The Judge

Critics Consensus

Solidly cast and beautifully filmed but thoroughly clichéd, The Judge seems destined to preside over a large jurisdiction of the basic cable afternoon-viewing circuit.



Total Count: 198


Audience Score

User Ratings: 47,704
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Movie Info

In "The Judge," Robert Downey Jr. stars as big city lawyer Hank Palmer, who returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town's judge (Robert Duvall), is suspected of murder. He sets out to discover the truth and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before. -- (C) Warner Bros.


Robert Downey Jr.
as Hank Palmer
Robert Duvall
as Joseph Palmer
Vera Farmiga
as Samantha Powell
Vincent D'Onofrio
as Glen Palmer
Billy Bob Thornton
as Dwight Dickham
Leighton Meester
as Carla Powell
Jeremy Strong
as Dale Palmer
Dax Shepard
as C.P. Kennedy
Ken Howard
as Judge Warren
Emma Tremblay
as Lauren Palmer
Balthazar Getty
as Deputy Hanson
David Krumholtz
as Mike Kattan
Grace Zabriskie
as Mrs. Blackwell
Denis O'Hare
as Doc Morris
Sarah Lancaster
as Lisa Palmer
Lonnie Farmer
as Gus the Bailiff
Matt Riedy
as Sheriff White
Mark Kiely
as Mark Blackwell
Tamara Hickey
as Amy Palmer
Ian Nelson
as Eric Palmer
Carol S. Austin
as Young Mary Palmer
Marcus D'Angelo
as Dale (10)
Bobby Bryan
as Hank (16)
Cody Pettola
as Glen (5)
Johnny Orlando
as Glen (17)
Ras Enoch McCurdie
as Mini Mart Clerk
Ian Blackman
as Mr. Burke
John Talalas
as Chicago Sheriff Deputy
Darryl Edwards
as Judge Carter
Joel Brady
as Mr. Williams
Sarah Burns
as Pregnant Ex
Ara Glenn
as Johanson-Potential Juror #5
Ara Glenn-Johanson
as Potential Juror #5
Kate Crowley
as Potential Juror #9
Lance Norris
as Juror #8
Lenny Clarke
as Juror #10
Frank Ridley
as Jury Foreman
Duncan Putney
as Dr. Putney
Pun Bandhu
as Forsensic Scientist
Jamison Haase
as Dr. Brannamon
Lucien Spelman
as Bartender Billy
Timothy John Smith
as Both Ways Bobby
Jonathan Ziese
as Blackwell's Brother
Enn Reitel
as Mourner
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Critic Reviews for The Judge

All Critics (198) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (95) | Rotten (103)

Audience Reviews for The Judge

  • Oct 07, 2016
    The court and family drama is carried by two outstanding performances by RDJ and Duvall. Their chemistry and the excellent support cast make for a thoroughly entertaining film with just the right amount of humor and rural American atmosphere. Overall really well done even if the ending falls a bit short.
    Jens S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 24, 2016
    Wow! The first 10 minutes of the film has about every cliche you could possibly throw into a film, then proceeds to hit every Blake Snyder beat right on time. Only of note for the talented actors involved, who do their best to uplift the material.
    Anthony V Super Reviewer
  • May 09, 2016
    John Grisham, the former lawyer turned novelist, has become known for his action packed, courtroom conspiracies. These films are always full of twists and unlikely heroes, but in his latest film, The Judge, Grisham takes a step back. The lawyers he creates have always been young and smart, but inexperienced and in over their heads, this time, it's just the opposite. Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) has left his small town upbringing behind and has become one of the biggest criminal defense attorneys in the country. Law has always been in his family, as his father, Joseph (Robert Duvall) has been a judge in that small town for nearly fifty years. Hank is home for a rare visit, when he starts to notice his father is deteriorating, but does little about it. One night, The Judge goes out to the store and hits someone with his car, his son contends, it was a simple accident, but the district attorney thinks it's something more, due to the Judge's former connection with the victim. Despite them never seeing eye to eye, and despite the Judge's stubbornness, he sees no choice but to let his big shot son defend him. Both actors in this film are terrific, few are as good as Robert Duvall, but the chemistry in this film is a bit of a problem. Robert Duvall is always this humble soft spoken guy, that pulls at the heart strings, but Robert Downey Jr. has a personality that's bigger than life itself. While Duvall was amazing, Downey Jr. always seemed to overpower him in their scenes together. The combination made for a few good laughs, but overall, Downey's personality overshadows the empathy the crowd had for Duvall. The bottom line, The Judge may not be John Grisham's most thrilling work, but it does pose some interesting questions of law and explores the necessity of a father/son relationship, even when the two parties don't really get along.
    Todd S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 05, 2015
    "The Judge" is an exciting/amazing drama film. "The Judge" has got incredible acting from "Robert Downey Jr" and "Robert Duvall". "The Judge" has got a great plot to it and the characters changes are great. The music in this film is very emotional and fits in perfectly with the scenes. "The Judge" is directed extremely well by "David Dobkin". The dialogue is great at showing the audience the damaged relation ship between "Hank Palmer" and his father. I highly recommend you watch "The Judge" if you enjoy dramatic films and I give it an 8.5/10.
    Steve G Super Reviewer

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