November 06, 2014

The Judge (2014)

The Judge (2014) - Movie Review
Directed by: David Dobkin
Country: USA

Movie Review: Leaving behind vacillating family comedies like “Wedding Crashes”, “Fred Claus” or “The Change-Up”, director David Dobkin adventures himself in a sentimental courtroom melodrama that brings us very few motives of enjoyment. Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. are completely wasted in a clich├ęd story created by Nobkin and Nick Shenk (“Gran Torino”), and adapted for the screen by the latter together with debutant Bill Dubuque. Hank Palmer (Downey Jr.) is a respected lawyer who left his small hometown long ago to settle in Chicago, where he defends both criminals and victims with the same conviction. When his mother dies, he returns home to attend the funeral, finding his father, the conservative judge Joseph Palmer (Duvall), accused of a serious crime. In spite of the father-son divergences, Hank decides to defend his father, calming down the tense relationship that grew between them. The film occasionally adopts a frolicsome style that withdraws some seriousness. Not even actors with this caliber could drag me into a wordy, dense, and exhausting tale that was able to remove any interest we might have in the characters. Dobkin’s formal filmmaking never backed up the already overstuffed screenplay. Lacking surprise and tension, “The Judge” is relegated to a lower level when compared with other movies of the genre.  Discouraging since an early stage, this shortsighted family-meet-the-law film is too decrepit to recommend.

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