John Grisham's The Rainmaker 1997 PG-13 CC

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(519) IMDb 7.1/10
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Francis Ford Coppola directs and scripts an exciting, star-packed adaptation of John Grisham's novel about an idealistic young attorney who takes on the case of a lifetime.

Starring:
Matt Damon, Danny DeVito
Runtime:
2 hours 16 minutes

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John Grisham's The Rainmaker

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller
Director Francis Ford Coppola
Starring Matt Damon, Danny DeVito
Supporting actors Claire Danes, Jon Voight, Mary Kay Place, Dean Stockwell, Teresa Wright, Virginia Madsen, Mickey Rourke, Andrew Shue, Red West, Johnny Whitworth, Wayne Emmons, Adrian Roberts, Roy Scheider, Randy Travis, Michael Girardin, Randall King, Justin Ashforth, Michael Keys Hall
Studio Paramount
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Good, solid story and the acting/cast was great as well.
alrichar
Very absorbing story of a law case involving a big and bad insurance company called Great Benefit who seemed to be in business to benefit themselves primarily.
L. M. Keefer
I've read this book and watched the movie before but remembered how good it was and wanted to watch it again.
Dwight W. Cooke

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Berquist on March 25, 2000
Format: DVD
Matt Damon was a relative unknown when he was tapped to play the hero of "The Rainmaker", based on a novel by John Grisham & directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It was a twist of fate that launched Damon's career and definitely lifted this movie. (Ironically, Matthew McConaughey got his start the same way- being an unknown cast in a movie based on a Grisham novel.)
The plot is a classic David-vs-Goliath story- fresh out of law school Matt Damon sues an insurance company for denying treatment to a family with cancer. Ultimately Damon triumphs- the righteous cause succees and the system works. Damon is a major talent, as evidenced by his performance in this film. He's shy, unsure of himself, but basically a good person committed to doing what's right.
I wasn't too impressed by the rest of the cast- Claire Danes is a talented actress but fails to shine here. Danny DeVito is okay as Damon's law partner, and Jon Voight comes across as a none-too-interesting arrogant villain. The rest of the cast? Nobody stands out- this is Damon's show.
What impressed me about "The Rainmaker" was its hard, unflinching portrayal of the legal profession. A lawyer's life is not glamorous and does not necessarily guarantee a huge paycheck. Those quick to criticize lawyers ought to take some law courses before they open their mouths- the road to becoming a lawyer is rough and a considerable commitment of both your time and financial resources. Despite his law degree, Damon's financial picture at the beginning of the film is decidedly precarious.
Watch "The Rainmaker" along with "A Civil Action" and "Erin Brockovich" to get a pretty good idea about the way the law works & how courts give the little people an avenue to even up with big shots like corporations and insurance companies. Watch this movie in particular to see a terrific performance from Matt Damon.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Michael Butts HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on July 6, 2004
Format: DVD
THE RAINMAKER is a by the numbers adaptation of John Grisham's bestseller. Director Francis Ford Coppola explores no new grounds in this film, but elicits competent and professional performances from a stellar cast. Matt Damon who plays Rudy burst onto the scene in this movie, released just before his Oscar winning screenplay and starring role in GOOD WILL HUNTING. Damon captures the youthful impetuosity and naivete of a just bar-approved lawyer who finds himself involved in a case against a big insurance company. His assistant is played by a restrained Danny DeVito. Their boss is played by an unusually understated Mickey Rourke, who shows up on screen looking halfway decent for a change. His clients are wonderfully played by Mary Kay Place and Johnny Whitworth. Jon Voight delivers an Oscar-worthy performance as Damon's devilishly cold opponent; Roy Scheider has a brief scene as the CEO of the insurance company; Randy Travis has a thirty second scene as an irate juror; Virginia Madsen is wonderful in a small role as the claims adjustor who was fired; Claire Danes is appropriately cast as the abused wife who turns to Damon for help. Oscar winner Teresa Wright turns up in a lovely role as an elderly lady who wants to leave her money to a tv evangelist.
THE RAINMAKER is perhaps a little too long (it clocks in well over two hours), and offers little in the way of suspense. It is competent, involving and ultimately satisfying, however. Matt Damon proved the hoopla about to come was deserved.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I will not dwell on the details of this John Grisham story that puts the insurance industry on trial. The purpose of my comments are to let Amazon viewers know that Paramount has set July 24, 2007 for release of this wonderful movie as an anamorphic Special Collectors Edition. For those of you contemplating buying this DVD, wait until July for a nicer version without those black bars. I hope this is of help to my fellow Amazon viewers.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey E Ellis on April 3, 2005
Format: DVD
I wasn't expecting much when I dropped this 1998 movie into the DVD player...

There is a lot to commend itself. Matt Damon gives a convincing performance of a wet-behind-the-ears lawyer who finds himself with a big case on his hands just as he passes the bar exam! Danny Devito is slimy, shady, sarcastic, and sleazy (in other words, perfect Devito) as Damon's partner.

The main story involves a poor family whose son is denied needed medical treatment for leukemia. The sleazy Big Insurance Company has denied his claim and betting that they will not press the matter. They bet wrong! Our hero, guided by some unlikely supporters and a sympathetic judge (Dixon from Alias), come to the rescue.

The pieces fit together quite nicely. Justice is served, bad guys are taken down, and Matt Damon establishes himself as an unlikely, unwilling hero and endears himself to the pretty girl in the process.

Nothing wrong with this story or this film. Very delightful and satisfying in every respect.
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53 of 67 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 1, 1998
Format: DVD
The Rainmaker 2.35:1/Dolby Digital 5.1 Paramount Pictures
The first adaptation of a John Grisham tale that I've really enjoyed, "The Rainmaker", directed by Francis Ford Coppola, looks at the life of a poor young Southern lawer, Rudy Baylor(Matt Damon, in a great performance) as he battles against an insurance company and it's staff of lawers(led by Jon Voight).
Baylor is battling for Donny Ray Black, a young man who's insurance claims have been turned down time and time again; Kelly Riker(Claire Danes), who lives in continuing fear of her abusive husband and Miss Birdie, an older woman who simply wants to keep her money from her greedy offspring.
This is really the best of the Grisham adaptations and I'm fairly positive it's the hand of director Coppola that has it rising above the rest; the film is crowd-pleasing sure, but it's also very smart and very well acted, with a lot of rich dialogue and some very interesting and entertaining characters. Danny Devito, as Damon's aid, has a lot of fun in a great performance; like in "LA Confidential", we're seeing Devito as his absolute peak lately. He's been picking bigger and especially, much better roles lately. Matt Damon's first major performance in this film is also very well done, yet another in his line of subtle, wonderful performances along with "Courage Under Fire" and "Good Will Hunting." Much like Damon's last film "Rounders", I also thought his narration in this film was well done and well written(by Michael Herr)
Overall, it's an excellent film, well directed, acted and written. It's a well-told tale by Ford Coppola and it's highly entertaining. "The Rainmaker" was one of my picks for the top 10 films of 1997.
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