on 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. No messages about flipping the DVD over, no nothing - it simply *stops*. Argh! You have to get up and flip the darning thing over (a true hassle for us lazy Americans, you know!) before being able to continue to movie - it really interrupts the experience in a jarring manner. There aren't any special features to speak of, either, unfortunately. Still, an entertaining experience, and I'll probably watch it again to see what I missed the first time.
on September 21, 2012
They just don't make them like this anymore. We watch this along with Forrest Gump, Back to the Future series, The Green Mile, Saving Private Ryan, etc... ( not all 90's movies I know) about once per year. If you can hold your nose on the leftie-leaning, "..all people with money are bad and want to kill people, pelicans, gerbils and anything that swims, flies, or has four legs, and that all truth-tellers are saints." underlying theme , then it's easy to enjoy this great little film. And what a brilliant combo with Julia and Denzel. What a concept they discovered: the attractive leads didn't have to appear nude, have sex, or create the sense that sex is about to happen any minute! We're not prudes, just saying it was a nice change of pace from much of the manure that seems to hit our streets coming from Hollywood these days. And the explosion, I can't forget to mention the explosion. If the shot of the car exploding were produced today there would have been multiple bombastic fireballs and fake looking pyrotechnics shooting everywhere to get the same job done as what a car exploding might actually look like. If you want job security in America, learn to blow stuff up and move to Hollyweird. Guess I'm tired of all the shots of cars flying overhead and blowing up. Enough already with the fireworks. We're not all nimrods looking for "shiney, oh boy shiney...car go boom (clap, clap, clap...)
Not the usual review but, hey, that's my take.
on October 23, 2000
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 2½ 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.