|Posted by john Donnelly on November 8, 2014 at 10:40 AM|
The Judge was a really cool movie, great cast, great story, highs and lows, worth watching
The Judge is a 2014 American drama film directed by David Dobkin. The film stars Robert Downey, Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D'Onofrio, Dax Shepard, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Lancaster, and Billy Bob Thornton. The film was released in the United States on October 10, 2014. It received mixed reviews; critics praised the performances of Downey and Duvall but criticized the formulaic nature of its script and the lack of development for its supporting characters.wiki
Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) is a successful defense attorney in Chicago, who is getting a divorce. His brother Glen (Vincent D'Onofrio) calls with the news their mother has died. As he leaves his home to fly to his family it emerges he is going through a divorce with his wife and a custody battle is under way for his daughter . Hank goes to Carlinville, Indiana for the funeral. He reunites with his brothers Glen, an owner of a car tire shop, and Dale (Jeremy Strong), a person who seems to be slightly mentally handicapped. Hank sees his father, Judge Joseph Palmer (Robert Duvall), in his courtroom.
After his wife's funeral, Joseph goes shopping, while the brothers catch up with each other. The next morning Hank notices damage to his father's car as he is about to leave . While on the plane to return home to Chicago, he is called by Glen, and told that their father is being questioned by the police about a fatal hit and run. It emerges Joseph ran over James Blackwell a man who he sentenced to 30 days in jail who then went on to kill a 16 year old girl. The judge regrets this decision and it later emerges that he gave a light sentence because Blackwell reminded him of Hank. Joseph is taken to court.
Hank is not immediately chosen to represent his father despite being the most suitable choice. An inexperienced lawyer from a poor Law School who is Local is chosen, but after awhile Joesph comes to his senses and employs his son. Hank says he is doing it to improve his 'pro bono quota'. The judge's story is proved to have some flaws but this is due to the chemotherapy he is undergoing which he has hidden from everyone. Prosecutor Dwight Dickham (Billy Bob Thornton) pushes for first degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. During the legal process the tangled family relationships are revealed, and resolved; the hidden familial relationships of some of the characters are revealed. Joseph is found guilty of voluntary manslaughter but not guilty of murder, a "sort of" victory.
At the end of the movie, Joseph is released from prison on compassionate parole, after serving seven months. He and Hank are fishing at the old watering hole. After telling Hank that he is the best lawyer he has ever seen, Joseph dies. After the funeral, Hank notices the courtroom's flag is flying at half staff unlike his father had expected in the event he was found guilty, reminding him of his father's legacy. His daughter is also present suggesting he won the custody battle. After the funeral many members of the community come to remember him in the diner but Hank walks out to go to the courthouse and bring his dad's hat to his bench. He spins the judge's chair, while he stands contemplating. When the chair stops, it is facing him, as if to invite him to take his father's place.