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The Client (1994)


Average Rating: 6.1/10
Reviews Counted: 35
Fresh: 28
Rotten: 7

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 7
Fresh: 5
Rotten: 2

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 55,279



Movie Info

A sterling cast headed by Oscar-nominated Susan Sarandon makes this slick thriller one of the better adaptations of a John Grisham bestseller. Mark Sway (Brad Renfro) witnesses the suicide of a Mafia lawyer, who confesses that the Mob was behind the murder of a U.S. senator. Mark's brother is traumatized into a coma by the incident; gangster Barry Muldano (Anthony LaPaglia) is soon on Mark's trail, and in desperation, he arrives at the office of recovering alcoholic lawyer Reggie Love … More

Drama , Action & Adventure , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
Akiva Goldsman , Robert Getchell
In Theaters:
Dec 16, 1997
Warner Home Video


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Critic Reviews for The Client

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (7) | DVD (2)

It's a successful frame-turner, no more, no less, and the pleasure we feel is every bit as mild and just as fleeting.

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

A high-voltage charge of suspense, action and humor.

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

It twists and turns in all the expected places, and almost never rises above the ordinary.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Mindless, non-taxing fun, especially if you haven't read the book.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Not as satisfying as it should be.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

This isn't a masterpiece of suspense, but it has its moments and is capable of providing some light summer entertainment.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Susan Sarandon, the emotional center of the narrative, received a well-deserved Oscar nomination for playing a recovered alcoholic laywer who interacts with the boy as a surrogate mother and a pro.

Full Review… | June 15, 2005

An engrossing potboiler ... if you don't think too hard. But when you need a pot-smoking Lez Zeppelin-enslaved swamp rat-with-a-brain to plead your case, you call the pitch-perfect Susan Sarandon.

June 14, 2004
Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)

Boring cliche Grisham movie.

September 26, 2003

A lively screen translation of another legal drama by John Grisham

Full Review… | July 19, 2003
Spirituality and Practice

Pretty decent John Grisham adaptation

February 19, 2003
Henderson Home News (Henderson, NV)

Grisham's best novel-to-screen adaptation.

February 10, 2003
Sunday Times (Australia)

Worthwhile adaptation of the best seller

January 12, 2003
Kalamazoo Gazette

Strong performances buoy standard Grisham potboiler.

July 27, 2002

There isn't a trace of subtlety or intelligence in the far-fetched adventure.

Full Review… | January 9, 2002

The Client's first-rate cast carries it through its many lulls.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

Almost every word Jones utters is terrific. The script is good, but his delivery is what makes it.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Internet Reviews

All in all, it's a mixed bag -- but enjoyable enough to please Grisham fans.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for The Client

I've been a fan of this ever since I was a kid, and back then, I was really in love with it, even though some of it went over my head, and I might have been a little too young to appreciate some of it. But, I've since read the book and watched it a few more times, and yeah, I think it holds up pretty nicely.

The plot follows that of a troubled young kid named Mark who, just before witnessing the suicide of a mob lawyer, became privy to some vital information. His brother is comatose due to also witnessing the death, and not only that, but Mark now finds himself hunted by both the mob who want to kill him and a determined federal attorney who wants to make him talk, possibly by force if needed. To help himself out, he gets representation from a recovering alkie lawyer, and their teaming up leads to healing and help for both of them.

Like I said, I saw this as a kid, so nostalgia plays a big role here for me. As a kid, I was initially not allowed to see this, becaue my parents thought it was a pretty hard PG-13, but eventually they lightened up, and it became a film we all would watch together once in a while. Since the source material is John Grisham, you know it's gonna be a pretty breezy and thrilling ride, but not without heart and some depth.

The cast populating this thing is quite remarkable. Brad Renfro made his debut here as Mark, and it was a great start to an unfortunately short career. Being somewhat unprofessional allowed his natural charisma and confidence to shine through, and he embodies Mark's mix of street-wise toughness and vulnerability with confidence and ease. To back him up, we gets the likes of Tommy Lee Jones, Susan Sarandon, Mary-Louise Parker, Anthony LaPaglia, Anthony Edwards, Ossie Davis, J.T. Walsh. And, they all deliver some good work.

This is one of the stronger efforts from Schumacher, and it came out before he began to get swept up in bloated super mainstream crap that, while sometimes entertaining, really doesn't matter.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

pretty good court room drama

danny d

Super Reviewer

I've not read the book so I can't comment as to whether the film is a good adaptation or not but although it's nothing amazing, I found it to be quite pretty watchable. Not bad as average thrillers go!

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

Actually one of the only John Grisham novels that I've liked and this was definitely the best movie adaption. There's some great performances from essentially everyone and the story seemed to make more sense than it originally did. Joel Schumacher did a great job making this an accessible and fun movie that wasn't full of itself.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

The Client Quotes

Reggie Love:
I have been sober for three years.
Mark Sway:
Yeah, right, that's what all the drunks say, how they're gonna get sober and all. They even say that they love you but they don't. And then they come home wasted and beat on you and your mother so bad that you gotta hit 'em in the face with a baseball bat!
Reggie Love:
You're talkin' about your daddy, aren't you?
Mark Sway:
Yeah, well, I got rid of him. When me and my mom went into court to by our divorce our lawyer SUCKED as usual, so I went up there and told the judge myself about all the beatin's, about how he made us sleep in the street. And that's when my father became my ex-father, and now I got you, and you're a drunk and a bad lawyer too! So now I'm gettin' rid of you, you're fired, okay?
– Submitted by Alyssa B (5 months ago)
Roy Foltrigg:
Lyin' lips are an abomination to the Lord, so sayeth the Psalms!
Harry Roosevelt:
That's Proverbs 12:22.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (10 months ago)
Mark Sway:
Thanks, Rev. Roy, you've been a real pain in the ass.
Roy Foltrigg:
Thank you, son. I can assure you, you have been an even larger pain in the ass.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (10 months ago)
Where are your parents?
Mark Sway:
Where are yours?
Are you even injured?
Mark Sway:
Do I look injured?
Well, we only do injuries.
Mark Sway:
Well, I'll just go hit by a truck and come back.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (10 months ago)
Clint Von Hooser:
There goes my rent money. Now, where am I gonna stay.
Reggie Love:
You can stay here and take care of Momma Love. She likes you better than me, anyway.
Clint Von Hooser:
Well, that ain't hard to do.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (3 years ago)
Roy Foltrigg:
What's the Cloak and Dagger all about, Reggie. You know you can trust us.
Reggie Love:
You three come here alone?
Roy Foltrigg:
Nah uh!
Reggie Love:
That's the truth.
Roy Foltrigg:
Of course it is.
Reggie Love:
Well, then, why don't you just have one of them.
Reggie Love:
Just trot out just one of those cars that aren't in the parkin' lot and get a pen and a paper from one of those agents that aren't out there.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (3 years ago)

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