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A compelling mystery, social themes, and powerful performances from a pair of well-matched leads make True Believer a legal thriller that definitely passes the bar. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Jaded lawyer Eddie Dodd (James Woods), a well-regarded activist in the 1960s whose moment has long passed, now smokes marijuana and defends drug dealers who pay in cash. Recent law graduate Roger Baron (Robert Downey Jr.) becomes Dodd's apprentice, hoping to learn from him. When an agitated mother walks in insisting her son is innocent of the murder he was jailed for eight years ago, idealistic Roger prods Eddie to take the case, and the pair uncovers a huge conspiracy that endangers them both.

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Critic Reviews for True Believer

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for True Believer

  • Jun 14, 2016
    Great little 80's buddy-lawyer film
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 04, 2012
    Not bad but you would expect more from Woods and Downey who have contributed to the acting canon much more effectively in other films. Consider this to be a Sunday afternoon nothing else better to do type of film.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 30, 2011
    A defense attorney with a ludicrous pony tail defends a man accused of murder. I'm surprised by the critics' positive reviews of this thoroughly unexceptional film. Most of the reviews focus on Woods's performance, but whereas his other characters' extravagant posturing seemed to fit the situation and persona, here, he simply seems unreasonable and unstable. He irrationally yells at his cohorts, spouting treatises about justice for society's less fortunate, and everything he says is right and justified, but the manner with which he says it reminds me of those pundits on television "news" who do nothing but scream at each other. His character is supposed to be a remnant from the 60s, as indicated by the pony tail wig and the pot, but there's no real exploration of his past and how that past shaped his present. And amid all the histrionics is Robert Downey Jr. who has never been more unnoticable. As a film, this is a wholly predictable procedural with fewer surprises than the worst episode of <i>Law and Order</i>. The clues are all obviously placed, and the final courtroom scene is so theatrical that it defies all believability. Overall, after I read positive reviews of a film I didn't like, I normally reconsider my star rating, but <i>True Believer</i> was too poorly constructed and too pedestrian as a whole.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jan 23, 2011
    I don't think anyone could prance around in an outrageous gray ponytail besides James Woods. He plays a very unique type of hippie lawyer that I don't think i've ever seen before. Robert Downey Jr. also gives a classic performance as a bookish new lawyer trying to do the right thing. The story is interesting in that it examines two very important topics at the time, gang violence and racism. While those are two topics that get thrown around all the time, this combines them in a very unique way.
    Conner R Super Reviewer

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