About the Post

Author Information

I'm not a film critic, but I'll tell you what I think about the movies I watch. I enjoy understanding the history behind the movies we watch, as well as the collaborative effort necessary to produce movies.

The Judge


The Judge 1The Judge (2014)

Directed by David Dobkin

Based on the story by David Dobkin and Nick Schenk

Screenplay by Nick Schenk and Bill Dubuque

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Vincent D’Onofrio, Dax Shepard

Hank Palmer (Downey Jr.) is a high-powered attorney with few ties to his family. When he returns home for his mother’s funeral, he finds himself at odds with the local judge, Joseph Palmer (Duvall). This judge also happens to be Hank’s father. The family struggles are magnified when Joseph is charged with murder. Now Hank must find a way to defend his father despite their inability to communicate. The trial is just one part of the struggle for these two men.

The Judge 7This film is based on a story created by the film’s director David Dobkin (The Change-Up) and screenwriter Nick Schenk (Gran Torino). Schenk and Bill Dubuque wrote the screenplay together. The film features an all-star cast that includes Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man 3), Robert Duvall (The Godfather), Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade), and Vera Farmiga (The Departed). The cast also features the great Vincent D’Onofrio (Kill the Irishman) and Dax Shepard (Hit and Run).

The Judge 10The story for this film is an interesting look at the strain between family members over actions from the past. The writing centers on the father-son relationship between Duvall and Downey Jr.’s characters. The added drama of the murder charge serves as a starting point for the story to unfold. The strength of this movie is the dialogue, which seems to avoid a lot of exposition while giving an intimate look into the lives of the characters. The courtroom scenes are nicely scripted, allowing the tension to build from beginning to end. The weaker point of this script is the lack of depth given to some of the supporting characters. While the characters all have unique aspects, I think the story gave us a little about a lot of people. With a few less characters, the story would’ve given a more solid backdrop for the action. This isn’t a major flaw, just something to note when checking this one out. Overall, the drama and tension are wonderful in this unique story.

The Judge 4You’re in for a treat any time Robert Downey Jr. or Robert Duvall stars in a film. When they’re together, it just gets awesome. Duvall is a master of his craft, and this movie asked him to dig deep in an emotional role. Like so many great dramas, his performance asked for him to touch on a wide range of emotions. Robert Downey Jr. is equally great in this one. His energy worked perfectly with the story, allowing him to shine. The chemistry between Duvall and Downey Jr. is also an incredible thing to watch. The acting doesn’t stop with the two stars I’ve already mentioned. Adding in great performances from Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, and Vincent D’Onofrio just makes this movie better. Dax Shepard also did a great job with a role that took him in a new direction from previous work he’s done. Overall, the acting makes this one great to watch.

The Judge 8This movie doesn’t do a lot of unique camera work or anything out of the ordinary for a drama. Still, the movie is put together nicely. The visuals and the locations all seem to work to create the small-town setting of the film. In addition, the movie features great sets that capture the right feel for the story. Finally, the score for the film, written by Thomas Newman (Skyfall), was incredible. The music really puts the mood right where it needs to be.

JUDGE, THEThis movie has a lot to offer. Despite the weaker storylines, this one delivers with a main arc that pays off nicely. It’s a long one, running a little over two and a quarter hours. If you’re a fan of the stars, this is one you need to see. I would also suggest this one to fans of great drama or courtroom dramas. I give this one 4 out of 5 stars.

Rating: R

Running Time: 141 Minutes

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

16 Comments on “The Judge”

  1. Nostra October 16, 2014 at 9:12 PM #

    I love courtroom dramas and this looks like it could be very interesting.

    Like

    • jeffro517 October 16, 2014 at 10:51 PM #

      The core of the story is very solid. Enjoy!

      Like

  2. Mr Rumsey October 17, 2014 at 7:18 AM #

    I’ve been tempted by this one for a while, nice to hear that most of it really holds up!

    Like

    • jeffro517 October 17, 2014 at 7:58 PM #

      If you’re stingy with your movie money, it might be worth going to a matinee. Otherwise, enjoy!

      Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Fred Claus | Did You See That One? - December 18, 2014

    […] is a fun Christmas movie from 2007. David Dobkin (The Judge) directed the film, and it was written by Dan Fogelman (Crazy, Stupid, Love.) and Jessie Nelson (I […]

    Like

  2. Christmas Classics: The Santa Clause | Did You See That One? - December 24, 2014

    […] This Christmas classic was written by Leo Benvenuti (Space Jam) and Steve Rudnick (Kicking & Screaming). The film was directed by John Pasquin (Joe Somebody). The film stars comedian Tim Allen (Toy Story), Judge Reinhold (Beverly Hills Cop), Wendy Crewson (The Vow), and David Krumholtz (The Judge). […]

    Like

  3. The 2015 Golden Globes – My Picks | Did You See That One? - January 4, 2015

    […] Ethan Hawke, Boyhood b. Robert Duvall, The Judge c. Edward Norton, Birdman d. J.K. Simmons, Whiplash e. Mark Ruffalo, […]

    Like

  4. The 2015 Critic’s Choice Movie Awards – My Picks | Did You See That One? - January 6, 2015

    […] Brolin – Inherent Vice Robert Duvall – The Judge Ethan Hawke – Boyhood Edward Norton – Birdman Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher J.K. Simmons – […]

    Like

  5. Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) | Did You See That One? - January 16, 2015

    […] winner Robert Duvall (The Judge) also stars in this one along with Will Patton (Remember the Titans), Delroy Lindo (Ransom), […]

    Like

  6. The 87th Academy Awards – My Picks | Did You See That One? - January 17, 2015

    […] Robert Duvall, The Judge […]

    Like

  7. American Beauty | Did You See That One? - March 11, 2015

    […] addition to the visuals, the film has a wonderful score. Thomas Newman (The Judge) put together a score that works to color the film more than to underscore it. The use of […]

    Like

  8. The 2015 Summer Movie Season | Did You See That One? - April 26, 2015

    […] this one in June. The casting of Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Vincent D’Onofrio (The Judge) is just a little of why this one could be awesome. The visuals look good, and hopefully the […]

    Like

  9. Avengers: Age of Ultron | Did You See That One? - May 4, 2015

    […] created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The familiar faces of the Avengers include Robert Downey Jr. (The Judge), Chris Hemsworth (Thor: The Dark World), Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher), and Chris Evans (Captain […]

    Like

  10. Zodiac | Did You See That One? - June 7, 2015

    […] David Fincher (Gone Girl). The cast includes Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler), Robert Downey Jr. (The Judge), Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher), and Anthony Edwards (The […]

    Like

  11. Jurassic World | Did You See That One? - June 17, 2015

    […] Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy), Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help), Vincent D’Onofrio (The Judge), and B.D. Wong (Father of the Bride). Irrfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire), Nick Robinson (The Kings […]

    Like

  12. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. | Did You See That One? - October 3, 2015

    […] including Ritchie, Lionel Wigram (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II), Jeff Kleeman (The Judge), and David C. Wilson (Supernova). The cast for the film is led by Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) and […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: