67 of 75 people found the following review helpful
Okay, so Tom Cruise gets a job at a Memphis law firm, right? We've all read the book or seen the movie, so how does one recommend this to one uninitiated?
Cruise puts in a solid performance, again playing his guy-who-doesn't-catch-on-for-a-while character he does so well. Sydney Pollack is a great mainstream director, and he pushes all the buttons, as well as giving us a great cast including Gene Hackman, Holly Hunter, Ed Harris, Jeanne Tripplehorn, David Straithairn, Gary Busey, Hal Holbrook, and Wilford Brimley.
Top-notch acting all around, with especially good turns by Brimley and Hunter, playing against type. Hackman is always good to watch and he does a terrific job of making Avery Tolar a likeable guy in spite of his faults. I suppose the most amazing job was done by David Straithairn, who, with less than ten minutes of screen time, paints an indelible portrait of Ray McDeere, Cruise's convict brother. He is the most likeable character in the film.
The plot is the standard rising-above-conflict stuff. Watch this movie (again) for the performances, or for the fine score from Dave Grusin and try to ignore the changes from the book (which I think were justified in making the ending more cinematic and Hollywood).
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2011
When I saw this movie many years ago I fell in love with both the simplicity and the complexity of the plot. Based on John Grisham's bestseller and being a person who loves the 'twist' in a story, this was captured beautifully in "The Firm". Excellent acting overall with a number of famous faces including Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Gene Hackman to name a few. This has to be one of my favourite Cruise movies and is well worth purchasing if you haven't seen it before. The colour on the Blu-ray was superb with only a minor black blotching in one night scene - the rest was perfect. I would rate it 5/5 for picture clarity and 10/10 overall. Well worth buying.
33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2006
Nothing can be better than "The Firm" written by John Grisham, who himself is a lawyer. The attentions to details that Grisham manages to pull are just fantastic. I read the book before watching the movie, and hence can compare and tell that the movie has been directed perfectly and in fact a lot more interesting than the book, as the book gets slow in between, but not the movie.
Cruise's is superb, so are the other actors in this movie. I don't know why people have given negative reviews by comparing it with real life scenarios. This is a movie based on a fiction novel, and as rightly said by one of reviewer here;it does its job by entertaining the audiences.
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2006
One of the best things about The Firm, is that it doesn't insult the viewer's intelligence by labouring the point. The film and plot are developed through visuals as well as dialogue. From other reviews here, I gather that viewers used to having film plots spoon-fed to them may find this challenging or confusing, but I prefer it. If necessary, try watching the film twice. It is certainly good enough for a repeat viewing.
I'm not a Tom Cruise fan, nor a John Grisham reader, but this is the kind of role he is well suited to. The supporting cast is excellent, excellent, excellent. The film is well paced and the locations, cinematography and soundtrack all combine to create an enjoyable and suspenseful film.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Legal thrillers rarely satisfy me. It takes a really strong one to peak my interest, hold it and keep me remembering it long after it's through. I guess I just never warmed up to them the way that a lot of movie goers have. That, coupled with the Tom Cruise bug, has kept me away from `The Firm' for some time. I adore Holly Hunter, and her Oscar nomination did make me curious, but as a whole I just wasn't that interested in giving this film a try.
It came on television the other day though, and I had nothing better to do, so I bit.
That said, `The Firm' was actually pretty well done. It was intense when it needed to be, and it contained enough plot twists to keep me interested even after I figured everything out. I will say that some of the plot developments felt a little sticky, especially once Abby and Tammy go all sorts of espionage on the firm, but that aside, the film is quite good.
The film follows Mitch McDeere, a bright lawyer who is being wooed by a prestigious law firm that seems to watch to control everyone around them. Mitch's wife Abby is turned off by this, but Mitch's enthusiasm for the firm and his potential working there outweighs her concerns. Mitch is taken under the wing of Avery Tolar, shown the ropes and given all the perks, and then there is a murder, and then the FBI comes looking for Mitch, to turn him, and he gets an earful, and he starts to dig around and soon all the pieces start to fit together and Mitch realizes that this prestigious firm has some very unorthodox practices that could threaten his marriage, his profession and ultimately his life.
I have never felt Tom Cruise was as talented as he is made out to be. Yes, when he hits it he usually leaves a lasting impression (um, he was all kinds of stellar in `Eyes Wide Shut' and he was definitely Oscar worthy in `Jerry Maguire') but for the most part he is either outshone by the rest of the cast (as in `Rain Man') or simply not that impressive (I need to rewatch `Top Gun' but I do remember being less than impressed with Cruise). Here he is actually pretty good. He holds his own alongside Hackman (which is hard to do) and delivers a believable and relatable performance.
He's not best-in-show though.
`The Firm' is littered with actors doing their best to grab out attention. The most successful would have to be Holly Hunter who just breezes though her performance as if it were effortless for her. She is witty and charismatic and adorable to boot; and when she wants to lay on the drama she can and does so brilliantly. Gene Hackman is also on the top of his game; sly and cunning and very approachable which only adds layers to his characters mystery. Hal Holbrook is ruthless as Oliver Lambert and commands in his few scenes. David Strathairn is commanding if not a little out of place here (I really didn't like his characters arc, but whatever). Jeanne Tripplehorn gets better and better as the film progresses. I think that Ed Harris is a pretty good actor, but he seems wasted here in my opinion.
In the end I must say that `The Firm' is a far better film than I expected it to be. No, it is not a favorite of mine (based on genre alone really) but it manages to be memorable and exciting and I will watch it again, I'm sure of that. I wish that they had cleaned up the ending a tad, for as the plot keeps twisting the film gets a little messy, but that messiness makes for an entertaining roller coaster that serves it purpose.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2012
With the help of a first rate cast, Sidney Pollock has given us an exciting, suspenseful and interesting film which should continue to please for years to come. Unlike many of the political thrillers which can last no longer than sharp memory of the event, this 'what lawyers can be' morality play has staying power. It is difficult to pick out any from among the important players for their special quality, but if there is one standout, among superior actors it would have to be Gene Hackman, who exceeds the norm of professionalism he maintained over the years, until age finally retired him to write books. Tom Cruise is suitably heroic while retaining the qualities of a novice lawyer, which is tough when you are noted for being a sexy player.
By this time, I am sure, the reviews have said about all there is to say, therefore, now a dozen years after its release, I can simply add, see it, nothing has aged or become tarnished from use in other films. You should enjoy it.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2001
Like most people who had read the book and anxiously awaited the movie release I felt betrayed after going to the theater and viewing the film. As I left the theater I along with others who had read the book were complaining about how they (Hollywood) ruined a great suspense novel. However, the friend I had gone to see the film with seemed to have really enjoyed the film. I couldn't understand how, but then he had not read the book.
A few months later I had the opportunity to view the film again at the cheap seats and to my surprise I found myself entertained. This time around I quit comparing the book and the movie and just watched and it wasn't have bad.
After talking to others who have read the book and were initially disappointed with the film I have come to the following conclusion. While almost everyone who has read it believes that the book is a much better story than the movie, the movie isn't half bad if you can quit comparing every change. Of course you still notice the changes but don't spend as much time dwelling on the changes while watching the film.
I hope that Hollywood makes Grisham's THE PARTNER into a movie, it is as good as if not better than THE FIRM. I also hope they stick to the original story this time.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2004
The worst mistake by a movie reviewer can be the comparison between the movie and the book (in this case it is the bestseller book of John Grisham) where most movies fail so I rated this movie on its own terms and haven't made comparisons to the book. My first impression: this movie is a bit overlong and contains some filler minutes which could have been avoided. Apart from that it is a good watch with really good performances.
The cast is made up from excellent actors who all draw awesome pictures of their characters. Tom Cruise is a brilliant choice for Mitch, the young graduate lawyer who accepts the job offer of a little Memphis law firm which turns out to be a front of the mighty Mob. Cruise incorporates all the features of the young, willing yuppie who would sell his soul for $100.000 a year, a house and a beautiful car. Although when he realizes that the behind the facades his life (and the lives of all lawyers at the firm) is being ruthlessly and efficiently ruined he tries to escape. Gene Hackman is also a good choice for Mitch's senior partner, Avery who lost his illusions long ago. Ed Harris is the FBI officer whose task is to stir the calm waters at the Mob's law firm. His performance is a bit over the top (Harris seems to overplay all his roles), anyway it is acceptable. Wilford Brimley is the security man of the firm. He is cold, efficient and frightening and seems never to make a mistake. In fact, he's the one to put goose bumps on your back. The only weak link is Jeanne Tripplehorn, who throws in a pale, unlikely version of Mitch's wife. You simply can't believe her feelings because they're not played well. Last, but not least, kudos to Holly Hunter, who steals all the scenes she's in (unfortunately there are not too many scenes with her).
The director and the director of photography manage to create an atmosphere that sucks you in from the very first moment of the movie and doesn't let you go till the end. The movie makes a dark impression and even the shots taken in the Caribbean don't make you feel good. There is a sinister intention in every move and you can actually feel the growing tension. The Firm is a very well directed movie, indeed.
Unfortunately, the DVD itself doesn't offer much for the viewer. All we get are two trailers, but no documentary, no interviews and absolutely no extras. Even the compulsory director narrates the movie track wasn't added. You can choose between 2.0 surround or 5.1 digital, neither is outstanding. The lack of extras deserved the 1 star minus for the production.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2013
This review is for the blu-ray transfer--the picture quality, sound quality, etc.--not for how good the story or acting is, or not. "The Firm" has a solid, nearly beautiful picture, with very accurate colors (as with the flesh tones, for example), and vivid colors, though it's only reasonably sharp. And this is a 1993 film. The audio is excellent as well. I'm very pleased with this purchase, which is an upgrade to the DVD I already owned.
Fine job on this film's transfer via solid Blu-Ray remastering. One of the better Blu-Rays, technically, for a 1993 film. Its lack of "incredible" sharpness resides, I believe, in the original photographing of this movie, intentionally just a hair soft.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 29, 2000
Some people seem to think 'the Firm ' a bad movie. I do not agree. In fact, if I have to choose, I think this is one of the best movies made after Grisham's novels. The plot has been modelled loosely on the book, and is in fact an improvement, especially the end. The one objection I have is to the length. One hundred and fifty minutes is really too long for a thriller such as this. No matter how good the story, you can hardly help that your attention starts slipping halfway. Even so, the last thirty minutes are suspenseful enough, that it makes for a real climax. The story is in itself well balanced, but the scenes have been drawn out too far. A pity, but not more than that. Good acting, especially by Gene Hackman as the corrupt lawyer and Holly Hunter as Tom Cruise's helper save the movie from becoming a bore. On the whole, a good, but not spectacular thriller.