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Presumed Innocent (1990)



Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 48
Fresh: 41 | Rotten: 7

Thanks to an outstanding script, focused direction by Alan Pakula, and a riveting performance from Harrison Ford, Presumed Innocent is the kind of effective courtroom thriller most others aspire to be.


Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 17
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 3

Thanks to an outstanding script, focused direction by Alan Pakula, and a riveting performance from Harrison Ford, Presumed Innocent is the kind of effective courtroom thriller most others aspire to be.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 22,537

My Rating

Movie Info

Rusty Sabich (Harrison Ford) is a bland, oppressed man who burns with a quiet, corrosive intensity that can flare uncontrollably. A Philadelphia prosecutor, Sabich's fire seems to have one outlet: his job. He loves prosecuting people. Otherwise, his life is dead-ended. He has a loveless marriage to a neurotic woman (Bonnie Bedelia) and an overbearing boss (Brian Dennehy) in a labyrinthine law enforcement world of corruption and twisted relationships. Then Carolyn Polhemus (Greta Scacchi) comes

Dec 16, 1997

Warner Bros.

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All Critics (48) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (7) | DVD (6)

Conscientiously as this movie has been made, it does not work as well as the novel did or as some of Pakula's other films have.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Pakula and the cast are excellent in the cut and thrust debates and the grilling of witnesses. At least on the surface, Presumed Innocent unfolds in the grand tradition of great courtroom drama. But nothing in Presumed Innocent is what it seems.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Presumed Innocent is a stylish, dark-toned movie with handsome photography (by Gordon Willis) and solid performances.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
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A ponderous adaptation of Scott Turow's cunningly plotted mystery novel.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Intelligent, complex and enthralling.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A top-notch courtroom drama that will keep you guessing if you haven't read the book; even if you have, it is still a very well crafted story.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This could have been a great movie, but, despite being a darn good yarn well told, the essential magic is somehow missing.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

A thudding disappointment.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Never less than engrossing.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

When you get right down to it, Presumed Innocent is really just an elaborate version of the standard courtroom drama -- souped-up Perry Mason. On the other hand, this is as good as Perry Mason gets.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

Pakula keeps the suspense level high throughout and effectively brings off a series of twists at the end.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

The performances are capable, if rarely inspired.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

Based on the bestseller by Scott Turow, this intellectual whodunit begins on a slowburn as the investigation gets under way, before being resolved in a cracking courtroom drama.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4

A well-rigged whodunit.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Gripping, well-acted whodunit courtroom drama.

August 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

I mean, honestly. Sabich torching his marriage and career makes perfect sense opposite a full-court-press from the likes of Greta Scacchi. Pakula was no fool.

July 29, 2010 Full Review Source:

As moody mysteries go, the courtroom drama Presumed Innocent is among the moodiest. [Blu-ray]

May 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Audience Reviews for Presumed Innocent

An interesting movie. Harrison Ford is Rusty Savage, a prosecutor. One of his fellow prosecutors is murdered and Rusty is charged with murder. You have to see the movie to find out who did it.

On second watch, a couple years after the first, I downgraded my rating a bit. The movie is almost too obscure.
September 20, 2010

Super Reviewer

I have to start this off by saying I LOVE HARRISON FORD! It's rare that he's in a movie I don't like. With that said, I'm going to go ahead and say I liked this movie too. It had twists, sex, dirty politicians, affairs and amazing acting. I loved the ending.
August 31, 2010

Super Reviewer

First of all, I'll like to admit that I wasn't quite able to predict the culprit in this whodunit, which is something that doesn't happen often (almost negligible). Despite of that fact, surprisingly I didn't like the movie much. Actually, I didn't care who it was by the time it reached the ending. Furthermore, I'm not sure what made me react this way!!! My best guess is that the (horrible) acting department was to be blamed for it. While Harrison Ford was terrible, all the others were mediocre. As if everyone was sleepwalking!!! Sorry, not everyone. One actor was simply outstanding: Raul Julia. He succeeded in making the movie bearable, at least for me.
January 17, 2010

Super Reviewer

Attraction. Desire. Deception. Murder. No one is ever completely innocent.
December 15, 2009
Wahida K

Super Reviewer

Movies Like Presumed Innocent

    1. Sandy Stern: I believe Larren today did what he thought was just. You tell me, Rusty. Was justice done?
    – Submitted by Zbigniew Z (2 years ago)
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