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I enjoyed the story but some of the cast just didn't seem to fit. Overall, still a decent watch
another of one Joel Schulmacher's earlier successes
Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones and Brad Renfro star in another adaptation of John Grisham's best-selling work of thriller literature
taking place in the South two young brothers live with their single mother played by Mary Louise-Parker in a trailer park, one day Mark and his little brother go in the woods and witness an attempted suicide of a lawyer
Mark gets caught in the middle of it and the lawyer shoots himself; this makes him a key witness to a mafia-related conspiracy involving another dead body hidden somewhere
Jones comes in as Roy Foltrigg of the FBI to question Mark, unfortunately he faces jail time if he doesn't divulge what really happened or risk certain death from mob members if he does
so as you'd guess he's stuck in a rut but he thinks the solution is to hire a lawyer, he unexpectedly gets help from a female attorney, Reggie played by Sarandon who isn't one to let things slide over so easily when it comes to her clientele
of course Mark and her don't see eye to eye as his family has been screwed by the law leaving them lower-class and fatherless and he finds out she has had to fight off her own demons with alcohol abuse
the script actually does a decent job focusing on this kid's desperation to escape the publicity and help his family but his attorney does feel for him even if it means doing her job involves a few extra risks
it's pretty thrilling too knowing these dangerous mobsters are constantly after Mark
Renfro actually gives a very solid performance as this loud-mouthed rebellious youth
he's actually more grown-up than you'd expect given the trauma he's been through
is it better to tell the truth or to lie to save your skin? what do you do when you're caught in the middle of legal situation being a minor? even a kid can affect the aftermath of a sinister investigation
One of the best casts ever assembled for a movie. For that reason alone it's worth watching. Overall, not a bad crime drama.
Legal thriller with a great cast.
The best courtroom movie ever made!
A decent film elevated by good performances, especially from Brad Renfro and Susan Saranden. The plot mostly holds together till the end when it takes a silly leap into predictable thriller territory. It would also have benefitted from less comic book villains. I know the mob has killed kids before, but to do so because he MIGHT have heard something from a two-minute encounter with a lawyer who had no reason to talk and who MIGHT tell the police despite repeatedly refusing to do so seems ridiculous, particularly when the whole situation could just be solved by moving the body. It would take all of ten minutes and the boy's minor piece of knowledge would cease to be a threat. Even if he had been told anything else it would only be hearsay. So why all the worry?
One of my favorites. I love to watch the brilliant acting in this intelligent, sharp and funny story over and over again.
Decent thriller. Brad Renfro plays it a little too grown up, but it's the relationship between him and Sarandon that is affecting. That's probably the most stand out thing of the film.
Brilliant film which still holds up well today, why don't they make more films like this today???
Even after all this time, this remains a great family movie.