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Runaway Jury

Runaway Jury

3.0 8
Director: Gary Fleder

Cast: John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman


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Three people attempt to bend justice for their own purposes in this drama based on the best-selling novel by John Grisham. After a man dies in a shooting incident, his wife files a lawsuit against the company that manufactured the gun, with her lawyer, Wendell Rohr (Dustin Hoffman), arguing that the firm in question knew the shop which sold the weapon was not


Three people attempt to bend justice for their own purposes in this drama based on the best-selling novel by John Grisham. After a man dies in a shooting incident, his wife files a lawsuit against the company that manufactured the gun, with her lawyer, Wendell Rohr (Dustin Hoffman), arguing that the firm in question knew the shop which sold the weapon was not following federal regulations pertaining to the sale of firearms. As the case goes to trial, the firearm manufacturer is taking no chances on the outcome of a potentially devastating case, and they hire as part of their legal team Rankin Fitch (Gene Hackman), a "jury consultant" who makes it his business to see that he knows enough about the jurors to be able to guarantee the result of the trial. Fitch and his team have learned incriminating secrets about nearly everyone hearing the evidence, but Fitch discovers two factors he wasn't counting upon -- Nick Easter (John Cusack), the jury member who appears to have an agenda all his own, and Marlee (Rachel Weisz), a mysterious woman who has her own plans regarding bending the jury to her will. Bruce Davison, Jeremy Piven, and Bruce McGill round out the supporting cast. Incidentally, in John Grisham's original book, the case was filed against a cigarette manufacturer, but the producers opted to adjust the story after several real-life trials against tobacco companies.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
The latest courtroom thriller adapted from a John Grisham novel is among the best this subgenre has to offer, being graced with a superior script, taut direction, and, above all, a sensational cast. Near-legendary tort lawyer Wendell Rohr (Dustin Hoffman) is using a shooting death to sue the gun manufacturer, in a test case with wide-ranging implications. The defendant hires jury consultant Rankin Fitch (Gene Hackman) to make sure that the jurors selected will be sympathetic to the gun lobby. Fitch's shadowy campaign to influence the jury pool is upset by Nick Easter (John Cusack), a "wild card" deliberator with an agenda all his own. Brian Koppelman's screenplay is crowded with colorful characters and incidents; you need a scorecard to keep up with everybody, and you dare not take your eye off the screen for a second, for fear of missing something that plays an important role in subsequent events. Under the direction of Gary Fleder, Runaway Jury crackles with tension, and this emotional urgency is forcefully conveyed by the actors -- especially Hackman and Hoffman, whose confrontation in a courthouse men's room is the movie's undisputed highlight. Cusack has already displayed facility with morally ambiguous characters, and his performance as the secretly scheming juror is one of his finest. Also rating kudos are Rachel Weisz (playing Cusack's girlfriend and accomplice), Bruce McGill (a stern judge), Bruce Davison (a weak defense attorney), Jeremy Piven, Nick Searcy, Jennifer Beals, and Joanna Going. This is a fairly conventional but commendably slick piece of mainstream moviemaking, and as popcorn thrillers go, it's way above average.
All Movie Guide - Todd Kristel
Runaway Jury is a reasonably entertaining film if you don't think about it too much. It offers relatively tight pacing, an impressive cast, and a plot that combines courtroom drama, fights, chases, and assorted cat-and-mouse games. However, you may be disappointed if you're looking for an airtight plot that doesn't strain credulity or leave any loose ends hanging, a serious exploration of the complex issues that are raised in the story, in-depth character development, or any degree of subtlety. This is a heavy-handed potboiler that demonizes the gun industry and offers only limited opportunity for its talented supporting cast to stretch their acting muscles. You do get a chance to see Gene Hackman (in his third John Grisham film adaptation) and Dustin Hoffman in their first film together, John Cusack is a good fit for the lead role, and the story is generally engaging if you don't mind the plot contrivances. But there's a lot of wasted potential in this movie.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Hackman & Hoffman Together at last: Over 20 minutes of exclusive scene rehearsal footage and Interviews!; Full-length Audio Commentary by Director Gary Fleder; Scene-Specific Commentary by Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman; Deleted Scenes with Director Commentary; 5 Additional Featurettes; (Acting, Making-of, Cinematography, Production Design, Editing)

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Cusack Nick Easter
Gene Hackman Rankin Fitch
Dustin Hoffman Wendell Rohr
Rachel Weisz Marlee
Bruce Davison Durwood Cable
Jeremy Piven Lawrence Green
Bruce McGill Judge Harkin
Melora Walters Actor
Nick Searcy Doyle
Stanley Anderson Henry Jankle
Cliff Curtis Frank Herrera
Nestor Serrano Janovich
Leland Orser Lamb
Jennifer Beals Vanessa Lembeck
Gerry Bamman Herman Grimes
Joanna Going Celeste Wood
Bill Nunn Lonnie Shaver
Juanita Jennings Loreen Duke
Marguerite Moreau Amanda Monroe
Nora Dunn Stella Hulic
Guy Torry Eddie Weese
Rusty Schwimmer Millie Dupree
Luis Guzman Jerry Fernandez
Orlando Jones Jerome
Michael Arata Raines
Jason Davis Phillip Savelle
Deacon Dawson Hoppy Dupree
Corri English Lydia Deets
Wayne Ferrara Special Agent Novecki
Stuart Greer Kincaid
Douglas M. Griffin Terry Docken
Rhoda Griffis Rikki Coleman
Gary Grubbs Dobbs
Fahnlohnee R. Harris Sylvia Deshazo
Lori Heuring Maxine
David Jensen Shamburg
Mark Jeffrey Miller Vaughn
Stephen Milton Darren
Carol Sutton Lou Dell
Irene Ziegler Peggy Grimes

Technical Credits
Gary Fleder Director,Producer
Peter Afterman Musical Direction/Supervision
Deborah Aquila Casting
Matthew Chapman Screenwriter
Rick Cleveland Screenwriter
Nelson Coates Production Designer
Jeffrey Downer Executive Producer
Robert Elswit Cinematographer
Lisa Mae Fincannon Casting
Chad S. Frey Set Decoration/Design
Brian Koppelman Screenwriter
David Levien Screenwriter
Christopher Mankiewicz Producer
Jay Meagher Sound/Sound Designer
Arnon Milchan Producer
Abigail Murray Costumes/Costume Designer
Scott Plauche Art Director
Adele Plauche Set Decoration/Design
Yessa Posnasky Set Decoration/Design
Wylie Stateman Sound/Sound Designer
William Steinkamp Editor
Tricia Wood Casting
Christopher Young Score Composer
Michael Zimbrich Asst. Director


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Runaway Jury 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If a movie is to be made based on a book, Please don't change the plot to fit your own personal agenda. If you are anti-something, at least come up with your own story and not steal someone elses.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Okay, okay, this story is both familiar and very melodramatic. But, the acting was outstanding. The performances of the three leads make up for the redundancies in the plot. This was the best acting I have seen from Dustin Hoffman in a long time. Gene Hackman is terriffic aagain as a despicable villain. As for the change from cigarrettes to guns, that is not important. I guess it was done to push emotional buttons. This is all a backdrop, the real theme is the struggle against corporate greed. Corporations will have no qualms about endangering consumers, as long as there is a profit involved.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent cast, direction. Fast-paced. Gene Hackman makes an equally great villain or hero. Shifting to guns (from tobacco) made it more interesting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Liked the book more
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm so disappointed in this movie. For one thing, there was absolutely no point in switching it from a cigarette company to a gun manufacturer (sp?). For another, it sucked! The book was excellent, but I wouldn't pay a dime to see this movie again. A total waste of money!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this movie greatly. It held my attention all the way through. The actors were fantastic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago