Runaway Jury (2003)


“Gentlemen, trials are too important to be left up to juries. ” – Rankin Fitch

Number of Times Seen – 2 (27 mar 2004 and 20 Jul 2017)

Brief Synopsis – A man concocts a scheme to get on a jury of a large scale lawsuit against a gun manufacturer, but can he get the verdict that he wants?

My Take on it – This is another of Hollywood’s adaptations of an early John Grisham novel.

They actually do a nice job adapting the story despite the fact that they changed the main issue from smoking to gun control which changes many of the aspects of the novel.

They do an amazing job showing us the various pieces of a trial with their differing opinions as to what is right or wrong.

Each perspective is shown which helps us get an even better understanding of how things really work.

I loved how key information is withheld from us in order to allow characters to constantly flip-flop with their opinions on the different side sof the issue and it reaches a point where we don’t always know in which direction things are moving.

The cast is great and is led by a very low key John Cusack who helps make things even more impactful due to his character’s subtle way of doing things.

Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman and Rachel Weisz are all great as they lead the rest of the cast but their voices are the strongest based on the directions they want us to believe things are migrating towards.

This isn’t the best adaptation of a Grisham novel, but they do quite a fine job here given the circumstances.

Bottom Line – Story is actually quite good despite the fact that it’s so very different from the novel.  Loved the way that they show us the various perspectives of characters on the many different sides of the whole issue. Since some information is kept from us, they do a great job flip-flopping between the sides of the issue to a point where we no longer know which direction things are moving. Excellent cast led by a low-key Cusack, but that helps make it even more impactful. Hackman, Hoffman, Weisz lead the rest of the cast in the greater fight where each have their own directions throughout it all. Not the best adaptation of a Grisham novel, but still done extremely well. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The much anticipated bathroom scene in Runaway Jury (2003), where Rohr confronts Finch is the first ever dialog in a movie between Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman. It was written while the rest of the movie was being filmed, after someone on the crew found out that the two, though they had been friends since 1956, had never starred in a movie together. It was finally shot on a single day at the very end, weeks after both Hackman and Hoffman had finished their other work. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy

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4 thoughts on “Runaway Jury (2003)

  1. Some trivia to go with your trivia. Not only were Hackman and Hoffman friends – the two of them – along with another future Oscar winner – Robert Duvall – ALL shared an apartment as struggling actors in NYC before they all hit it big. To this day, Hackman claims Hoffman still owes him money toward their rent.

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