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Runaway Jury

487 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Based on the bestseller by John Grisham, Runaway Jury is a slick thriller that's exciting enough to overcome the gaps in its plot. The ultimate target has been changed: Grisham's legal assault on the tobacco industry was switched to the hot-button issue of gun control (no doubt to avoid comparisons with The Insider) in a riveting exposé of jury-tampering. Gene Hackman plays the ultra-cynical, utterly unscrupulous pawn of the gun-makers, using an expert staff and advanced electronics to hand-pick a New Orleans jury that will return a favourable verdict; Dustin Hoffman (making his first screen appearance with real-life former roommate Hackman) defends the grieving widow of a gun-shooting victim with idealistic zeal, while maverick juror John Cusack and accomplice Rachel Weisz play both ends against the middle in a personal quest to hold gun-makers accountable. It's riveting stuff, even when it's obvious that Grisham and director Gary Fleder have glossed over any details that would unravel the plot's intricate design. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Cusack, Rachel Weisz, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Bruce Davison
  • Directors: Gary Fleder
  • Writers: Brian Koppelman, David Levien, John Grisham, Matthew Chapman, Rick Cleveland
  • Producers: Arnon Milchan, Christopher Mankiewicz
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, French, Italian
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (487 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001M1K0G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,042 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Runaway Jury" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Madasllen Price on October 21, 2003
While I'm still new to the whole John Grisham experience, Runaway Jury was a real good theater experience. The acting is fantastic, and the issue raised about gun control is a very touchy subject to tackle. Rachel Weisz is sunning as the woman with a price to offer, and Gene Hackman is fantastic as the bad guy of the show who wants to secure a verdict , and John Cusack is great as well as a juror who is more than meets the eye.
The hoopla about the right to bear arms is a bit off center and a bit bias but the movie is still a real winner.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Samuel McKewon on November 3, 2003
The plot goes round and round in "Runaway Jury" and the camera is in lockstep, swirling around its actors as if they stood at the pivot of a merry-go-round, dizzying the audience into a headache of chaos, the better to distract them from a movie that makes no sense at all. That said, the story is so thorough in its cynic fantasy it is (like, say, "Cruel Intentions") pretty entertaining.
Gene Hackman, who at 73 never slows down, is sternly malevolent as Rankin Fitch, a high-priced jury consultant whose arsenal of espionage tools and recon foot soldiers rivals the KGB. The "war room" scene where he breaks down his potential pawns is informative; though nobody is going to spend $15 million to select 12 people - as movie contends - there is an art to it, and the technique is laid out far better here than it was in "Devil's Advocate."
Fitch assists a New Orleans gun manufacturer caught in a class action lawsuit only plausible in movies, and one of the jurors, Nick Easter (John Cusack), and his girlfriend, Marlee (Rachel Weisz), are blackmailing both the defendant and the plaintiff, represented by Wendall Rohr (Dustin Hoffman). Nick and Marlee claim they can sway the jury and sell the verdict to the highest bidder. As the plot unfurls it becomes possible that they aren't trying to buy anything, but play a con, backed by a Moral. That's a sweet proletariat consideration, but in terms of doing justice, it's robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Director Gary Fleder ("Don't Say A Word") is far more devoted to winding us up than meditating on the legal system; with cinematographer Robert Elswit, Fleder jerks and spins and speeds and slows and generally makes a drama soup out of things; New Orleans, one of the truly original cities, is merely background.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ted Hamilton on October 28, 2003
I really have to hand it to Rachel Weisz and Gene Hackman, they make a tire and by the numbers court thriller into some thing real special. If the movie were as professional and precise as their performances were, we would have a much better movie. Gene Hackman never disappoints as Rankin Fitch; a jury consultant who is hired by a gun manufacturer to suave the jury to their camp. Even though he can really do this role in his sleep, he does it so well and very to the point. Rachel Weisz is equally as compelling as Marlee, a mysterious woman who not only has a trump card in her hands about the jury but also has a score to settle with Fitch and company. John Cusack is very good an unwilling juror with a secret of his own and Dustin Hoffman is just as good as a southern lawyer who is trying to get the gun manufacture to pay up for a office rampage.
The setting of New Orleans is beautiful, and the characters are compelling enough to care for but the plot is run of the mill. We all know that secrets will be exposed and the good guys will win, which is fine by me but I hope it wasn't as profound as it was. Thanks to Weisz and Hackman for at least keeping me interested with what was going on.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Carl Hammond on October 21, 2003
I�m a John Grisham fan, and while I don�t think that Runaway Jury is his best book, its still a damn good one none the less. The whole plot of the original book is thrown out for an over preaching fight for gun control, and some of the characters of the novel are ether gone or diminish in a certain capacity. Dustin Hoffman�s character is only a small supporting player in the book, but is a major player in the movie. Maybe because the filmmakers wanted to highlight the confrontation between him and Gene Hackman, which was good but not in the original book ether. I also think that it was irresponsible for the filmmakers to have such a strong stance for gun control, considering the fact that the country is split down the middle on this touchy subject.
I will give the movie one big credit, the performance of Rachel Weisz was the best thing in this over preaching mess. She was in my opinion, the only actor who really captured the essence of her character, and made the character her own with her fine performance. See the movie for her fine performance alone, and if not, rent Confidence or The Shape of Things; both have great performances by Rachel Weisz, and are much better movies to boot.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jerry McGuinness on October 13, 2003
I was invited by a friend from the press to a viewing of the new John Grisham film, Runaway Jury. He knew that I was a fan of the original book, so he invited me to tag along with him while he reviewed the film. Now for starters, The movie is really nothing like the book at all. Some characters have their roles extended while some have theirs diminish. (Dustin Hoffman's role has been greatly extended from the book) and the original argument of the tobacco industry is change to a fight about gun control. While this makes this film the least faithful of all of John Grisham's books turn to movies, it turns out to be the second best of all of them (The Firm of course being the best). Gene Hackman makes the character of Rankin Fitch
His own, bring a sense of menace to his role. While this is Gene's third go around in a John Grisham movie, this is his best turn. He really has a commanding presence, and commands the screen with zeal. Dustin Hoffman is well cast as Wendell Rohr, Hackman's counterpart in the lawsuit. While Dustin's character was not as prominent in the book, his character is giving a nice boost up in the film. Maybe because of the stature of an actor that Dustin Hoffman is but in the long run is really not as commanding a presence as Gene Hackman is in this movie. John Cusack is perfect as Nicholas Easter, making him sort of a every man hero with a purpose but also with a secret that will not be reveled by me (you got to see the movie) And Rachel Weisz is perfection in the flesh as. Marlee. Not only does she captures the character with a sense of coolness, mystery, and complexity but she also holds her own with the great Gene Hackman, and does not lose face in the process. Her performance is as captivating as Hackman, and just as powerful.
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