Robert Downey Jr. gives the iron suit a rest for some courtroom drama in “The Judge.” The story begins when lawyer Hank Palmer returns home to Indiana to find that his father (played by Robert Duvall), the town judge, has been accused of murder. Palmer takes it upon himself to defend his father, even though the prosecutor, Dwight Dickham, is set on having him locked away. Palmer works through the estrangement between his father and himself. Likewise, he reconnects with his brothers upon returning home.
Showing in theaters worldwide this week, “The Judge” opened the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 4, 2014. It was directed by David Dobkin, and penned by Bill Dubuque and Nick Schenk. It is the first film to be produced by Team Downey, the production company that Downey Jr. founded with his wife in 2010. According to pro.boxoffice.com, “The Judge” is expected to earn $15 million on its opening weekend.
The film has since garnered 7.6 stars from 833 users on IMDb and an average rating of 5/10 in Rotten Tomatoes.
The Guardian’s Catherine Shoard gave the movie two out of five stars. She called “The Judge” “a timeless film,” adding that “it could have been made at almost any point over the past 80 years: rote plot, functional support, well-signalled twists.”
In a film review for TIFF 2014, The Arts Guild’s Talia C. compared it to “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “A Few Good Men” and wrote: “This work achieves the feel of a classic law film by grounding its story in a tumultuous father-son relationship, making use of charismatic actors and genuine humor in order to produce the ideal serious yet enjoyable tonal balance of a perfect TIFF opening night film.” She also said that Downey Jr. plays Palmer with “an amount of subtlety along with his charming charisma,” making this role distinct but not far off from his performance in the Iron Man Trilogy.
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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore
Written By: Camille Rivera