Runaway Jury [DVD] 
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Gary Fleder's film is based on the novel by John Grisham but with a slight change in story: instead of the tobacco industry, the filmmakers decided to use the firearms industry. Attorney, Wendell Rohr (Dustin Hoffman) is hired by the wife of a man who died in a shooting. She wants to sue the company that manufactured the gun because they allegedly knew the shop that sold it was not following federal regulations. The company's legal team hire Rankin Fitch (Gene Hackman), a high-priced and ruthless jury 'consultant' whose job it is to learn incriminating secrets about the jury - and if neccessary use them to secure a favourable verdict. But two members of the jury, Nick Easter (John Cusack) and Marlee (Rachel Weisz) have their own agenda and are not for bending. This was Hoffman and Hackman's first ever film together.
Based on the bestseller by John Grisham, Runaway Jury is a slick thriller that's exciting enough to overcome the gaps in its plot. The ultimate target has been changed: Grisham's legal assault on the tobacco industry was switched to the hot-button issue of gun control (no doubt to avoid comparisons with The Insider) in a riveting exposé of jury-tampering. Gene Hackman plays the ultra-cynical, utterly unscrupulous pawn of the gun-makers, using an expert staff and advanced electronics to hand-pick a New Orleans jury that will return a favourable verdict; Dustin Hoffman (making his first screen appearance with real-life former roommate Hackman) defends the grieving widow of a gun-shooting victim with idealistic zeal, while maverick juror John Cusack and accomplice Rachel Weisz play both ends against the middle in a personal quest to hold gun-makers accountable. It's riveting stuff, even when it's obvious that Grisham and director Gary Fleder have glossed over any details that would unravel the plot's intricate design. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
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Top Customer Reviews
The first thing you will be surprised at is the lengths at which Gene Hackman will go to secure "his" verdict, or the verdict that is required for his clients. Dustin Hoffman is the prosecuting lawyer, and together with his team, a cat and mouse game develops behind the scenes between Nick Easter, manipulating the jury, and Hackman, trying to continue controlling verdicts by clever jury selection and stealth tactics. Hackman will stop at nothing, he is big-time. Rachel Weisz plays the co-conspirator of Easter, and she is a great actress. You get a good feel for her vulnerability in the "big-time" against Hackman, which nicely sets up the twist in the plotline, and makes her character more real.
The jury scenes are interesting and each of the jurors characters are developed nicely so that when deliberations start you are almost second guessing what the characters are going to say.
This is a great film, with some great scenes between hollywood greats Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman. Yet another must for your collection, this is film that suits your tastes when you want to both watch and think about the movie, it is gripping and interesting from start to finish.
Actually it’s a lot more exciting than the basic plot would have you believe. For non Americans it gives an insight into the selection process which features in many crime dramas. Although you know who’s doing the manipulating from an early point this still manages to remain interesting and can still pull a few surprises out of the hat.
The single disc opens to 3 trailers before going to main menu offering [play, scene selection. Language selection [English, with hard of hearing option and commentary] and special features [commentary, 2 deleted scenes]. An equal amount of court case and detective story, this is good family entertainment and although far fetched in many places, it’s a riveting view and deserves *****.
Based on John Grisham's novel of the same name, the screenplay by Brian Koppelman, David Levein, Rick Cleveland, and Matthew Chapman focuses on the issue of jury consultants, including their secret rooms to process photographs and information about jury members, detectives and hired thugs who gather incriminating personal data for them ("Everyone has a secret they don't want you to find"), surreptitious break-ins, and blackmail used against jurors. Hackman is unscrupulous as the pawn of the gun manufacturer, Hoffman is earnest but far less forceful as plaintiff's attorney, and Cusack is a mystery man whose goal on the jury is not quite clear until late in the film. A supporting cast including Rachel Weisz as Cusack's girl friend/co-conspirator Marlee is effective in maintaining the suspense and keeping the motivation of Easter and herself a mystery.Read more ›
Its success as a genre-film derives from the superlative cast, which is headed by Dustin Hoffman in the role of the honest but savvily down-to-earth attorney (with shabby suit and a carefully planted mustard dab on his tie) who is suing the big gun companies on behalf of the wife of a victim of a mass murder; and Gene Hackman as the ruthless (and expensively dressed) jury consultant, who does not give a fig for the victims, but merely wants to win big on behalf of his even bigger clients, no matter how low he has to stoop to do it. Hoffman and Hackman are supported ably by John Cusack and Rachel Weisz, both of whose characters have hidden agendas.
Although the film is worth watching for its suspense-factor alone, the performances of Hoffman and Hackman, who confront each other in the old-fashioned wood-paneled men's washroom of the court, lift "Runaway Jury" from the level of a conventional court-room thriller. This scene, which lasts several minutes, allows these two cinematic masters to pull out all the stops, as it were, of their craft. It is so rare nowadays to get a full-blown scene--more reminiscent of one in a stage play--between two actors of their calibre.
The settings of pre-Katrina New Orleans--the French Quarter and the Garden District--also contribute to the film's ambience.
Every once and a while, I sit down and watch the DVD of a film that I missed in the theatre the first time around. Many, I pass on to my friends; "Runaway Jury," I did not.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love the film, LOVE AMAZON PRIME even more! Amazingly quick and a bargain!Published 24 days ago by Nola-Amber Smith
The service by the seller was excellent.
The product met my expectations.
Vintage drama with Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Weisz, and John Cusack.
Brilliant story and plot.
Parts of the film was good but unfortunately the storyline was weak even though the film had good actors.Published 2 months ago by Isabella
I know it wasn't a recent film but it was very good with a few good twists !Published 3 months ago by L. Hendry
Again, the UK cut the 7 minutes from the original movie. I just hate them so much.Published 4 months ago by Hee Chul Kwon
Interesting concept. Had this been a documentary it just shows that the American legal system is no more than a controlled show and those in the forfront wanting an award. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Robbert