Runaway Jury is a court-room thriller with a strong political plot. While I'm hardly a fan of
political affairs, Runaway Jury offers a solid cast, entertaining premise, and enough twists
and turns to hold the audience's attention. The plot isn't the most plausible, but if you're willing to excuse
that - and its preachy political agenda - you'll probably enjoy this film.
**Some Minor Spoilers Ahead**
See, Runaway Jury revolves around a court case where a woman whose husband died in an office-rampage assault
is suing the gun company that manufactured the semi-automatic weapon the killer used. Since the killer had reportedly
killed himself, there isn't really anyone else to go after except for the gun company. Now, a lot of factors play into
this plot. A more liberal take on the situation will jump to blame the weapon itself almost more - if not more - than
the killer holding the weapon. Blame always needs to be placed on someone other than ourselves, so if it's not the
person who pulled the trigger's fault, it's certainly the weapon of choice's fault. Now, the plot takes this idea
but gives it just enough factors to make you have to agree that the fault might lie partly with the gun company.
I mean, what in the world does a civilian need with a semi-automatic weapon anyway?! And, not only that,
but the film makes the jury consultant that is Hackman's character and all those involved with the gun company
so evil, you just can't possibly take their side. The rest of the complicated plot surrounding this setup
is orchestrated well enough to make this one fun film to watch. However, if you're familiar with law, you're liable
to get hung up on the unrealistic portrayal if it here, so just keep reminding yourself this is Hollywood.
The performances were all-around excellent. I've enjoyed watching John Cusack in anything I've seen him in
and this movie is no exception. Rachel Weisz is excellent as the mysterious and slick Marlee. Dustin Hoffman is equally
good as the sympathetic lawyer representing the plaintiff while Hackman does a good - if not over the top - job
of playing the film's slimy villain. A lot of the supporting cast is great and you're liable to recognize the
majority of their faces, too.
Content is moderate with language being surprisingly toned-down overall. Violence is intense in the opening
scene that sets up the film, but nothing graphic is seen. A few other scenes of moderate violence is included
with one briefly involving a character being stabbed in the leg with a piece of wood (which we see sticking out
of the wound with some blood). Sexual content is kept minimally to just an implication when Marlee and Nick kiss
heavily while lying clothed on a bed before the scene cuts away. That scene was rather pointless and wasn't needed
at all while the language could have stood to be milder yet.
So what does this jury say? The younger ones should runaway, but adults may want to see this film and
talk about the political issues mentioned. However, we personally suggest renting it on DVD and using such
editing programs as ClearPlay on your computer
to block the junk out and leave you with a much more guilt-free overall experience. It isn't the most edifying
film to choose from so just look over the content below before deciding to see it or not.
If you have any questions or comments about the film before you see it (if you
decide to), feel free to
- John DiBiase
Parental Guide: Brief Summary of Content
Sex/Nudity: Nick and Marlee passionately kiss and we see
them fall onto her bed clothed. She removes her shirt and we see her shoulders and part of her bra as they kiss
and the scene ends there, implying they have sex.
Vulgarity/Language: 1 "f" word, 2 "J-sus", 1 "g*dd*mn," 11 "s" words, 10 "h*ll", 5 "d*mn",
4 "a" words, 4 "S.O.B.", 1 "cr*p", 1 "b*tch," 2 "G-d"
Alcohol/Drugs: Some people drink and smoke; Stella sneaks alcohol
into the juror room for herself; A woman is found in the bathroom of a bar lying on the floor in a puddle of vomit (we
see some of it), we then learn it was from overdosing on pills
Blood/Gore: After a man is let go while jurors are being picked, he makes a scene
by exposing a "Guns Kill" t-shirt and spreading fake blood all over himself; A woman is found in the bathroom of a bar lying on the floor in a puddle of vomit (we
see some of it), we then learn it was from overdosing on pills; A man is stabbed with a shard of wood and we briefly
see it protruding from the wound in his leg with blood around it; We see Marlee has some bruises / cuts on her cheek after an attack.
Violence: A outraged former employee of a company goes on a rampage through
an office building and guns down eleven people dead and injuring five. We just see people running and a gun firing
but see nothing graphic. We later learn of those casualty details; A man throws some desk items at another man who later
attacks that man's car with a pipe as he drives away;
Two people rummage through an apartment before setting it on fire; A man attacks a woman and they struggle; etc...
** Disclaimer: All reviews are based solely on the opinions of the reviewer. Most
reviews are rated on how the reviewer enjoyed the film overall, not on content. However, if the content
really affects the reviewer's opinion of the film, it will definitely affect the reviewer's rating.