Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr) is a slick, unctuous, and self-serving Chicago hot shot lawyer, who is known to provide the best defense money can buy. He claims to be very comfortable defending the guilty because the innocent cannot afford him.
The Judge starts off when Hank Palmer returns to his hometown for his mother’s funeral only to discover that his estranged father, Joseph Palmer (Robert Duvall), the town’s judge is in a legal mess. Hank’s journey back to his hometown resonates many memories, flashbacks and unresolved issues.
As the legal drama unfolds, both the father and the son learn to accept each other. Hank also manages to resolve issues with his older brother, Glen Palmer (Vincent D’Onofrio), who lost out on a promising sports career due to Hank and his younger brother, Dale Palmer (Jeremy Strong), who happens to be an aspiring filmmaker.
In all of this, Hank Palmer is going through a divorce and add to his emotional upheaval, he meets Samantha Powell (Vera Farmiga), his high school love.
Hank Palmer wants to just rap up his family duties and leave but finds himself stuck in Carlinville when Judge Palmer gets accused of murder. There are some awkward scenes between the father and son, some surprisingly moving ones and some plain repetitive, playing on the theme of what matters more, law or who wins.
The Judge, is great to watch but the real problem of the film is it’s attempt to handle too many subplots. There are too many stories that run at one time and that leads to a lot of confusion. Also the length of the film is a huge set back as after a point it tends to drag.
Robert Downey, Jr. is understandably comfortable playing a character with all his amorality, arrogance and acerbic retorts.
The three sons and one father family in The Judge, has it’s highs and lows and that’s what gives the film it’s distinct character.
While there are many reasons to see the film, if the audience is looking for closure and resolution, then they are sure to get disappointed.
The Judge is an honest and sincere effort by director David Dobkin. Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr) is a slick, unctuous, and self-serving Chicago h...3.5