Quick Daily Review #58: The Judge (2014)

The Judge (2014)
Director: David Dobkin

Robert Duvall is 83 freaking years old. It’s an age where many people no longer can still function in their everyday lives (of course not everyone) but Duvall not on functions, he can still do his job, and do it better than just about anyone else in movies ever has. The Judge is not really a great movie. It is a formulaic family drama and courthouse drama that goes through the motions with its story. Duvall plays a small town judge who, on the day his wife dies, gets into a late night car accident that kills a man he, years prior, had let off the hook on an assault charge who later went on to murder a 16 year old girl. Charged with murder, the Judge’s only option for a defense lawyer is his long estranged son who moved to the “big city” years prior. The beauty of this is in the performances. Robert Duvall as said is just astounding. Robert Downy Jr. also puts in fine work as his high paid lawyer son who winds up representing his domineering dad in a murder trial. There are also fine supporting performances from the beautiful Vera Farmiga (The Departed) as a long lost hometown girlfriend, Vincent D’Onofrio and Jeremy Strong as Duvall’s other two children, and Billy Bob Thornton as a ruthless prosecuting attorney. The movie may be a touch overly long, as I was waiting for it to wrap all of its loose ends about thirty minutes prior to its ending. If it is overlong and formulaic, which it is, the benefits of that is that there are a lot of great scenes in here where all of the aforementioned actors get to establish their characters and make you care about them. With a lesser cast, this movie could have been a lifetime movie of the week. With this cast, it is well worth seeing. Duvall is beyond a national treasure at this point.


About William McPherson (359 Articles)
Professional freelance writer, who also writes blogs, reviews, and assorted nonsense at

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