The Verdict - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Verdict Reviews

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July 31, 2017
A solid movie, but suffers a bit from its low-key Sydney Lumet filmmaking style that just doesn't work as well now 35 years later.
½ July 24, 2017
A well crafted and performed court room drama. While it may not bring anything new to the genre it does everything well and is carried by a solid performance from Paul Newman.
June 28, 2017
This is a solid courtroom drama with a strong cast, including screen legends Paul Newman, James Mason, and Jack Warden. Paul Newman masterfully plays the underdog "ambulance chaser" attorney with a secret heart of gold. He does a great job of being detestable in the beginning and an even better job of redeeming himself later on. James Mason nailed the role of the morally-challenged defense attorney looking to make a quick buck. I can definitely see this movie being boring for people with a short attention span, as the movie is somewhat legalistic and intentionally slow-paced. I must admit it that I didn't find this movie interesting until about 25 minutes in. I am glad I stuck to it.
February 21, 2017
Paul Newman is incredible in this. Jack Warren is solid as the rumbled mentor turned assistant. It's slow & plodding at times, but a quality work, for certain.
February 7, 2017
Paul Newman is brilliant as and alcoholic lawyer at the end of his tether bringing a malpractice suit against impossible odds. Surprise ending.
January 19, 2017
Verdict, The (1982) C-122m. ???? D: Sidney Lumet. Paul Newman, Charlotte Rampling, James Mason, Jack Warden. Stunning drama from David Mamet about Newman as scorn lawyer who sees chance to salvage his career (and self-respect) by taking medical wrongdoing case to trial. A spellbinding companion piece to Lumet's 12 ANGRY MEN. Look for Bruce Willis as jury member! One of the best films of the 1980s.
January 3, 2017
The Verdict is a fantastic film. It is about a lawyer who sees the chance to salvage his career and self-respect by taking a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settling. Paul Newman and Charlotte Rampling give excellent performances. The screenplay is a good but a little slow in places. Sidney Lumet did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama.
½ January 1, 2017
Arguably the best courtroom film of all-time, 'The Verdict' has everything you'd want in a picture. Paul Newman transforms himself into a roll of a drunk never was lawyer who gets a huge break, but manages to bungle it in the eyes of many. The supporting cast of Charlotte Rampling as Newman's love interest, Jack Warden as Newman's close friend and confidant, and James Mason as the defense attorney complete a murder's row of acting talent that is second to none. Sidney Lumet adeptly stays out of the way and allows Newman to go to work. The result is a master thespian on the top of his game.
December 25, 2016
Newman stars as a Boston attorney who has fallen long ago into a spiral of uncontrolled drinking and spends most of his days either in a bar or at funerals trying to drum up a bit of business from the bereaved. His buddy Jack Warden drums up an easy case for him ... a young woman reduced to a coma by seeming medical malpractice. All Newman needs to do is accept the guaranteed settlement offer, collect and move on. Something awakens in him, however, and he turns down the offer, determined to win in court although nobody, including his clients, want to pursue this route. A brilliant film that takes the form of a court room drama, but is really more of a character study of a man who's been in a coma of his own for years until he ever so slightly wakes up. Newman is superb and was robbed of his Oscar for this film. The equally amazing supporting cast includes James Mason, Charlotte Rampling, Milo O'Shea and Lindsay Crouse. What really makes this film transcend your average character alcoholic character drama is the combination of David Mamet's screenplay and Sidney Lumet's direction. It's a slow, deliberate film that takes it's time in order to gain maximum effect from the small gains Newman's character achieves.
December 24, 2016
Intricate but clever execution. All the while Mr. Newman laid it out how it was supposed to be.
September 8, 2016
Quite simply one of the best movies ever made.
½ September 4, 2016
Sidney Lumet's cold and depressing courtroom drama isn't one the most compelling I've seen, but it does have Paul Newman in one of his finest roles.
½ August 27, 2016
Probably Paul Newman's best performance, but is it enough to cover up some shoddy writing. Yes and no. The mood is filmed beautifully, a '70's looking courtroom drama filmed in the '80's, but what should have been the best scene falters, and you're left with a "how did that happen?" feeling. Still, top notch acting all around.
August 27, 2016
A man beaten down and ruined by the establishment for doing the right thing rises up the triumphant victor as the plaintiff's lawyer in a horrible malpractice case. Paul Newman and James Mason are great, as are Jack Warden and the Milo O'Shea (the Boston trial judge). Legal accuracy is questionable in this one, but one could actually argue that it was legally accurate, showing that in the real world it's a lot of wheeling and dealing between the court and the parties than by the rule books. Actually, that might have been part of the point, as when you watch the movie, the plaintiff's counsel and defendant's counsel both do things they could be disbarred for, and I dare say the judge might have been disbarred and impeached himself, just as Newman's character threatened in the movie.
August 21, 2016
My vote for the best legal drama of all time.
½ August 20, 2016
A dense study of character, this tale of moral dilemma exceed beyond average legal dramas.
½ June 27, 2016
A disillusioned alcoholic lawyer in Boston gets what appears to be a soft malpractice case from a concerned friend trying to help him. Nothing comes easy for the lawyer, who coasts through his work while he destroys himself by drinking. The case should lead to a simple settlement with a good payout, but when he begins the case, he finds himself in a personal struggle. He uncovers a legitimate injustice and struggles to accept a settlement, which effectively results in a cover-up of a major medical error. The case symbolizes his individual struggle to take badly needed easy money or to regain his professional integrity and peace within himself by bringing the case to trial. The story works well, and the internal conflict within the main character is clear and emotional. It picks up as the powerful opposition, his high-paid defense attorneys attempt to sway trial outcome with bribes and underhanded tactics. Watching him research and build his case is exciting. He knows he has a case, but his formidable opponent makes it difficult for him. It all builds to a climactic court scene. A drunk lawyer on the skids is a different type of role for the usually likable Paul Newman, but he pulls it off very well. His character has a conscious, but he is uncertain of himself. He knows he must defeat his internal conflicts in order to be the lawyer his clients need him to be. It is a very good movie, with the emotional backbone needed to leave a lasting impact. The story also has enough tension to keep it interesting. It received five Oscar nominations but came away empty handed in a challenging year with tough competition.
June 26, 2016
160625: For such a long film, the jury was out only a short time. Considering its length, this film passes quickly, perhaps painlessly. A good sign, yes? Unfortunately, at least with this viewing, there was just something too easy about the outcome. I did not feel the concern, or wonder, at how the story was going to resolve itself. A deja vu moment? Perhaps a whisper of recollection, having seen the film before? Or, perhaps, the outcome was just too easy? Who knows with me. Regardless, a good drama with some great acting. Newman and Warden were on point. A good job with Rampling's character Laura Fischer. I really disliked her for some reason but the final scene still caught me off guard. Good job on that one. With all that, The Verdict is well worth watching and praised by many.
½ April 22, 2016
Being a huge fan of Paul Newman and Sidney Lumet, I am utterly disappointed with the story. The man himself doesn't do too much wrong giving one of his better performances as a lawyer on his way spiraling down clinging on to the one case that drains his moral conscience.

Frank Galvin (Paul Newman) a lawyer on the verge of financial and career crisis latches on to a case of medical malpractice against a prestigious hospital and rejects an offer for settlement though he doesn't have enough firepower to go for a trial against the will of the kin to the victim. He befriends Laura (Charlotte Rampling) who is budding a budding legal counselor and finds some hard truths.

Paul Newman portrays a man in depression who sees no way up from the position he is in but wants to stick by some ideology he never followed through his career. So the basic character structure is quite inconsistent which is why I couldn't relate to it in the first place. Sidney Lumet is a master of screenplay with his superior '12 Angry Men' and 'Dog Day Afternoon', but never really gets going here with uneven pacing and misdirected direction occasionally. Performances are top-notch throughout.

Uneven pacing and unrelatable protagonist didn't work for me, but features an excellent performance by Paul Newman.
½ March 31, 2016
1982's ''The Verdict'' is filled to the brim with great performances and slick camerawork, and also a sensitive moral issue but somehow that isn't enough to make it the compelling film it should be. Everything that happens before the trial begins is incredibly tasteless and uninteresting, and everything is showed in such an expository way, which makes it a chore to watch. None of the characters are likable, nevertheless all portrayed beautifully. The pacing is really off, it starts incredibly slow with some good moments, then it suddenly picks up in pace, drops in pace for like 15 minutes then picks up again, that makes it difficult to watch too. Also in the courtroom scenes, usually filled with great new characters that are put on the stand, surprising twists, intense argumentation, and exciting new info being uncovered. ---- The Verdict has none of those, it does have a beautiful monologue, that however felt completely out of place and meaningless because of it. On top of that when in the end the trial is obviously won (It's still a movie, that's obviously what will happen in any type of courtroom movie) you, as the audience, feel no compassion for the leading man, you dont feel happy for him, you dont feel happy/uplifted yourself, nor do you feel proud or empowered, like you usually do after a fantastic courtroom drama, take Sidney Lumet's other work, 12 angry men, for instance.

All in all The Verdict is a masterfully crafted piece of cinema (hence the 3.5 stars) but does lack emotional depth to keep the movie afloat.
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