Title: The Judge
Running Time: 141 min
Director: David Dobkin
Satrring: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, Vincent D'Onofrio, Dax Shepard
When you think of Robert Downey Jr., you think of Iron Man. No wonder since he has slipped into that role four times during the past six years. But even though he has become a world-wide action hero, Downey junior is no stranger to drama. Next to works like "Restoration" or "The Soloist", he even earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Charlie Chaplin in the 1992 biopic. So him starring in a drama about a cocky defense attorney, who must help his estranged father (the eponymous judge) as he gets in trouble with the law himself is not that suprising. What is suprising however, is that such a film is directed by a guy who is best known for helming movies like "Wedding Crashers", "Shanghai Knights" and the mediocre "The Change-Up".
"The Judge", however, works. It isn't just a story about father-son relationships, but about family in general, how you deal with your past and, in this regard, what you want for your future. But there is humor spread across this movie too, giving it a nice balance between light and sad moments. Duvall and Downey junior are excellent in their roles. With quite a few powerful scenes together, they really are the heart and soul of this film. Yet, the rest of the cast doesn't stand in their shadow as everyone does a great job.
Critics have accused this film of being clichéd, and it is true that it includes quite a lot of the typical drama elements. The problems seems like a bit too many to happen to one family, but because the characters are so well realized and fleshed out, they are still very relatable. This identification with its themes and topics is probably the movies biggest strength, and also the reason that you might notice its overlength but won't mind it. In addition, the courtroom scenes (although there are fewer than you'd expect from a film called "The Judge") always add to the films tension and manage to keep you invested.
All in all, it is a movie that tries hard, but also succeeds doing so. Full of funny and sad moments, it might make you reflect on your own life a bit, and ultimately leave you with a good feeling!
For Fans Of:
Up in the Air (2009)
The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)
Click Here To Watch Trailer!