The Judge is a film starring Robert Downey Jr, Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard and Leighton Meester. The Judge is a film directed by David Dobkin who some may know as the director of Fred Claus (2007) or Shanghai Knights (2003).
The Judge Trailer
The Judge Review
When first hearing about this film and watching the trailer for the first time I was interested in it mainly because of the actors within the film. Many of the actors have been in many great films over the course of their careers and quite a lot of the cast has been nominated for an Academy Award so naturally when going in to see The Judge, one probably expects to see some pretty good performances. I will confirm that that’s exactly what you get from The Judge.
Not only do you get some great performances, you also get quite a well put together dramatic story that may even cause some in the audience to start reaching for their tissues (not me though). The Judge follows the story of Hank Palmer who is played by Robert Downey Jr. Hank is this rich lawyer who lives in the city and has become quite distant from his family. Hank must put his life on hold to go visit his father and his brother’s who live in a small town which is away from the city, his father is the judge and a well-respected one as well. The Judge who is played by Robert Duvall is an aging character far from his prime who gets caught up in a hit and run accident which he has no memory of.
Things are complicated further for the family due to the recent passing of the mother of Hank and his brothers who are played by Vincent D’Onofrio and Jeremy Strong, each character is in need of some type of support but history between all them makes it difficult for them all to connect with each other. There is some distance between The Judge (Robert Duvall) and Hank (Robert Downey Jr.) and their characters develop throughout the film as they kind of get closer together.
Where this film is at it strongest is in its character development and its acting. Having some really well written characters and some great actors to play them always makes a great film to watch and Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. have some excellent and very touching scenes together. The film’s screenplay comes partly written by Nick Schenk who some may know as the writer for Gran Torino (2008) which is a great film as well.
The tone of The Judge is a little bit strange, it has some very small comedic moments particularly in the beginning as we’re introduced to Robert Downey Jr.’s character but for the rest of the time it’s a very series dramatic film. It’s probably a film that people who love to be sentimental may just enjoy a little bit more as it focuses primarily on the relationship between a father and a son and their extended family.
I found myself quite attached to and intrigued by the story of The Judge and as the case developed over the course of the film I became more and more interested in the characters and their backgrounds. I thought that David Dobkin did a fine job with the directing for this film. I’m not too sure about his other films as I don’t really like them but I would say that this is the best David Dobkin film there is.
If I had to be a little bit picky with the film I would probably say that I didn’t really care for Vera Farmiga’s character of Samantha Powell who kept trying to get into a relationship with Hank (Robert Downey Jr). It just seemed to me to be a little bit rushed and sort of awkward and I think the film wasn’t really helped by it at all. The scenes with Leighton Meester who played the daughter of Samantha (Vera Farmiga) were kind of funny but not really fantastic. Same with the scenes with Dax Shepard who was this foolish lawyer that the Judge hired. These three characters were all silly and up against the serious characters of Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duvall they were a distraction.
Overall The Judge is a great film and one that I was surprised that I enjoyed so much. It’s more an emotional type of film but it really builds its characters well and the performances from Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall are fantastic and worth a trip to the cinema alone. I don’t know who couldn’t like this film, unless you’re one of those people who needs action to enjoy something at the cinema, I can’t think of anyone I wouldn’t recommend watching it to this week. After watching The Judge I really felt like I had watched a film that was quite good and had some meaning to it, it was well worth my time, it’s just a nice movie to watch, that’s what The Judge is, it’s nice.