The Star Chamber - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Star Chamber Reviews

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½ September 17, 2016
Judges pass their own death sentences on the worst criminals who commit heinous crimes but get off due to technicalities. Always liked these vigilante type films.
July 18, 2016
If Hal Holbrook says kiddo one more time...
July 17, 2016
Enjoyable film despite its age but got a bit complex for me to follow.
March 14, 2016
Sujet interessant mais la realisation n'est vraiment pas a la hauteur.
Je voulais le regarder juste pour voir ce que Douglas avait fait avant son role dans "A la poursuite du diamant vert".
½ March 30, 2015
Half good, half bad. The half that's good is REALLY good, and represents a new type of vigilante film where wild shootouts and lots of pointless shouting are replaced with calm deliberation of the deeds. It makes you wonder, "Is this right?" It makes you wonder, "What is right?" But the bad half (mostly the last few minutes) takes the air out of the good half. A remake (this time with Michael Douglas in the Hal Holbrook role) would be good.
February 6, 2015
Directed by Peter Hyams (Capricorn One (1978), Outland (1981) and End of Days (1999), from a script Hyams co-wrote with Roderick Taylor (American Outlaws (2001) and The Brave One (2007)), this is a thought-provoking thriller which focuses on the injustice of technicalities in the judicial system and an alternate way to sort out criminals. It's a good thriller, one of 80's cinema's best kept secrets. Los Angeles Judge Steven Hardin (Michael Douglas) believes in the law, but he's let down time and again when criminals who are clearly guilty of violent crimes are being let off the hook due to technicalities with how the evidence was obtains by officers not going by the rules. After having to let two criminals go, which leads to a shooting in the court room. Hardin loses patience, but his friend and fellow Judge Benjamin Caulfield (Hal Holbrook) lets him join The Star Chamber, where he and other judges go after criminals who were let go due to technicalities. Hardin joins, but after learning that one criminal is in fact innocent, Hardin has a change of heart. It's an indictment on how the law works, and it does show that the law is an ass, but vigilantism doesn't make it right. It has a good cast, and it's a bit of a forgotten 80's thriller, and even a remake wouldn't hurt it, as it's socially relevant now as it was back in the 1980's, it's also one of Hyams best films as a director.
December 15, 2014
Good movie, good acting, good script.
½ September 11, 2014

"I am the law."-Judge Dredd (Slyvestor Stallone) JUDGE DREDD
November 25, 2013
Better than you think it's gonna be, much better than the critics of the time claimed. Very intriguing constantly relevant idea based on a real, infamous 16th Century Court, which became a standard type of secret court for several Centuries in Europe. The court was set up to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against prominent individuals so powerful that ordinary courts would never convict them of their crimes. No indictments, no witnesses. Evidence was presented in writing. Over time Star Chambers evolved into a political weapon, a symbol of the misuse and abuse of power by the English monarchy and courts. The name Star Chamber derives from the historically established fact that the initial court was situated in a chamber underneath a painted mural of the heavens. Truly a movie about something. Something to ponder.

**compiled and written with the assistance of Wikipedia
October 19, 2013

A little dated, but a reasonable time waster.
September 24, 2013
So-so crime/law-drama. The basic premise was a bit too implausible to make a great movie, and the ending is a tad trite. Still, the initial setup was good and the movie does pose some good moral and legal dilemmas, though its attempts to answer them are very clumsy.

Good performances from Michael Douglas, Hal Holbrook and Yaphet Kotto.
June 29, 2013
Peter Hyams thriller sees a fed up Judge inducted into a secret organization that hires a hit man to dispose of those who have escaped justice due to small technicalities. It turns into a different flick then first expected but their is a nice twist and climax and top performance from Douglas in the lead.
May 18, 2013
Super forgettable. Peter Hyams is a pretty bad director overall.
June 16, 2012
Featuring a really good cast, good plot, awesome acting, well put together script and an action packed final quarter this is a really good thriller that raises certain questions, though it doesn't go about answering them.
April 12, 2012
Somehow the work of director Peter Hyams always seems to get lost in the clamour for quality movies and that to me is a shame because he has cranked out some interesting work over the years and this thriller proves that.

Michael Douglas plays a young judge who becomes fed up with criminals getting away with murders because of loopholes in the system.
When an older colleague invites him to join the so called "Star Chamber" which dispenses justice in its own style ,events spiral out of control as Douglas realises how dangerous real justice can be.

The films idea is pretty neat and Hyams keeps the tension at a good level and only once or twice does the film come off the boil.
The films feel is akin to that of the conspiracy movies of the 1970s right down to the score by Michael Small ,and Hal Holbrook as the older judge Caulfield.

The films stands on Douglas central performance and here its pretty darn good as we see the truth slowly dawn on his character ,Hyams shows how the rules of justice can become so blurred it becomes hard to see the edges.
Quality fare then and sorely underated.
December 21, 2011
The chamber may not be full of stars, but several of their performances are more than star-worthy.
September 9, 2011
Entertaining, but stays with you & REALLY makes you think!
August 11, 2011
A good and relevant film!
July 3, 2011
I was going to say the plot of this movie is more relevant today. Though it is true, the movie itself isn't, since there's only one explosion. I really liked the detectives, especially the one guy who doesn't like to do paperwork.
June 25, 2011
interesting the gap between what the reviewers thought and what the audience thought. this time I would side with the audience. Overrated and overblown. Douglas was NOT at all convincing as a judge.
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