The Judge (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Drama
Director: David Dobkin
Distributor: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Duration: 141 minutes

The Judge (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

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Good: Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. as a dynamic duo, intense plot
Bad: Sometimes the story feels a bit long-winded
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A movie with actors like Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. you say? Yes please! Here’s your chance to see those two as a dynamic acting duo and boy, they did an awesome job at representing a love and hate relationship between father and son. In The Judge, that particular relationship is tested in more than one way and the audience will experience that emotional rollercoaster on the front row.

The Judge

In this movie, we meet Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.), a pretty selfish and arrogant man who loves representing the guilty for a high fee. Although he knows perfectly well that his clients committed the crime they stand accused for, he doesn’t care as long as he gets his money. One day in court though, his phone bears dreadful news as it seems that his mother has passed away. Instantly, an alarm bell starts to wail inside Hank’s head. There’s no other choice this time, he must go back to the family he left behind so long ago in a small town in the middle of nowhere. Here, we meet Hank’s father, Judge Joseph Palmer (Robert Duvall), who’s known for his strict and severe sentences. Right of the bat, you can see how much father and son hate one another as even at the funeral, they don’t speak to each other. But then the unexpected happens. One evening, Joseph leaves the house to fetch some eggs for diner but when he comes back, his car is all torn up and they even find blood at front of the car. “What has happened”, everybody wonders but Joseph doesn’t seem to remember the event that caused the damage on his beloved ride. Eventually, the former judge needs to stand trial for a possible hit and run and no one other than his own son Hank is defending him. The question remains: What exactly happened that evening?


The story succeeds in keeping your attention throughout the whole 141 minutes but at times, it felt a bit long-winded as the relationship between Hank and Joseph kept going from one extreme emotional state to another. Ok yes, they have issues, so much is clear, but one time they’re having an incredible touchy moment when Joseph turns sick and some minutes later, they’re practically slapping each other. Some of those scenes felt a bit like overkill and kept the movie from progressing forward. That’s about the only complaint I can think of so that’s quite an achievement, wouldn’t you agree?

Now for the acting. As said before, you can expect to see Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. shine in their roles as father and son. Robert Duvall looks incredibly powerful when he’s acting as the judge but when he’s out of the courtroom, he immediately looks a lot more like a fragile, cranky old man and that’s exactly how Joseph Palmer should be like in this movie. Meanwhile, Robert Downey Jr. plays a character with many layers as he might seem like a total ass in the beginning of the movie and towards his father at times, but throughout the movie, you’ll start to see the cracks in his shield of arrogance and wittiness. Besides those two, there’re still a bunch of other great actors and actresses playing in The Judge like Vera Farmiga who plays a former girlfriend of Hank’s and Vincent D’Onofrio and Jeremy Strong who respectively take up the role as Hank’s older and younger brother. There’s nothing to complain about any of the cast members so as a conclusion, we can say that the acting in general is pretty damn good.

The Judge 2

Extras wise, there’re quite a few to give a try after finishing the movie itself. We’ve got some deleted scenes on the disc (with or without extra commentary) and in Getting Deep With Dax Shephard we see how one of the actors is talking with the cast and crew while making the whole featurette a very funny one. Imagine yourself some strange and absurd conversations here and you’ll be prepared for what’s coming… or not. In Inside The Judge, we get to see a lot more about the movie itself and the ideas behind it. The actors and actresses enlighten us in their experience with some very big names in the movie business.


The Judge gives us an inside look in a kind of relationship that’s really not that exceptional in the real world nowadays. The whole cast does a great job at playing their part but of course, a lot of the praise should go to Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. as those two really make The Judge stand out. You’ll experience an emotional rollercoaster throughout the whole movie and although the story might become a bit long-winded at times, it’s still quite satisfactory in the end.

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