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The Pelican Brief

4.1 out of 5 stars 591 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

dvd 1993.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Sam Shepard, John Heard, Tony Goldwyn
  • Directors: Alan J. Pakula
  • Writers: Alan J. Pakula, John Grisham
  • Producers: Alan J. Pakula, Donald Laventhall, Pieter Jan Brugge
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: German (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: Dutch, Danish, French, English, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Finnish, Norwegian, Hebrew, German, Swedish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: German, English
  • Region: Region 2 (Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (591 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RYD6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #589,593 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Pelican Brief" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kelly on 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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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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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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Format: DVD
"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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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
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.
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