The Pelican Brief Reviews

  • Aug 10, 2019

    A slow, slow burn that ends on a high note, at least for me. Strong direction makes this film

    A slow, slow burn that ends on a high note, at least for me. Strong direction makes this film

  • Apr 27, 2019

    I was completely engrossed by the plot, despite its complexity and the unbelievable but fascinating premise. Denzel and Julia are both great and believable. It is hard to think of two actors who are more intrinsically believable in ordinary-people roles. I continue to be very impressed by the way that Julia Roberts plays all her roles straight; she respects her audience most than more actors.

    I was completely engrossed by the plot, despite its complexity and the unbelievable but fascinating premise. Denzel and Julia are both great and believable. It is hard to think of two actors who are more intrinsically believable in ordinary-people roles. I continue to be very impressed by the way that Julia Roberts plays all her roles straight; she respects her audience most than more actors.

  • Apr 22, 2019

    Decent political thriller, though events of the late 201Xs make it seem a bit naive regarding the power of revelations of obstruction of justice. Still worth a watch if you are in the mood.

    Decent political thriller, though events of the late 201Xs make it seem a bit naive regarding the power of revelations of obstruction of justice. Still worth a watch if you are in the mood.

  • Feb 02, 2019

    The best courtroom movie ever made!

    The best courtroom movie ever made!

  • Dec 10, 2018

    How can the director of Klute, The Parallax View, All The President's Men, and Presumed Innocent go wrong? By starting with a lousy script, and working with actors who cannot overcome their star power to provide any subtlety or nuance. Those other films are among my favorites, and have plenty of A-List talent, but they're not forced to appear heroic or speak dumbed down dialogue. This story is complex, but there's no depiction of how Julia Roberts actually goes about creating her famous Brief, putting the pieces together. That should have been the heart of this movie. Instead we get caricatured hit guys, newspaper editors and a hunky law professor, with no build up of tension or the requisite intelligence. There are plenty of people who couldn't follow the events in President's Men, but that doesn't mean it should have been simplified, and Pakula was faithful in that pic, one of my favorites. This one is just lazy.

    How can the director of Klute, The Parallax View, All The President's Men, and Presumed Innocent go wrong? By starting with a lousy script, and working with actors who cannot overcome their star power to provide any subtlety or nuance. Those other films are among my favorites, and have plenty of A-List talent, but they're not forced to appear heroic or speak dumbed down dialogue. This story is complex, but there's no depiction of how Julia Roberts actually goes about creating her famous Brief, putting the pieces together. That should have been the heart of this movie. Instead we get caricatured hit guys, newspaper editors and a hunky law professor, with no build up of tension or the requisite intelligence. There are plenty of people who couldn't follow the events in President's Men, but that doesn't mean it should have been simplified, and Pakula was faithful in that pic, one of my favorites. This one is just lazy.

  • Ed K Super Reviewer
    Nov 16, 2018

    A realistic conspiracy story that the audience can actually follow.

    A realistic conspiracy story that the audience can actually follow.

  • Mar 16, 2018

    Rivwrting. The end is a bit overly schmaltzy.

    Rivwrting. The end is a bit overly schmaltzy.

  • Nov 26, 2017

    Pakula is at his best when navigating between a world of political conspiracy on the one hand, and intrepid investigation on the other. While the movie could stand to lose some of its fat-do we need to see the trip to a rehab clinic, just for a single name? do we need to watch Roberts go through the process of opening a safety deposit box?-Pakula has otherwise crafted a popcorn thriller up to his usual, if not his brightest, standards.

    Pakula is at his best when navigating between a world of political conspiracy on the one hand, and intrepid investigation on the other. While the movie could stand to lose some of its fat-do we need to see the trip to a rehab clinic, just for a single name? do we need to watch Roberts go through the process of opening a safety deposit box?-Pakula has otherwise crafted a popcorn thriller up to his usual, if not his brightest, standards.

  • Oct 02, 2017

    A pretty good mystery/thriller, set mostly in DC, with some involvement from the US president. It's definitely too long and too slow in many parts, but does do well to show Shaw (Roberts) & Grantham (Washington) uncovering clues. The two leads definitely carry the film - score's not bad, decent support cast and relatively high body count, for what's essentially a journalism story!

    A pretty good mystery/thriller, set mostly in DC, with some involvement from the US president. It's definitely too long and too slow in many parts, but does do well to show Shaw (Roberts) & Grantham (Washington) uncovering clues. The two leads definitely carry the film - score's not bad, decent support cast and relatively high body count, for what's essentially a journalism story!

  • Aug 20, 2017

    Stellar Conspiracy Theory Movie...1 of my favourite Grisham Movies...Denzel is Beautiful in this. SUPERB supporting cast, Serious Sam Shepherd, John Herd, Jovial John Lithgow, William Atherton, Hume Cronyn, Jake Weber, Stanley Tucci, Robert Culp...Julia's part could have been played by anyone, although she does seem genuinely "Freaked"

    Stellar Conspiracy Theory Movie...1 of my favourite Grisham Movies...Denzel is Beautiful in this. SUPERB supporting cast, Serious Sam Shepherd, John Herd, Jovial John Lithgow, William Atherton, Hume Cronyn, Jake Weber, Stanley Tucci, Robert Culp...Julia's part could have been played by anyone, although she does seem genuinely "Freaked"