The Firm (1993)
In this drama, based on the best-selling novel by John Grisham, Mitch McDeer (Tom Cruise) is a young man from a poor Southern family who has struggled through Harvard Law School to graduate fifth in his class. Mitch is entertaining offers from major firms in New York and Chicago, but when Memphis-based Bendini, Lambert, & Locke offer him a 20 percent higher salary than the best offer he's received, in addition to an enticing variety of perks and fringe benefits, he decides to sign on and remain in the South. Mitch's wife, Abby (Jeanne Tripplehorn), warns him that the deal sounds almost too good to be true, but it's not until after several weeks of working with Avery Tolar (Gene Hackman) that Mitch discovers that the vast majority of BL&L's business is tied to organized crime, with crime boss Joey Morolto (Paul Sorvino) using the firm to launder Mafia money. FBI agents Wayne Tarrance (Ed Harris) and F. Denton Voyles (Steven Hill) try to blackmail Mitch into helping them make a case against the firm, while BL&L's "security director" William Devasher (Wilford Brimley) is blackmailing him to do as he's told after Mitch foolishly allows himself to be seduced by a prostitute hired by the firm. The Firm was adapted for the screen by acclaimed playwright David Rabe and features performances by Hal Holbrook, Holly Hunter, and Gary Busey. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for The Firm
Tom Cruise heads a tony cast in a best-seller movie that is firm at the start and infirm by the end.
The Firm amusingly satirizes the New Traditionalist aspirations of today's young urban elite -- not so much the lifestyle itself as the illusion of utter security it represents.
A smooth adaptation of John Grisham's giant bestseller that is destined to be one of the summer's strong audience pleasers.
The movie is extremely long (two hours and 34 minutes) and so slow that by the end you feel as if you've been standing up even if you've been sitting down.
The book moved at turbo speed. At two and a half hours, the movie crawls.
This is a professional machine of a movie that compresses huge amounts of information into its two and a half hours of screen time. But it's so weighed down by detail, it fails to generate any real suspense.
This legal thriller is smartly directed and well scripted (by some of Hollywood's top writers), but, alas, Tom Cruise is Tom Cruise, playing yet another variation of his screen image.
What starts out as interesting becomes increasingly hokey and silly -- Wilford Brimley is ludicrously cast as the firm's senior hit man -- where it should be intense and suspenseful.
Even Tom Cruise is a winner in a Pollack-Grisham collaboration.
Cruise at the top of his game
Is this a thriller? You've never scene a 'suspense film' drag its heels so deplorably, enlivened only by some colorful character acting.
The fact that this was a hit proves, once again, that the average IQ is only 100.
It is non-threatening fun, and it is a much better crafted film than what passes for Academy Award Best Picture nomination material these days.
Moderately entertaining... and a big step up from the book.
A riveting drama, continuing to build the star of Cruise.
Slick, highly enjoyable filming of a disposal best seller
Audience Reviews for The Firm
The Firm was great 20 years ago, it really upped the ante within the thriller genre but it hasn't aged well. The problem is that it is about an hour too long. It would be great to see a remake but credit due, it defines the style of the time and inspired many a good thriller since. If it weren't for the 80's desperately trying to hang on it would have been at least a star better, but the long haired albino henchman thing had been done to death by this point. Also, what happened to the Dog?More
I was looking forward to seeing this film, and I thought it was going to be an excellent thriller. After viewing it, I thought it was a good thriller at best. Based on John Grisham's bestseller, The Firm is a fairly entertaining thriller which mixes dramatic elements. Tom Cruise plays newcomer lawyer Mitch Mcdeere who gets hired by a firm that has ties to organized crime. Now I haven't read the book, but I thought this was a good film with plenty of twists and turns. Director Sydney Pollack keeps the film engaging to the very end, but the film is a tad too long. Tom Cruise delivers a good performance, and he stars apposite some impressive talent. Gene Hackman, Hal Holbrook and Ed Harris are all phenomenal. The Firm is not a perfect film, but it manages to still be an effective intricate thriller that delivers on screen. I've never read a Grisham novel, but I have to say after watching this film, I was impressed enough to want to check out his work. Nowadays Tom Cruise is plainly weird but at least he was able to deliver good performances (and still does, but less frequently) back in the day. The Firm is a good thriller with a great cast, but there's something that's missing from the film to truly make it a memorable film. As it stands, The Firm manages to thrill but by the climax you have to admit that it could have been done slightly better.More
If there is ever one movie that showcases the hotshot version of Tom Cruise, it's The Firm. I'll admit that I never really saw a whole lot in it when I saw it for the first time, but it's really grown on me over time. Tom Cruise's performance alone should be worth anyone's time; it's extremely multi-dimensional and he seems to hit everything just right. Even for being a lawyer thriller, Tom Cruise brings his intensity on full speed and has you at the edge of your seat. This also has some great supporting performances from Gene Hackman and Holly Hunter, not to mention the intimidatingly bald Ed Harris. Now this takes John Grisham to the next level and stands as probably the best movie based on one of his books, just edging out The Client. It's an extremely effective conspiracy theory plot that has you interested for the entire time.More
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