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The Pelican Brief (Keepcase) (1997)

Julia Roberts , Denzel Washington , Alan J. Pakula  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (334 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Sam Shepard, John Heard, Tony Goldwyn
  • Directors: Alan J. Pakula
  • Writers: Alan J. Pakula
  • Producers: Alan J. Pakula, Pieter Jan Brugge
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 4.0)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish, English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 142 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (334 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002NZK5UU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,729 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Pelican Brief (Keepcase)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington. When a law student stumbles upon and exposes the truth about the assassination of two Supreme Court Justices, she teams up with an investigative reporter who helps her avoid becoming the killers' next victim. 1993/color/142 min/PG-13/widescreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pelican Brief April 5, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a movie full of intrigue and suspense. Denzel Washington turns in one of his best performances as Gray Grantham. Julia Roberts is equally as exciting as Darby Shaw a Tulane law student. Together they work to expose a criminal conspiracy that involves many high officials that include the White House. When attempts are made on their lives, it becomes a race to see if they can solve the case before they forfeit their lives in pursuit of justice.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Problem with DVD March 8, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The only objection I have to this DVD is that you have to turn it over half way through the movie to see it all!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Julia Roberts you'll love this thriller !!!!! February 27, 2001
By forrie
This is Julia Roberts best suspenseful legal thriller ever!!!! With Denzel Washington their charisma & chemistry are top notch.
In summary Roberts plays a law student in New Orleans who writes a paper ("The Pelican Brief") which theorizes a murder conspiracy involving the White House! Naturally this draws attention to Roberts and proves to be true. An intense manhunt begins. Roberts befriends an investigative reporter (Washington) and the chase & suspense escalates.
This movie & script really shows the depth of Julia Roberts acting ability. So if you want a very entertaining and nail biting movie get "The Pelican Brief" today. You'll watch over and over.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Juila Roberts in a great role shows her true acting abilltiy and proves she can hold her own in a serous role. Roberts plays Darby Shaw, a law student who writes a brief concering the mysterious deaths of two supreme court justices and soon is marked for death by hired killers and crooked cops. On the run she trusts no one except one man an ambitous reporter(played to perfection by Denzel Washington)who wants to keep her alive so she can tell her story. Amazing film with the right amount of suspense and intrigue, and what`s so good about this film it managed to rise above the cliches that usually surronds this genre there was absolulty no love angle between the two leads just an innocent woman on the run type of story. Based on the novel by john grisham and probably the best one adapted to the big screen. A little too long 2˝ hours long but it reached a staisfying conclusion. The best scene was the On foot chase scene in the underground parking lot. Great movie a must for any Julia Roberts Fan.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, suspenseful, yet not "amazing." February 4, 2003
"The Pelican Brief" is a good story about an ambitious young law student (played by Julia Roberts) who, after the assassinations of two Supreme Court Justices, accidentally stumbles upon a high-reaching conspiracy. Curiosity spurs her to investigate, and she writes a brief upon her findings, unaware that doing so will endanger her life, as well as anyone else's life who reads it. Darby Shaw (Roberts) is a smart, savvy young woman who manages to evade attempts on her life by quick wits, a bit of luck, and a little help from a government agency now and then (whose motives are unknown for quite some time.)
During her search for safety, she contacts a well-respected reporter (Denzel Washington,) who is known for his integrity. Together, they begin to unravel the mystery of the "Pelican" Brief, which puts both of their lives on the line as they try to stay one step ahead of assassins determined to stop the truth from getting out. Refreshingly, there is no love story between the two leads, although there is excellent chemistry and a strong bond between them; they do what they have to do, and mercifully escape the film without The Mandatory Love Scene.
The story unfolds in a manner that holds the audience's attention, with only small bits coming out at a time; we don't find out what was in the "Pelican" Brief until well into the film, and even after we realize what's going on, the suspense continues unabated until the very end. The cast includes some heavy hitters, including Sam Shepard, Stanley Tucci, Tony Goldwyn, John Heard, John Lithgow, and Hume Cronyn (briefly,) all of whom do a good job.
While the movie itself is entertaining and worth watching, the DVD is a pain in the patoot; midway through the film, it simply stops.
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29 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should make Ruth Bader Ginsberg nervous February 14, 2008
The Pelican Brief DVD

The Pelican Brief is based on John Grisham's novelThe Pelican Brief (John Grisham) in which a student (played by Julia Robert's) discovers a plot to assassinate a couple of U. S. Supreme Court Justices so that two less environmentally biased justices can be appointed. Julia Roberts is beautiful as usual and Denzel Washington is superb, also as usual.

Highly recommended for fans of Julia Roberts, Denzel, Washington, and John Grisham.

Gunner February, 2008
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie but why do I have to flip it? January 30, 2003
Great story by John Grisham and acting with Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington. It will keep you sitting on the edge of your seat at least until you have to flip the DVD over to finish it. That's right they couldn't fit this on one side for some odd reason. At first I thought something was wrong with my DVD player or the DVD. Only when I took out the DVD and saw Side A and Side B did I realize. They could have at least put a message at the end of Side A for you to turn it over. Otherwise a great DVD. The chase to track down a story about a gangster that conributed to the Presidents campaign fund and how a legal brief ties it together is very well done. I would wait to buy it on DVD when they put Widescreen on one side and Standard on the other rather than have a Side A and B.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting g story and great job casting
One of those watch over and over movies. Interesting g story and great job casting.
Published 16 hours ago by smokenu73
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed in that
The movie is split on both side of the disc so it has to be turned over in the middle of the movie! Very disappointed in that!
Published 1 day ago by Lynn R Dygert
1.0 out of 5 stars In the mould of Jason Bourne, except nobody knows. what's happening....
A confusing whirlwind of traps being sprung and people lying in wait, but the "good folks" are always protected by magic wands. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Ronald Haak
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great, Julia Roberts is hot and so is Denzel.
Published 3 days ago by Blake Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars fun escapism
this is a believable story. sure the bad guys are all in the government. hmmm art imitates life or vice versa. you decide. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Daniel
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
The movie is awesome! I give 4 stars and not five because the closed captions were not synced
Published 9 days ago by Antonino Barbalace
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
Very good movie
Published 10 days ago by Jose Miguel Zamora
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Notch!
Very good movie, with top notch actors and acting...the movie is an action/thriller and is highly enjoyable. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Sarrey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 18 days ago by Queen Bee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 24 days ago by William Rice
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