The Judge is about a dysfunctional family with a big city defense lawyer on the verge of divorce returning to his childhood home to defend his father who is suspected of murder. Hank Palmer has to return to his childhood home to defend his estranged father Joseph who is the judge of the town. He wanted to discover the truth and reconnects with his family with whom he walked away years before.
Hank and Joseph differences go beyond their approaches to law with one exploitative and the other self-righteous. The father treated Hank’s brothers Glen and Dale who has mental disability- like furniture. Hank left home and became estranged with his emotionally distant father.
There was an opportunity to mend the bridges when Hank has to go home to Indiana in order to defend his father. Joseph who is the judge of the town is accused of running down somebody on the night of his wife’s funeral. Hank is obligated to defend his father.
With the acting talent of Robert Downey and Robert Duvall, you expect fireworks but somehow there are no fireworks. They had powerful and driven performances but the movie itself is a “very long” drama filled with so many clichés. Robert Downey should stick to making Marvel and Iron Man like movies.
Beside the great performance of the cast especially the court room drama, the movie is also well filmed but these cannot save the movie; the movie is not worth spending more than two hours. There were too many things that went on and crammed into this movie; sometimes less is better.
The Judge has great lead and supporting cast; solid acting but wasted their talents on a lackluster plot. It stars Robert Downey Jr. as Hank Palmer and Robert Duvall as the father with Billy Bob Thornton in the supporting cast and directed by David Dobkin.
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