True Believer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

True Believer Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 14, 2016
Great little 80's buddy-lawyer film
January 10, 2016
Excellent crime/courtroom drama with James Woods showing off his acting chops the whole way, but look for Kurtwood Smith from That 70s Show giving a button down performance as the DA.
½ November 24, 2015
Monday, October 4, 2010

(1989) True Believer
DRAMA

One of the stigmas most court shows as well as a lot of movies is that although they're well written and some are based on actual cases, sometimes viewers would want to see a lawyer that is down-to-earth as well! Especially this lawyer whose a chain and a pot smoker, because I have actually met lawyers that act like this and "curse" until they come to the court becoming all respectable and professional again! The stereotypical notion on films and on TV is that lawyers are "always" portrayed are respectable both on and off court which means they act like perfect gentlemen, on such films such as "Reversal of Fortune", "Witness To the Prosecution", "Perry Mason" and "Law and Order" and although those are great films and tv shows to watch, this stigma can also get a little tiring to see all the time as well. Here is one film that does not follow this silly trend because I believe some lawyers are also pot and chain smokers and curse like heck as well, no matter how good intentions there intentions are! I wish more movies or on HBO could display more lawyers act like this character brilliantly acted by James Woods as Eddie Dodd and his protoge played brilliantly by a young Robert Downey JR as Roger who is still a noble associate despite his indifferences with his mentor! To explain the plot of this film is too far- fetch except that it involves squeeling to prisoners, corruption, bickering lawyers, skinheads, betrayls, double crossings, reinactments, racism, mistaken identity's, coincidences, racial profile and deaths and without brilliant writing by Wesley Strick and the acting chops of James Woods that with each viewing for as long as this film's been around since 1989 is like another new experience for me wishing for a sequel or a lawyer that consists with this kind of magnitude! Upon my first viewing, the line that stood out the most quoted by James Woods - "Everybody is guilty!, everybody"

As I had mentioned, saw this film three times already once every few years with each experience as a new one! I just wish I had given this film a higher rating except that the storyline is unbelievable but has to be seen to be believed!

Must
3.5 out of 4
½ April 18, 2015
Good legal drama's are far and in between and when you add fine performances by Woods and Downey Jr. then you have something.
½ December 19, 2013
Above average courtroom thriller which becomes quite formulaic in its later stages.
James Woods (with a stupid ponytail) is a maverick civil rights lawyer who takes on cases others don't, partnered with rookie Robert Downey Jr, he tries to clear a convict's name after he has already been serving 8 years for murder.
I'm a big fan of the two main actors and this movie was entertaining enough, it's just a shame about all the cliches. I always thought James Woods deserved better. A very good actor.
October 31, 2013
A solid court room drama dominated by James Woods - It reminds me of a film that came a few years before it - 'The Verdict' which was also a one man show starring Paul Newman. The cases may be completely unrelated, but the screen dominance certainly isn't. Watching both back to back would be a fun ride.
February 22, 2013
A very good legal thriller
January 28, 2013
A great courtroom drama that almost nobody has ever heard of.
Super Reviewer
December 4, 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.
November 24, 2012
Much like its main actor, 'True Believer' is as underrated as it gets!
½ November 14, 2012
Good film with great performances by Woods & Downey.
May 18, 2012
Great film! Woods, a great lawyer turned lacky to guilty drug related cases lawyer teams up with a young bright eyed bushy tailed Downey Jr in order to free an innocent client who is up on murder charges for an in prison killing of a racist gang member in self defense. Instead of focusing on this crime, they delve into the original case of why he is in prison. Although he appears guilty, there is a rather intricate plot underfoot and in the end Woods reveals the truth. Fantastic movie, would watch it again in a heartbeat.
February 2, 2012
James Woods' hair is ridiculous but the rest of the movie makes up for it.
December 15, 2011
Great Performances by Wood and Downey
½ November 17, 2011
a great movie. very exciting, very suspenseful. a smart, complex story and great acting. forgot how good james woods was in the day. he is definitely the star of the film. he even overshadowed robert, which takes some doing.
hunterjt13
Super Reviewer
July 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 Law and Order. 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 True Believer was too poorly constructed and too pedestrian as a whole.
½ July 19, 2011
Woods clearly relishes his chance to display a wide range of emotions within his patented maverick persona, and Downey also acquits himself well in a much less challenging role.
June 28, 2011
A good movie overall, with great performances by Woods and Downey; however, the pony-tail really doesn't hold up well 22 years later. *laughs* AWFUL!
Super Reviewer
January 26, 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.
½ January 22, 2011
Decent but dated courtroom drama featuring good actors and a standard plot. It attempts to make a higher statement about racism and justice, but ends up being rather simple.
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