After a long time, finally we can see the great Robert Downey Jr. do something different than the superhero Iron Man, or even the very intelligent but insane Sherlock Holmes. Nothing against, as the success of these two blockbusters owes much to his talent and what he gives to his characters. In The Judge we can see him doing a deeper and more serious role, never losing his ironic side and that funny that always makes us laugh whenever it is necessary. Here plays a character that can be perfectly adapted to real life and I confess that I've been missing to see him again in a different register.
The Judge is divided between the courtrooms and the family drama of a family marked by problems from the past that are still unresolved. Attorney Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) is forced to return to his hometwon in Indiana, 20 years later, for the funeral of his mother. Hank always had problems with his father (Robert Duvall), a very well respected judge in the city, and during his short stay his father is considered the main suspect of an homicide. Hank is forced to help his father to find out the truth and eventually re-connects with his brothers and even with some old acquaintances of the small town.
The film is not simply a story about courts, laws or criminal justice, but a family drama where the characters are going to rediscover themselves, learn how to forgive and respect each other. The emotional side of the story is more important than everything else, and despite the numerous clichés that the film may have, they result in a perfect way to what the film is supposed to give us and it never disappoints.
It is certainly a film of great performances! The chemistry between Downey Jr. and Duvall is really great and all their scenes together are very intense. The entire supporting cast does a very good work, but is mostly Downey Jr. and Duvall what make The Judge to be not just a drama of conflict between father and son, but a real portrait of many families, sincere and honest that has a slightly different ending than we are expecting.
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