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Runaway Jury (2003)

John Cusack , Rachel Weisz , Gary Fleder  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (422 customer reviews)


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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: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (422 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001M1K0G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #457,862 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Runaway Jury" on IMDb

Special Features

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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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling drama made by Rachel Weisz and Gene Hackman 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
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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Weisz, Hackman, and Hoffman save an other wise bad movie. February 22, 2004
Format:DVD
Good actors do there best when they are inspired, and they can save a real bad movie from totally destroying itself. Runaway Jury is a perfect example of this ideal, and you can look no further than the performances giving by all who participated in this film. Gene Hackman is no stranger to this notion, and gives a great sense of class, and humility to an other wise cookie cutter bad guy. Rachel Weisz not only holds her own with the big boys but literally makes them sweat in the acting department as well. Giving both Hackman and Hoffman a worthy adversary in and out of the courtroom, and making them know that they are not going to steal the movie by themselves. And Dustin Hoffman brings a sense of heart and humanity to his role, which sadly is not very big to begin with. All the supporting actors do well themselves with John Cusack, Luis Guzman, and Bruce Davison giving great support. Judging by the talent involved, you will guess that this might be a great movie but it's not. That's because the screenplay, the editing, and the director betrays them and their performances with a film that feels very unfinished, and amateurish to say the least. The story, which deals with guns, is really not about them but about the state of which one will go for messing with the legal system. It's a noble story to tell but when you are hammering the idea of gun responsibility, and accountability to the viewer with out equal say about the benefits, you are in trouble, and you can thank the screenplay for that. The editing feels way to raw to be a real final cut, and the direction feels too disjointed to be even considered professional. Read more ›
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Weisz and Hackman shine with a unfaithful script. October 27, 2003
While I do understand the fact that books that becomes movies usually do not follow the same pattern of the book, I can't forgive the fact that this film does not even follow the book's theme. While that does bother me, I can't deny the fact that the movie was entertaining. Mostly because of the performances of the actors involve. The Best of these performances goes to Gene Hackman, who is always a delight to watch and is always capable of taking a mediocre film and making it better. The other goes to Rachel Weisz, who not only holds her own with the Great Gene Hackman but also matches his intensity with lethal charm. Don't go in with the notion that this will be just like the book, but go in knowing that you will be entertain by two great actors at there game.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars By The Numbers Court Drama made by Weisz and Company. 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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