The Firm - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Firm Reviews

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½ August 17, 2016
Mitch McDeere is the luckiest man in the world. He's just graduated from Harvard Law with top marks, has a pretty wife to come home to every night, looks like a star athlete, and is wanted by nearly every firm residing on the East Coast. He seems cut out from the cloth of an idealized fairy tale revolving around the impossible to reach American Dream, coming from nothing - his mom lives in a trailer park, romancing loser after loser, and his brother is a convicted felon - yet working his way toward something. Only twenty-three, his face is elastic and characterized by noticeably naive aspiration, as if waiting to be weathered by years of soul destroying work and stress that won't relent until he finally decides to throw the towel in and call it a day.
As 1993's "The Firm," adapted from the best-selling 1991 John Grisham novel, opens, Mitch's life is yet to be marred by a reality that bites. He's in the midst of a long-winded interviewing process, jumping from firm to firm in hopes to find something that might suit him. Confident but not cocky, he's not so taken with the many offerings that promise a starting salary just north of $50,000, that promise him that he'll be part of a law-practicing family of hundreds. He's young and he's sanguine, aware that he'll most likely have to settle for a few years of disappointing pay and a lot of shed elbow grease. But he wants more.
So everything changes when Mitch steps into Bendini, Lambert, & Locke , a small, Memphis based outlet. He expects little but ends up startled - the firm, despite being comprised of a mere forty-one lawyers, boasts an ability to hand out $100,000 a year to its most successful employees, the steep mortgage necessary to purchase a top-dollar suburban home, and even a BMW to park in the driveway. How a business can afford to provide such a breathtaking salary and such unfathomably generous amenities is beyond Mitch - but because money is seductive and because he doesn't know any better, hardly a split second passes before he decides that this is the place he wants to work for the rest of his life.
He and his wife, Abby, jump from Boston to Memphis without batting an eye. With cash this good, they'll be living a jet-set lifestyle in no time, and nothing's more persuasive than going from broke college students to country club lounging power couple in a matter of months. In the weeks following, they settle in nicely. Mitch likes his colleagues and is thrilled by the long nights, and Abby has found a pleasant job at a local elementary school, befriending the wives of Mitch's peers like it's effortless in the process.
But there's something unsettling about Bendini, Lambert, & Locke that draws skepticism from them. Though initially fine with his all work and no play office work, the unending hours (sometimes climaxing at twenty a day) begin to grate on Mitch's resolve and the vivacity of his once hot-blooded marriage. Abby is provoked by her new friends' constant reminders that the firm likes healthy marriages, a handful of children, and has never seen a divorce nor an unhappy home, as though imperfections are deadly. Several of the firm's lawyers have died under mysterious circumstances in a relatively short timespan.
So suspicions are given weight when the FBI corners Mitch out of nowhere and brings his worst fears to life. All it front of him, it seems, is a sham, a front for corruption, Mafia linkages, and unspeakable evil. Bendini, Lambert, & Locke is more mob than firm. Mitch is given two options: he can either turn a blind eye and end up eventually spending the rest of his life in prison, or he can work as a quasi double agent who will never be able to live as Mitch McDeere again safely. Because he's played by Tom Cruise and because few'd be inclined to watch a movie or read a novel whereby the protagonist does nothing when he could be doing something, Mitch, of course, goes with the latter offer.
And so begins nearly three hours worth of abstruse deception, betrayals, and heated exchanges. In reading Grisham's novel did I find "The Firm" to be a wonderfully stylized thriller in which personality clashes and suspense charged passages were more exciting than conspiratorial loose-ends. Occupied by characters I grew to care about and characters I loved to hate, it was the kind of beach read a casual reader such as myself looks for in a book. I yearn for forgettably explosive thrills, thrills I can quickly eat up only to trade off for something else that reeks of quickly-written crowd-pleasing immediately after.
But because Grisham is no Agatha Christie and is less reliant on formula than like minded authors like James Patterson and Harlan Coben, I felt alive while reading "The Firm" - it's charged with a sort of urgency mostly found in blockbuster action movies that remind you that blockbuster action movies aren't so bad so long as they're done with a couple of sparks of originality. Hints of "All the President's Men" and "Three Days of the Condor" were to be found, too.
And yet the film adaptation, long-winded and punishingly complex, struggles to capture the book's palpable electricity, maybe because the material itself seems better suited to a miniseries or because two-and-a-half hours is too long for any movie that doesn't have the cast size or storytelling ambition of "Magnolia." It has the requisite tools necessary to be characterized as a masterpiece of a legal thriller - it's soundly directed by Sydney Pollack and is intelligently written by top screenwriters David Rabe, David Rayfiel, and Robert Towne - but it deepens its convolutions to the point of being incomprehensible. Though it mostly stays true to its source material (until it heads toward the conclusion and decides that Grisham apparently made some mistakes in wrapping things up), its fury and its tension are, more often than not, lost in translation.
But a lot of it is commendable, and "The Firm," regardless of its lacking of comprehensive sense, is still stirring. Cruise is perfectly cast as McDeere, possessing the face of a man who's both believable as a hero of a man and an everyman; Jeanne Tripplehorn, with her bee-stung lips and doe eyes, reassures us that Abby is far too whip-smart and strong-willed of a woman to be forgotten in the wife role. But I especially liked Holly Hunter's Tammy, a street savvy polymorph of a secretary who aids Mitch after her boss is shot down after Bendini, Lambert, & Locke steps in, and I liked Ed Harris's FBI man Tarrance, whose ruthlessness and GI Joe ballsiness sketches him as a power player you'd be wise not to mess with. Hackman is particularly heartbreaking as an idealist ruined by years of bribery and crooked office politics.
Most memorable, though, is the image of Cruise, wearing his flawlessly ironed monkey suit and anxiously clutching his briefcase, running through the streets of Memphis as bad guys chase after him with an intent to shoot to kill. A hero who risks his life to bring justice into this cruel world will never stop being an interesting type of protagonist, and Cruise recalls the likes of Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford of many moons ago. But "The Firm," with its burdensome running time and its many complexities, wants it all but can't have it all. It's a collection of fiery moments, performances, and conversations that never quite come together cohesively.
½ July 7, 2016
Customary slow moving of Pollack genre. It's firm in the beginning and in the latter part a runaway train.
½ July 1, 2016
Although seemingly bolstered down by sudden mood changes and it's formidable length, The Firm benefits from fantastic performances, a brilliant score and suspenseful mystery to it's story.

½ June 13, 2016
Fast paced action thriller never disappoints. Tom Cruise plays Harvard law graduate Mitch McDeer who is headhunted by a Memphis law firm who ultimately win him and his wife over. The honeymoon ends when Mitch discovers some disturbing secrets within the firm. The Firm is a classic law story that is easily the best Grisham adaptation to date.
May 19, 2016
Great movie - horrible score. The piano really aged this movie terribly, is very distracting and mood killing. Shame, because the movie itself was pretty good.
March 20, 2016
"The Firm" is drawn out and over complicated most of the time, but some parts are really intriguing.
I found myself either confused or bored for most of the movie. Regardless, I would recommend seeing since it's a classic, and some of the acting is very good.
February 12, 2016
This is one of those movies where the performances are so good you can overlook the plot implausibilities.
January 26, 2016
This movie isn't the greatest but Cruise is on point as usual and the supporting cast is solid especially Gene Hackman. I never found Jeanne Tripplehorn to be that attractive and I still don't. If it was maybe 20 minutes shorter that wouldn't be bad either.
½ January 16, 2016
A great suspense movie! Well acted, well put together. You really do feel scared for the characters. You gotta pay attention closely to get all the details, but it's worth it, because they build up an impossible situation for Cruise's character to overcome.
½ January 1, 2016
A good 90s thriller. Plot holes a plenty. But that's a given for any 90s film.
December 23, 2015
Tom Cruise plays Mitch McDeer in the movie adaptation of John Grisham's The Firm. Mitch is a hot lawyer with tons of promise and getting offers from all the top firms in the country. He manages to pick the worst one, a firm that is being back fitted by the mob. He must now use the law to save himself, his wife, and his brother to get his life back. The film is a decent adaptation of the book, but goes on way too long at 2.5 hours. The movie is a bit slow and does not have enough of a payoff to really be worth watching again.
Steve Grady
Super Reviewer
December 6, 2015
"The Firm" is a great Mystery and Suspense/Drama film of 1993. The acting in "The Firm" is amazing, the best acting is from "Tom Cruise" and "Gene Hackman". The plot to "The Firm" is great, towards the end it gets better and better, some scenes in the film are pointless/slow. Some of the music in "The Firm" isn't best suited for some scenes. I recommend you watch "The Firm" as it is a great Mystery and Suspense/Drama film of 1993. I give "The Firm" a 7.5/10.
November 21, 2015
Good movie had some cheese moments but also very good scenes when mitch bwats tge guy with a brief case funny shit movie violence
November 7, 2015
watchable, but really long
October 18, 2015
A handsomely made legal thriller with a couple of fine performances and suspenseful sequences. It is a little too long, but thankfully Sydney Pollack's smooth direction and Cruise's solid performance always keep the film going. The Firm is a thoroughly entertaining film.
½ October 4, 2015
A thrilling film. Loved the book, and this is an excellent adaptation of it. Worth seeing, even if you have to sit through a ton of lawyer-speak to understand what's going on.
½ September 12, 2015
Tom Cruise is not my favorite actor but in some movies he got something, with the other actors this movie has that something...just need a little bit more of suspense. And above all looks like any of that is happening in real world in these recently years or maybe always had been like that.
½ September 5, 2015
A well directed thriller with a fantastic performance from Tom Cruise,The Firm is a solid adaptation from the book, be it somewhat a bit too long, it nevertheless is an engaging film. Recommended.
½ September 5, 2015
It was a pretty weird movie
August 30, 2015
I very much did like the firm based on the john grisham best seller where tom cruise plays a law school graduate who joins a law firm in Memphis cruises character is unaware that the firm is corrupt and no one has ever left the firm alive. gene hackman,holly hunter,jeanne tripplehorn and ed also give good performances
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