|The Judge (2014)|
|Rating: 7.5/10 (112,616 votes)
Director: David Dobkin
Writer: Nick Schenk (screenplay), Bill Dubuque (screenplay), David Dobkin (story), Nick Schenk (story)
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton
Runtime: 141 min
Genre: Crime, Drama
Released: 10 Oct 2014
|Plot: Big-city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his father, the town's judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his estranged family.|
Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) is a successful defense attorney in Chicago who has been estranged from his family in a small town in Indiana for a couple of years. His brother Glen (Vincent D’Onofrio) calls with news that their mother has died. As he leaves to fly to his hometown of Carlinville, it is revealed that Hank is going through a divorce and custody battle for his young daughter.
Hank reunites with his brothers: older brother Glen, an owner of a tire shop, and younger brother Dale (Jeremy Strong), an autistic aspiring filmmaker who carries an old 8mm film camera everywhere he goes. Hank then stops by the small county courthouse, softly enters a courtroom and sits in the back where he proceeds to observe the judge presiding over a matter. The judge is Joseph Palmer (Robert Duvall), Hank’s father.
While watching the proceeding Hank sees his father forget his bailiff’s name (who has been the Judge’s bailiff for years). Hank thinks the death of his mother may have driven his father, a recovering alcoholic, to start drinking again.
After his wife’s funeral, Joseph excuses himself to go shopping while the brothers catch up with each other. Joseph rebuffs their numerous offers to accompany him. After Joseph leaves, his sons go to a local tavern to reminisce about how when they were children they would fish at a lakeside cabin with their father. Dale mentions that Joseph still goes to the cabin every week to play chess with his old friend, Dr. Morris.