The Pelican Brief Reviews

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June 24, 2019
Not on par with Alan J. Pakula's preeminent paranoid cinema. But depicting a POTUS at odds with his FBI director and creating obstruction of justice concerns aligns it with Pakula's other preternaturally predictive potboilers.
May 3, 2018
Pakula's always had a cool style, tending toward solemnity, but let's face it, All the President's Men this movie is not. You wish he'd have a little more fun with the pulpy material.
May 3, 2018
Both Roberts, with her intense fragility, and Washington, with his thoughtful heroism, prove invaluable in pulling us into the heart of the film.
December 12, 2017
It all sounds thrilling enough. So why is it so dull? Chiefly because of a central flaw in Grisham's writing, which Hollywood is unable to smooth out -- its grinding pedantry.
March 7, 2017
A juicy conspiracy theory thriller.
June 18, 2011
A routine thriller, curiosuly disappointing from Alan Pakula that even stars like Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts can't rescue
January 2, 2011
Talky political thriller won't engage kids.
January 14, 2010
If I would still call it one of Pakula's very best films since the end of the 1970s, that says far more about the decline of his career than anything else.
April 1, 2009
If only The Pelican Brief were purposefully controversial.
March 30, 2009
A shallow bore.
March 30, 2009
This is a standard Grisham pot-boiler.
March 30, 2009
It's too bad that Pakula allows this 1993 movie to dawdle after its climax, but prior to that he's adept at suggesting unseen menace and keeping things in motion.
February 10, 2009
You'd think that Pakula would be just the man to tease the intellectual and emotional depth out of a Grisham potboiler, but you'd be wrong. [Blu-ray]
November 5, 2008
Pakula has improved on Grisham's book by excising much of the detritus, crafting a taut, intelligent thriller that succeeds on almost every level.
October 8, 2006
A curiously disappointing thriller from Alan Pakula, reaffirming the notion that John Gresham's best-selling novels are more fun to read (at the airport) than watch on the big screen, even if they star Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts.
May 5, 2006
Definitely an easy rental and a good way to drown a couple of hours if you're looking for a little suspense, some law stuff, lotsa secondary players and a couple of renowned leads delivering the goods.
February 9, 2006
An old hand at this sort of thing, Pakula goes through the motions, but not much more.
February 27, 2005
February 18, 2005
December 21, 2004
Julia good Denzel better.
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