Thursday, January 05, 2017
Thursday Movie Picks: Legal Thrillers
In my very first participation for the Thursday Movie Picks for 2017 created by Wanderer of Wandering Through the Shelves. The first week is devoted to the subgenre of the legal thrillers. The genre where lawyers find themselves in danger or dealing with something that is beyond their control. The objective is to choose three films of that subject matter.
1. Presumed Innocent
Alan J. Pakula’s 1990 legal thriller is an unusual film in the genre as it’s really more of a suspense-drama than a thriller. It is this very intriguing story about a prosecutor who has an affair with a colleague who is later murdered as he is the prime suspect. It’s a film with a great cast led by Harrison Ford as the man who cheats on his wife with this colleague played by Greta Scacchi. Yet, the film really kind of belongs to the late Raul Julia who always steal the show any chance he gets as a rival of Ford who would defend him. It’s a film filled with a lot of nice twists and turns with a killer ending as it is one of Pakula’s finest films.
2. The Firm
If there’s one film that truly fit the standard of a legal thriller, it’s this film that is based on a novel by one of the genre’s masters in John Grisham. This film remains the best as it involves Tom Cruise as this young lawyer who is asked to be part of this prestigious yet mysterious firm that has a very dark secret. Featuring a great ensemble cast that include Gene Hackman, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Holly Hunter, Ed Harris, David Strathairn, Wilford Brimley, and Hal Holbrook. The film is definitely one of Sydney Pollack’s finest films as it features a great score by Dave Grusin as it is one of these thrillers that is smart and engaging.
While it may not be as good as another of Gregory Hoblit’s legal drama in Primal Fear, this film does have its moments as it is this intricate tale of murder where a man has been accused of shooting his wife yet he would defend himself against a young, hotshot district attorney. It is a film with a lot of flaws yet it is the performances of Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling that makes it work and watchable no matter how silly some of the plotting is. It does have moments where Hopkins and Gosling confronting each other make it feel like a different movie where it’s two masters going mano-a-mano in who can outwit who.
© thevoid99 2017