The Client (1994)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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 (Sarandon). With the Mob after them, and a ruthless federal attorney (Tommy Lee Jones) trying to force Mark to reveal what he knows, Love battles to guarantee the safety of her client and his family. The relationship between Reggie Love and Mark Sway is the center of the film, adding considerable character development to plot's routine elements. Director Joel Schumacher helmed another Grisham adaptation, A Time To Kill, in 1996. ~ Don Kaye, Rovi
Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Home Video

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William H. Macy
as Dr. Greenway
Bradley Whitford
as Thomas Fink
Susan Sarandon
as Reggie Love
Mary-Louise Parker
as Dianne Sway
Brad Renfro
as Mark Sway
Tommy Lee Jones
as Roy Foltrigg
Anthony Edwards
as Von Hooser
Anthony LaPaglia
as Barry Muldano
Ossie Davis
as Judge Harry Roosevelt
Will Patton
as Sergeant Hardy
J.T. Walsh
as McThune
William Richert
as Harry Bono
John Diehl
as Jack Nance
Kim Coates
as Paul Gronke
William Sanderson
as Wally Boxx
Dan Castellaneta
as Slick Moeller
Anthony Heald
as Trumann
Walter Olkewicz
as Romey Clifford
Mark Cabus
as Detective Nassar
Ron Dean
as Johnny Sulari
Micole Mercurio
as Momma Love
Macon McCalman
as Ballatine
Norm Woodel
as Reporter
John Fink
as Lieutenant
David Speck
as Ricky Sway
Christopher Gray
as Security Guard
Jo Harvey Allen
as Claudette
Will Zahrn
as Gill Beale
Tommy Cresswell
as 3rd FBI Agent
Anthony C. Hall
as Pizza Man
John Mason
as Musician
George Klein
as Announcer
Andy Stahl
as Agent Scherff
Mary McCusker
as Pretty Girl
Ruby Wilson
as Receptionist
Alex Coleman
as Newscaster
Tom Kagy
as Patient in Wheelchair
Bettina Rose
as Woman at Desire
Rebecca Jernigan
as Emergency Nurse
Mimmye Goode
as Night Nurse
Stephanie Weaver
as Newscaster
Joey Hadley
as Officer
Todd Demers
as Newscaster
Jeffery Ford
as Bailiff
Linn Beck Sitler
as Newscaster
Ronnie Landry
as Waiter at Antoine's
Robert Hatchett
as Paramedic
Sandra Bray
as Reporter
Yvonne Sanders
as Reporter
Karen Walker
as Reporter
Nat Robinson
as Special Agent Boch
Jesse L. Dunlap
as Security Guard
Joe Kent
as Elvis Impersonator
Robbie Billings
as Ballentine's Wife
Mark Pyles
as Helicopter Pilot
Clay Lacy
as Jet Pilot
Gerry Loew
as Pizza Man
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Critic Reviews for The Client

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (7)

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

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

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

Not as satisfying as it should be.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
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… | December 31, 1999
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Washington Post
Top Critic

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
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

pretty good court room drama

danny d
danny d

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
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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