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Runaway Jury (2003)



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

An implausible but entertaining legal thriller.


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

An implausible but entertaining legal thriller.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 62,037

My Rating

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

Feb 17, 2004


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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.

October 27, 2003 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 23, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 22, 2003 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 22, 2003 Full Review Source: Slate
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 22, 2003 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A taut, escapist legal thriller.

October 17, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Legal thriller isn't aimed at kids.

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

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

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
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.

January 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
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.

October 16, 2004 Full Review

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

July 20, 2004 Full Review Source: FilmFocus

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

February 13, 2004 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

...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.

February 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

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

January 9, 2004 Full Review Source: Moviola

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...

January 8, 2004 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

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

January 1, 2004 Full Review

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)


November 22, 2003 Full Review Source: 3BlackChicks Review
3BlackChicks Review

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

November 21, 2003 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

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

November 10, 2003 Full Review

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

November 5, 2003 Full Review Source:

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.

October 30, 2003 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

The powerhouse cast is a joy to watch.

October 26, 2003 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

Audience Reviews for Runaway Jury

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.
December 15, 2013
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

November 25, 2013
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).
April 29, 2013

Super Reviewer

Runaway Jury is another exaggerated courtroom thriller by John Grisham. When I say exaggerated, I mean that in the best possible way. It's all done for excitement and entertainment. Here we find a court case concerning an office shooting. The widow attempts to sue the gun company for liability. Meanwhile the gun manufacturers has hired Gene Hackman, a man that investigates and scrutinises juries so that he can offer the best chance of success for his client. As the film unravels many plot twists are thrown in the path of an interesting story. I think a more dramatic turn could have been beneficial. The problem is that we have a very current case that everybody has an opinion on, but the film focuses on the buying of a jury. To me this doesn't quite work because the case is fascinating enough. Sure the gun companies aren't the nicest of people, but they aren't breaking the law. The fight between corporate liability and a persons own actions was more intriguing. Once the film get rolling, we find out that the players are being played. There are some nice anti-hero character moments, where even Hoffman's idealistic and truthful lawyer are tempted by easy wins or intimidated by realistic threats. Personally, the film made the mistake of using interesting and current issues to pad out a pretty formulaic thriller. By the time it ended I was almost cringing at the forced Hollywood ending that undid all the interesting character work. Tense and likeable, without ever making you feel truly scared, it's a simple thriller for a lazy evening.
October 14, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Marlee: I wanna go home.
    2. Nick Easter: Let's... let's go home.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (7 months ago)
    1. Rankin Fitch: Trials are too important to be left up to juries.
    – Submitted by Chris R (21 months ago)
    1. Rankin Fitch: Everybody loses, just not me.
    – Submitted by John P (2 years ago)
    1. 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 (2 years ago)
    1. Rankin Fitch: Everybody has a secret they don't want you to find.
    – Submitted by Lea L (2 years ago)
    1. Doyle: It's a set-up.
    – Submitted by Lea L (2 years ago)
View all quotes (8)

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