The Verdict Reviews

  • Feb 14, 2021

    A solid lawyer/court room drama. Aside from the whole smacking a woman across the face scene, it has aged fairly well. Nothing too out the ordinary going on in this film but it's acted pretty well, particularly Newman who is on good form.

    A solid lawyer/court room drama. Aside from the whole smacking a woman across the face scene, it has aged fairly well. Nothing too out the ordinary going on in this film but it's acted pretty well, particularly Newman who is on good form.

  • Dec 29, 2020

    I didn’t find it to be an elite courtroom drama, but it did have some great moments. The right vs. wrong scenario always makes for a good showdown. Newman is good as is the of the dialogue

    I didn’t find it to be an elite courtroom drama, but it did have some great moments. The right vs. wrong scenario always makes for a good showdown. Newman is good as is the of the dialogue

  • Dec 23, 2020

    This was a movie with decent promise; coverup of medical malpractice and corruption at the highest levels including the judge, the defendants law firm, and the Catholic Church. Unfortunately Mamet's script made Newman out to be a nincompoop of a lawyer with Warden not much better. The scenes with Charlotte Rampling as the mole lawyer in the enemy camp were awkward and totally unbelievable. Mockery of the law and actual jurisprudence went on constantly; I am not a lawyer but many times asked myself, "How is it possible that they have shown such a twisted and perverted version of the legal profession and expected to get away with it"? Bottom line: it takes more than competent acting and dark cinematography to make a decent movie. It takes heart, guts, and a great, well-written and well- researched script...not necessarily in that order.

    This was a movie with decent promise; coverup of medical malpractice and corruption at the highest levels including the judge, the defendants law firm, and the Catholic Church. Unfortunately Mamet's script made Newman out to be a nincompoop of a lawyer with Warden not much better. The scenes with Charlotte Rampling as the mole lawyer in the enemy camp were awkward and totally unbelievable. Mockery of the law and actual jurisprudence went on constantly; I am not a lawyer but many times asked myself, "How is it possible that they have shown such a twisted and perverted version of the legal profession and expected to get away with it"? Bottom line: it takes more than competent acting and dark cinematography to make a decent movie. It takes heart, guts, and a great, well-written and well- researched script...not necessarily in that order.

  • Oct 22, 2020

    A good courtroom drama that puts the weak against the strong in the name of justice. Despite its embellishment, it still resonates and has its place for entertainment. It was on starz.

    A good courtroom drama that puts the weak against the strong in the name of justice. Despite its embellishment, it still resonates and has its place for entertainment. It was on starz.

  • Sep 19, 2020

    It takes a while for the wheels to start moving in The Verdict, but once they're set in motion, this becomes a compelling film. Paul Newman's performance is what really brings order to this courtroom drama. Even though the ending didn't have all the resolution I was hoping for, and some of the actions taken by the legal teams probably weren't lawful, it was interesting to watch this story unfold.

    It takes a while for the wheels to start moving in The Verdict, but once they're set in motion, this becomes a compelling film. Paul Newman's performance is what really brings order to this courtroom drama. Even though the ending didn't have all the resolution I was hoping for, and some of the actions taken by the legal teams probably weren't lawful, it was interesting to watch this story unfold.

  • Aug 28, 2020

    There's a moment in The Verdict, after the incriminating testimony of his surprise witness is ordered to be struck from the record on a technicality, when Frank Galvin (Paul Newman) makes this last-ditch plea to the jury: "...there is no justice. The rich win; the poor are powerless. We become tired of hearing people lie. And after a time we become dead, a little dead. We think of ourselves as victims. And we become victims. We become weak. We doubt ourselves, we doubt our beliefs. We doubt our institutions. And we doubt the law. But today you are the law. You ARE the law." These words are as much a description of the lawyer's own tenuous, emotional state, as they are an entreaty to the jury to do the right thing. They are a sample of a spare but sparkling screenplay by David Mamet (American Buffalo, Glengarry Glen Ross) which resonates as much today as it did in 1982, as America prepares to vote during a pandemic with a brazenly authoritarian president in power. Sidney Lumet's courtroom drama The Verdict is a quietly brilliant achievement. Paul Newman stars, at age 57, as washed up lawyer and alcoholic Frank Galvin. Unable to recover from the damaging events that ruined his standing as a reputable lawyer, he occupies his days in the same dreary haunts playing the same sad pinball machine, scouring funeral homes for legal leads, and sharing whiskey shots with a motley crew of pals at the pub. His loyal ex-partner Mickey (Jack Warden) passses him a malpractice case to help him out, and the story proceeds from there. While the suspense elements and steady build up of the story are both intriguing and engaging, THE ONE THING that stays with me the most after watching this is the pitch-perfect mood of the film. Cinematographer and longtime Lumet collaborator Andrzej Bartkowiak casts the film in faded hues of brown and grey, matching Galvin's washed out existence. Newman's performance is low key and vulnerable, unlike anything else I've yet seen him in. All elements combine to create the portrait of a man in a moment of existential crisis. Will Frank be able to climb out of his comfortable but destructive routine? Will he find allies to help him uphold justice, or will people disappoint as they pursue only their own self-interest. ​ The story is gripping because I can easily see myself in Frank. At any moment, a person's life can change. The moorings that provide meaning can slip out from under you, whether it be a job, a loved one, or a traumatic experience. The journey to recovery is an uphill battle, and to do it surrounded by doubters, as Frank is, can be terrifying. The film's ending is both triumphant and uncertain. On the one hand Frank has a victory, but on the other he is betrayed by someone he came to rely on. It is this open-ended ambiguity, rare in Hollywood films, that makes me like the movie even more. It keeps you thinking after the credits roll.

    There's a moment in The Verdict, after the incriminating testimony of his surprise witness is ordered to be struck from the record on a technicality, when Frank Galvin (Paul Newman) makes this last-ditch plea to the jury: "...there is no justice. The rich win; the poor are powerless. We become tired of hearing people lie. And after a time we become dead, a little dead. We think of ourselves as victims. And we become victims. We become weak. We doubt ourselves, we doubt our beliefs. We doubt our institutions. And we doubt the law. But today you are the law. You ARE the law." These words are as much a description of the lawyer's own tenuous, emotional state, as they are an entreaty to the jury to do the right thing. They are a sample of a spare but sparkling screenplay by David Mamet (American Buffalo, Glengarry Glen Ross) which resonates as much today as it did in 1982, as America prepares to vote during a pandemic with a brazenly authoritarian president in power. Sidney Lumet's courtroom drama The Verdict is a quietly brilliant achievement. Paul Newman stars, at age 57, as washed up lawyer and alcoholic Frank Galvin. Unable to recover from the damaging events that ruined his standing as a reputable lawyer, he occupies his days in the same dreary haunts playing the same sad pinball machine, scouring funeral homes for legal leads, and sharing whiskey shots with a motley crew of pals at the pub. His loyal ex-partner Mickey (Jack Warden) passses him a malpractice case to help him out, and the story proceeds from there. While the suspense elements and steady build up of the story are both intriguing and engaging, THE ONE THING that stays with me the most after watching this is the pitch-perfect mood of the film. Cinematographer and longtime Lumet collaborator Andrzej Bartkowiak casts the film in faded hues of brown and grey, matching Galvin's washed out existence. Newman's performance is low key and vulnerable, unlike anything else I've yet seen him in. All elements combine to create the portrait of a man in a moment of existential crisis. Will Frank be able to climb out of his comfortable but destructive routine? Will he find allies to help him uphold justice, or will people disappoint as they pursue only their own self-interest. ​ The story is gripping because I can easily see myself in Frank. At any moment, a person's life can change. The moorings that provide meaning can slip out from under you, whether it be a job, a loved one, or a traumatic experience. The journey to recovery is an uphill battle, and to do it surrounded by doubters, as Frank is, can be terrifying. The film's ending is both triumphant and uncertain. On the one hand Frank has a victory, but on the other he is betrayed by someone he came to rely on. It is this open-ended ambiguity, rare in Hollywood films, that makes me like the movie even more. It keeps you thinking after the credits roll.

  • Aug 22, 2020

    This is a very good movie, about equal parts legal thriller, courtroom drama and redemption story. All three are rolled out at a deliberate pace that is just right to allow us to get deeply inside the plot and to feel the anguish of the protagonist, lawyer Galvin, played by Paul Newman. His is a towering, nuanced performance and that's the top reason to see the film. James Mason is mesmerizing as his opponent.

    This is a very good movie, about equal parts legal thriller, courtroom drama and redemption story. All three are rolled out at a deliberate pace that is just right to allow us to get deeply inside the plot and to feel the anguish of the protagonist, lawyer Galvin, played by Paul Newman. His is a towering, nuanced performance and that's the top reason to see the film. James Mason is mesmerizing as his opponent.

  • Jul 15, 2020

    Newman is really good and the story works well.

    Newman is really good and the story works well.

  • May 11, 2020

    The first shot is wonderful: the camera slowly approaches Newman, playing pinball, silhouetted against the bleak greys of city life just outside the dirty glass. He drinks. Smokes. He's the hard-boiled type. It's Paul Newman, that strain of blue collar American man who earned his way to the top with grit. The story is a slow burn, slow build and sisyphean in it's determination, anchored by Newman's gravitas. The only real weakness is the female love interest, their relationship never taking hold in a way that feels substantial enough to earn the dividends Lumet and Mamet pay it in the final 3rd. With a worthwhile turn (spoiler -> she is working for the other side) but when she fails to authentically win back Newman's affections, we are left feeling vacant not because of their failure, but because as an audience we never understand enough about either of them to invest in their potential bond. A stoic performance from a young Charlotte Rampling, but behind the stone facade of her and Newman, we need more than just behavior and suggestion. For the early 80s it was enough of a B story and emotional foundation to build upon, but not quite enough for today. Nonetheless, the film holds up, the twists and turns keep us engaged and the final surge is a thrill. With strong support from James Mason (ole' Humbert Humbert) and a general trust put into performance though many masters and long takes, The Verdict will still win you over.

    The first shot is wonderful: the camera slowly approaches Newman, playing pinball, silhouetted against the bleak greys of city life just outside the dirty glass. He drinks. Smokes. He's the hard-boiled type. It's Paul Newman, that strain of blue collar American man who earned his way to the top with grit. The story is a slow burn, slow build and sisyphean in it's determination, anchored by Newman's gravitas. The only real weakness is the female love interest, their relationship never taking hold in a way that feels substantial enough to earn the dividends Lumet and Mamet pay it in the final 3rd. With a worthwhile turn (spoiler -> she is working for the other side) but when she fails to authentically win back Newman's affections, we are left feeling vacant not because of their failure, but because as an audience we never understand enough about either of them to invest in their potential bond. A stoic performance from a young Charlotte Rampling, but behind the stone facade of her and Newman, we need more than just behavior and suggestion. For the early 80s it was enough of a B story and emotional foundation to build upon, but not quite enough for today. Nonetheless, the film holds up, the twists and turns keep us engaged and the final surge is a thrill. With strong support from James Mason (ole' Humbert Humbert) and a general trust put into performance though many masters and long takes, The Verdict will still win you over.

  • Jan 06, 2020

    Classic, fucking PAUL N

    Classic, fucking PAUL N