In Canton, Mississippi, a fearless young lawyer and his assistant defend a black man accused of murdering two white men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, inciting violent retribution and revenge from the Ku Klux Klan.
Samuel L. Jackson
High powered lawyer Claire Kubik finds her world turned upside down when her husband, who has been living under a false name, is arrested by military police and placed on trial for the murder of villagers while he was in the Marines.
Wendell Rohr is a torts lawyer taking on the gun lobby. Rankin Fitch is the jury consultant for the Defendants and between them the battle is for the hearts and minds of the jury. But there is someone on the inside. Nicholas Easter is a juror with a girlfriend, Marlee, on the outside. they have a past ..... and their own agenda. Written by
In 1997, Edward Norton was originally cast in the role of Nicholas Easter with Joel Schumacher directing. Sean Connery and Gwyneth Paltrow were cast in the roles of Fitch and Marlee, respectively. But when Schumacher dropped out of the project and it was delayed, the actors moved on to other projects. The project was revived in 2001 when Will Smith was in talks to play Nicholas Easter with Jennifer Connelly as Marlee and Mike Newell directing. But Smith dropped out and the project was again stalled. See more »
When Fitch meets the gun company men, a chessboard is shown. The game is already started (the white Queen and the white King are in wrong start position). In the next shots, after some seconds, the chessboard shows the chess pieces in the start position (and the white Queen is finally in the correct square). See more »
What do you hope to achieve if you win? You gonna bring Jacob Wood back to life? No. You just ensure that his wife goes to the cemetery in a better car, and that the heel that she snaps on the way to the graveside belongs to a $1,200 shoe. You get your name in the paper. But Jacob Wood and all the other gun violence victims remain rotting in their crypts.
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"Runaway Jury "is a serviceable piece of disposable Hollywood entertainment, accomplished efficiently by pro's doing their usual accomplished thing so we should get distracted from how disheartening it all is.
Gene Hackman has practically copyrighted his Mephistopheles impersonation, from "No Way Out" through "Unforgiven" on, and is so much fun at it here he just may really be the Devil. Probably playing against his old friend Dustin Hoffman as a much less showy knee-jerk liberal juiced him up even more than usual. (My son reports he and his girlfriend were the youngest people in the theater so I guess only old folks care about matching up these two actors.)
John Cusack recalls his "Grifter," as a nice guy con man. Rachel Weisz uses her feminine wiles even more manipulatively than she did in "Shape of Things."
David Baerwald was the music coordinator, so it's disappointing that there isn't more New Orleans music to set the wasted mis en scene, though that sure sounded like Sonny Landredth's distinctive slide guitar behind the Peter Malick and Norah Jones Dylan cover over the credits.
And I wasn't even biased by the fact that my cousin the actress's day job is working for jury consultants by coaching witnesses to speak convincingly!
(originally written 11/12/2003)
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