The Verdict - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Verdict Reviews

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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.
March 12, 2016
Saw this on 11/3/16
Though he has gracelessly aged, Paul Newman gives a stellar performance and Lumet directs with great effectiveness and tension. The film has a lot of plot lines not so much seen in the court room dramas, but sometimes it feels off, just like the romance which was totally unnecessary and included just so that the film could have a heroine and evade accusations of Hollywood sexism. The film has enough emotional impact, but its not as good as Lumet's own 12 Angry Men or Find Me Guilty.
Super Reviewer
½ March 10, 2016
Sidney Lumet captivating courtroom drama in which the late great Paul Newman delivers a towering virtuoso Oscar nominated performance as an alcoholic ambulance chasing lawyer named Frank Galvin, who has fallen on hard times. As the film opens Galvin is depressed and suffering from the shakes, he has been reduced to gate-crashing funerals to try and sell his services to grieving widows. With his business about to go under, and too much of his day spent in the local bar, it's his best friend Mickey Morrisey, played superbly by the late Jack Warden who offers him a last-chance job, and a chance at integrity and solvency with a negligence case involving a two famous doctors and the Catholic Church, which should prove an easy earner thanks to a generous out-of-court settlement opportunity. Galvin has sunk to the gutter, but not so low that he doesn't recognize injustice when he sees it, and against all advice decides to fight the case to win more money. He finds himself pitted against a silent, frightened witnesses, and a formidable team of high-price private lawyers, headed up by Ed Concannon, played brilliantly by the late great James Mason, in a memorable Oscar nominated performance as Galvin's legal foil. With even his best friend thinking he's made the wrong decision its up to Galvin, and his newly discovered supportive girlfriend with a mysterious past, Laura Fischer, played compellingly by Charlotte Rampling, to find the inner strength to persevere with the case and see that justice is done, and in the process redeem the human being Galvin used to be. A well-crafted motion picture with meticulous direction by Sidney Lumet, and an intelligent, taunt screenplay by David Mamet, which is based on the novel by Barry Reed. But it is Newman's masterful career-crowning performance that completely dominates this profound courtroom drama. Highly Recommended.
½ March 1, 2016
Still one of my favorites. I say 'still' because sometimes our tastes change as we glide through life. This hasn't. In fact, I have a friend who's studying to be a lawyer. I'm going to watch this with him.

A must-see for a lawyer.
½ February 29, 2016
Slightly dull court room drama. Paul Newman is excellent and it was interesting to see much younger than usually Charlotte Rambling pouting away. but for the rest..... nothing much happened. Not bad, but not exiting either.
½ February 21, 2016
Considering I name Sidney Lumet as one of my favorite directors, it's stupid that I'd never watched this movie before. A tense courtroom drama, a scumbag finds redemption picture, and a little bit of a buddy movie (Newman and Jack Warden) to boot. All that and James Mason at his silky evil best.
½ January 13, 2016
I've always enjoyed courtroom dramas, and the Verdict is one that I thought worked extremely well for most of the movie. Paul Newman is amazing as a washed up lawyer who has been completely disenchanted by the law. They do a nice job of slowly developing his character throughout the film, and showing us why he is so frustrated with life. This setup also makes it even more affecting when we see shades of his past experiences threatening to make this new case just as miserable, particularly because he starts to care about his client more than he had cared about any case in years. I was getting annoyed by the seemingly tacked on and unnecessary romantic relationship, but they cleverly tie that in to the story so my complaint went away. Towards the end I found the proceedings in court became a little far-fetched, but if you're willing to buy the legal logic of the movies and can put your critical brain on hold it still works (although I imagine real lawyers are somewhat perturbed by what they see in this movie.) I think where the movie was the weakest was in the final resolution. They never have that celebratory moment you expect in a courtroom drama when the case is won and people rejoice because justice has been served. Instead they decide to scale things back and make the conclusion more character-focused instead of giving us that cathartic moment of joy. It's a small complaint, but I think I just prefer court films that keep the law as their centerpiece more than the lawyers. But the performances were good enough in The Verdict that I enjoyed it anyways.
December 29, 2015
Paul Newman delivers yet another great performance as an alcoholic, down-on-his-luck lawyer who takes on a medical malpractice case which he has little-to-no chance of winning, but feels he must to redeem his career. James Mason is equally great as the smarmy, cocksure defending lawyer in the impending lawsuit.
This drama is more powerful in its scenes outside the courtroom rather than within, but none of the scenes disappoint, helped by an intelligent screenplay by David Mamet and handled diligently by director Sidney Lumet.
December 15, 2015
Sidney Lumet's assured direction, David Mamet's deftly written screenplay, and a nuanced powerhouse performance from Paul Newman help make The Verdict a very good film.
½ December 13, 2015
The Verdict is a smart, gritty courtroom drama that has a slow, deliberate pace, but the story of a broken lawyer trying to save himself with one last case is an honest one and Paul Newman does a fantastic job portraying the tired, drunken attorney trying to make his last case count.
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