Movie Review: The Judge

Director: David Do kin
Writers: Nick Schenk, Bill Dubuque, and others
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thorton, and Vincent D’Onofrio
The movie opens with Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) urinating into a urinal and on another person. Yes, the power games of lawyers they are so fun to watch.  Hank Palmer has it all a thriving law business, a young wife, and a darling daughter.  Until he gets a call in the middle of court.  His mother has died and he must go home to be at the funeral.  But that isn’t all the facade of his marriage has reached a crescendo and his wife has cheated on him with another man and posted it on Facebook.  Now he must go home and face his father the man that is known as the Judge.

When I went to this movie I had thought it was going to be mainly about the courtroom drama I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was more of a family drama movie.  Duvall plays Judge Joesph Palmer a man to whom the law appears to be more important than family.  In fact all three of his sons refer to their father by Judge, not dad, not father, and certainly not pop.  Downey’s character is the kid who left the hick town he grew up in and the father that could never seem to love him.  In fact the Judge put him into juvenile detention when he caused an accident that ruined his older brother’s baseball career.  The older brother is played beautifully by Vincent D’Onofrio who puts up with Henry (Downey) because he knows as the eldest the job will fall to him because Henry won’t be there.

In this family Henry (Downey) is the cause of all misfortune at least in the Judge’s mind, mainly because Henry refused to come home, instead went to the big city and in the Judge’s mind left behind everything important.

But there is something going on and it comes to a head when the Judge’s car is found damaged with blood on it.  The blood of a man that the Judge was lenient with who later killed a woman because of his leniency.  Now Henry has to be the one to save the Judge who doesn’t seem to want to be saved.

A friend of mine told me to see this movie and I did enjoy it but it is rated R for a reason.  There are crude references, no nudity but there are scenes where the making out scenes are almost there.  Plus an incestuous make out scene, although Downey’s character was ignorant of the relationship and it didn’t get clarified until later in the movie.  But still I could have done with out it.  But these are incidentals and the interactions with brothers and the Judge is really what makes this movie good.

I will give this movie 4 stars out of 5 adults only.