Bottom Line: This pleasantly clichéd, small town courtroom/family dramedy gets bailed out of mediocrity from two familiar yet winning performances from the Robert D’s. Downey Jr. (the sharp-witted slickster) and Duvall (the cantankerously crotchety curmudgeon) are a thrill to watch as they bombastically bond on screen. It may be a tad predictable and the way-too-many endings lend themselves to an overlong running time, but buried just beneath this kitchen sink approach to storytelling lies a beautifully filmed, competently directed and wholly heartfelt tale of fathers, family, honor and letting go of the past. It’s a quirky, clever and emotionally charged flick that worked more often than not – it’s just, again, too darn long. Many critics will predictably dread THE JUDGE, so you’ll just have to object to their out-of-touch tastes, take a stand and witness if for yourself. This is a good natured movie that should easily appeal to mass audiences…
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vera Farmiga and Billy Bob Thornton
Directed by: David Dobkin (WEDDING CRASHERS and MR. WOODCOCK)
Running time: 142 minutes
Studio description: Robert Downey Jr. stars as big city lawyer Hank Palmer, who returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town's judge (Robert Duvall), is suspected of murder. He sets out to discover the truth and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before. -- (C) Warner Bros.
Official site: www.thejudgemovie.com