Big city lawyer Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) returns to his childhood home in Indiana where his father (who’s also the town’s judge) Joseph Palmer (Robert Duvall), is suspected of murder. As Hank sets out to discover the truth, he also confronts multiple aspects of his past, including: his brothers, father, ex-girlfriend, and various residents in town.
Other familiar faces you’ll notice are Hank’s older brother Glen (Vincent D’Onofrio) and ex-girlfriend Samantha (Vera Farming). The Judge is directed by David Dobkin and has a plot that’s interesting enough to peak your interest yet moves at a slugs pace. Was the movie good? Yes, it was very good actually. Even with the dry commentary from fellow lawyer Dwight Dickham aka Billy Bob Thornton. With as many brand-name actors featured in this film it better be great, right? Unfortunately, the mark was missed in length, as the movie runs a very noticeable 2hrs. and 21 mins. There’s a wonderfully dramatic exchange between Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall where you feel like the climax has been reached and you’re just awaiting the conclusion. I thought that was a perfect time to conclude as the film was beginning to drag, but it continued on for another 40 minutes (at least).
The Judge would make for a good weekend movie to see. It’s good enough that shouldn’t wait til it gets Red-boxed but it’s not a film that you need to sprint to the theatre to see. I give it a 7.5 out of 10. I think a lot of bad reviews the film received were unfair, so I definitely suggest seeing it for yourself.