
potential jurors beforehand and working to get them to be a part of
the jury. The gun folks hire Rankin Fitch whose been doing this for
years. His juries always go his way. Dustin Hoffman plays Wendall
Rohr, heís the lawyer for the wife of the dead dad, and a bit naÔve.
He believes in the justice system and doesnít believe a jury can be
bought. Enter potential juror Nick Easter (John Cusack). He seems like
your ordinary average guy, trying to get out of jury duty so he can
play in the Madden video game challenge. But there are many twists in
this story, the only one of which I will give away is that Nick and
his girlfriend Marlee (Rachel Weisz) think they can sway the jury to
either the defense or plaintiff, depending on who antes up the most
money for them. Yup, for them itís about a five to ten million dollar
payday depending on who bids higher, Fitch or Rohr. Fitch tries to
show them whose boss, laying some heat on some of the final members of
the jury (one lady overdoses because of him), but in the end Nick
shows them all who is holding the cards. And thatís all I will give
away because unless you read the book, this movie has you constantly
wondering what is next, and is there some other thing down the road to
twist things up more? The answer is yes, so donít be content thinking
you know how things are going to end up.
This is a great courtroom drama that will keep you guessing and
involved in the story. Much of that credit really goes to the quartet
of Cusack, Hackman, Hoffman, and Weisz. Cusack plays a great
every-man. Hackman comes off totally believable as the cocky Fitch,
ever confident, ever in charge, and when things go bad you see a man
who finally realizes his ego got in the way. Weisz always looks good
and this time, as the master manipulator, shows she can play with the
big boys. Lastly is Hoffman who is great as the lawyer who truly
believes in his case, truly believes in the justice system, and
although worried the jury can be bought, he still believes in the
integrity of the jury.
Entertaining and riveting, I really enjoyed "Runaway Jury." The
only problem I had was some of the over-the-top things, but I do see
the necessity of them to make the story work. Itís 4 Ĺ stars out of 5
for "Runaway Jury."
Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!