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Runaway Jury (2003)


Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 156
Fresh: 113
Rotten: 43

Critics Consensus: An implausible but entertaining legal thriller.

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 40
Fresh: 28
Rotten: 12

Critics Consensus: An implausible but entertaining legal thriller.


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 62,222


Movie Info

Three people attempt to bend justice for their own purposes in this drama based on the best-selling novel by John Grisham. After a man dies in a shooting incident, his wife files a lawsuit against the company that manufactured the gun, with her lawyer, Wendell Rohr (Dustin Hoffman), arguing that the firm in question knew the shop which sold the weapon was not following federal regulations pertaining to the sale of firearms. As the case goes to trial, the firearm manufacturer is taking no chances … More

PG-13 (violence)
Mystery & Suspense , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
Brian Koppelman , David Levien , Rick Cleveland , Matthew Chapman
In Theaters:
Feb 17, 2004
Box Office:
20th Century Fox - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Runaway Jury

All Critics (167) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (113) | Rotten (43) | DVD (41)

[T]his film ranks just below The Firm and The Client on the list of John Grisham-inspired thrillers, thumbs up.

Full Review… | October 27, 2003
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

A lot of famous faces populate the courtroom in this overplotted and farfetched tale of jury-tampering, but they and the horse they rode in on are all so mired in illogical, head-scratching incoherence, they need lawyers of their own.

Full Review… | October 23, 2003
New York Observer
Top Critic

As in all his films, there's a sense that honest human emotion bores Fleder, but he gets points for packing the trial with fine character actors, all of them adept at wringing humor and poignancy from cliche.

Full Review… | October 22, 2003
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

In spite of its cheesy plot twists, thoroughly second-rate direction, and criminally wasted ensemble, Runaway Jury adds up to a nice little gotcha! courtroom melodrama.

Full Review… | October 22, 2003
Top Critic

Fleder's direction confirms the impression left by his previous films, Don't Say a Word and Kiss the Girls among them, that he's a hack.

Full Review… | October 22, 2003
Top Critic

A taut, escapist legal thriller.

October 17, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic

Legal thriller isn't aimed at kids.

Full Review… | December 28, 2010
Common Sense Media

One of the most engrossing underrated legal thrillers in years...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

...the best cinematic rendering of a Grisham novel ever, which is either saying a quite lot or very little at all, depending upon your view of things Grisham.

Full Review… | January 29, 2005
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The film's action is limited to repeatedly ransacking Cusack's apartment, and the plot is rife with Big-Brother-is-watching paranoia.

Full Review… | October 16, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

The best Grisham adaptation yet, this one is definitely worth a look.

Full Review… | July 20, 2004

A guilty pleasure for some, a waste of time for most.

Full Review… | February 13, 2004

...the first adaptation of a John Grisham novel whose premise and doings I found didn't ring true for a second. Yet I enjoyed the film from beginning to end. Go figure.

Full Review… | February 6, 2004
Movie Metropolis

'Buen thriller con una que otra vuelta de tornillo que seguramente dejará satisfecho a la mayoría'

Full Review… | January 9, 2004

Lo que tambalea un poco es el final, porque como suele pasar en el cine de Hollywood las cosas se resuelven más fácilmente de lo que la verosimilitud indicaría...

Full Review… | January 8, 2004
Uruguay Total

Runaway Jury... may not be art, but you won't be bored.

Full Review… | January 1, 2004

The kind of bracing psychological thriller that makes a case for the battle of ideas being every bit as thrilling as a great fight scene.

December 31, 2003
Long Island Press

A tepid legal thriller . . . madly edited, with serviceable performances and dialogue that's snappy without being biting. . . . evades answering the moral questions it poses.

December 1, 2003
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)


Full Review… | November 22, 2003
3BlackChicks Review

[O filme é] suficientemente inteligente para prender a atenção do espectador sem se tornar maniqueísta.

Full Review… | November 21, 2003
Cinema em Cena

may send lawyers' eyes a-rolling, but audiences should willingly indulge every fast-paced moment

Full Review… | November 10, 2003

Anexpertly crafted crime thriller that knows how to juggle the facts and the action without bogging them down in fits of overkill.

Full Review… | November 5, 2003

Good performances, a quicksilver pace, and some modest surprises result in a satisfying popcorn picture.

November 4, 2003
Creative Loafing

The film is well enough made to keep our interest, even if it never comes close to delivering on the promise of the material or the cast.

Full Review… | October 30, 2003
Shadows on the Wall

The powerhouse cast is a joy to watch.

Full Review… | October 26, 2003
San Diego Metropolitan

Audience Reviews for Runaway Jury


Thrilling dramatic thriller, Runaway Jury is a worthwhile film to watch that boasts a great cast of talented actors and a well constructed story. I thought that this was a very entertaining film, one that was gripping from start to finish, and always kept you on the edge of your seat. The mix of thrills, mixed with the courtroom aspect of the story goes well hand in hand, and it makes for an even more compelling picture. Runaway Jury is not perfect, but for the most part, it's a well crafted dramatic thriller that is elevated by its cast, which makes you forget the film's shortcomings. Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman give the film's strongest performances, especially Hackman who is intense in his role, and he really nails the character he portrays. Overall, the film is well done, entertaining, and tells an engaging story that is sure to appeal to viewers that enjoy a good courtroom drama. Although it doesn't break ground in this genre of film, Runaway Jury is yet another perfect example of a well executed drama that has a story set in a courtroom. At times the film could have been refined, but overall, I was very much entertained, especially, like I said before, the performances here are magnetic, and make up for the weaker aspects of the movie. I've only seen one film by director Gary Fleder before this one, and here he delivers a terrific drama that manages to really be entertaining enough despite its flaws, and it's one of those cases where the performances save the film from being a total bore, as the story itself is nothing too elaborate. Runaway Jury has its weak parts, but it's a worthy viewing, and it's a bit underrated as well, it may not be the best courtroom drama, but it's not the worst either.

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer


A decent courtroom thriller based on John Grisham's 1996 novel. Sure the premise stretches plausibility but the overqualified cast (John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman) do a fantastic job giving the proceedings depth and intrigue. Nothing too life changing but enjoyable on a rainy day.

Christopher Heim
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Its another decent courtroom thriller, this one about jury tampering, that's about as formulaic and manipulative as they come. The cast saves it, almost acting as if it were all believable. Hackman serves up his enjoyable bad guy yet again (it hasn't got old yet, though Lex Luthor's my personal fav) while Hoffman shines as the knight in shining armor (as a knight should ... in the dreamtime).

Apeneck Fletcher

Super Reviewer

Runaway Jury Quotes

I wanna go home.
Nick Easter:
Let's... let's go home.
– Submitted by Alyssa B (13 months ago)
Rankin Fitch:
Trials are too important to be left up to juries.
– Submitted by Chris R (2 years ago)
Rankin Fitch:
Everybody loses, just not me.
– Submitted by John P (2 years ago)
Rankin Fitch:
What do you hope to achieve if you win? You gonna bring Jacob Wood back to life? No. You just ensure that his wife goes to the cemetery in a better car, and that the heel that she snaps on the way to the graveside belongs to a $1,200 shoe. You get your name in the paper. But Jacob Wood and all the other gun violence victims remain rotting in their crypts.
– Submitted by Lea L (3 years ago)
Rankin Fitch:
Everybody has a secret they don't want you to find.
– Submitted by Lea L (3 years ago)
It's a set-up.
– Submitted by Lea L (3 years ago)

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