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Movie Reviews THE JUDGE

THE JUDGE

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When the two lead actors deliver equally powerful performances, it’s nearly impossible to guess who’s going to garner the first Oscar nomination for THE JUDGE (2014) starring Robert Downey Jr, Robert Duvall, and Vera Farmiga. So much more than a run-of-the-mill courtroom drama, THE JUDGE explores the sometimes volatile and often painful relationships that build the framework we call our family.

The first production from the husband and wife team of Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Susan Downey, THE JUDGE follows Hank Palmer’s return to his rural roots after the unexpected death of his mother and his father’s shocking murder charge. Although well-educated and extremely successfully in his city practice, Hank is unprepared to step forward as lead counsellor in the defense of his father, a judge with forty-two years legal experience on the bench.

Although the film could have benefited from a little extra time in the editing room, the extended length does little to detract from the films’ ability to touch audiences, largely in part to Downey’s superb performance. Having obviously tucked his Iron Man suit back into the recesses of his closet, THE JUDGE effectively reminds us that he can still deliver the goods and Downey is so much more than just an inflated Marvel character.

Robert Duvall who began his fifty-two career with the classic TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD back in 1962 is still delivering Oscar calibre performances well into his eighties, and although known as an iconic Hollywood actor, Duvall himself reports that he’s still working to hone his craft...a true consummate professional. Directed by David Dobkin, Rated-R, 141 Minutes, Drama. **** 4 stars out of 5.

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Reviewed by Lynne Martin October 28, 2014
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