The Judge

Robert Downey Jnr plays his typecast character: sarcastic, funny, and a bit of a screw up

Robert Downey Jnr as Henry Palmer
Robert Duvall as Judge Joseph Palmer
Vera Farmiga as Sam Powell
Vincent D’Onofrio as Glen Palmer
and Billy Bob Thornton as Dwight Dickham

I’m not entirely sure what the point of The Judge is as a movie. It’s not exactly a revelation in terms of story or acting. Big shot professional goes home to small town and hates a member of his family, but manages to find forgiveness and reconciliation through adversity. On the other hand, it does feature Robert Downey Jnr, who pulls of the sarcastic, big shot character perfectly.

The premise is that Henry Palmer, a big shot criminal defence lawyer, gets called back to his home town of Carlinville, after the death of his mother. Going home, you realise that his family doesn’t really like him because of some incident that happened years ago. After the funeral of his mother, a twist is added to the tale, that his father, a local judge, is charged with murdering an ex-con that he had gaoled many years ago.

Apart from the twists and turns of the court case, and the belief of Palmer Senior that a man should own up to his mistakes, the main thrust of the story is about forgiveness. Forgiveness is difficult. When you realise that Henry caused all the grief in the household and ruined the hopes and dreams of his family, yet still managed to be successful.

So, I don’t really know what else to say about the movie. It’s nothing special, but it’s funny in parts and it’s probably the kind of thing you should watch when you need something to chill out to. I guess you could pick this, or something else just as relaxing. Like a Thai massage.


A middle of the road, average, take no risks kind of movie

Watch this if you…

Only have enough money to rent the movie

Don’t watch this if you…

Have enough dough for a full body Thai massage


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