The archbishop of Chicago has just been brutally murdered and 19-year old altar boy Aaron Stampler (Edward Norton) is found running from the scene, covered in the man's blood. It looks like an open and shut case against the simple, stuttering boy, until dashing Martin Vail (Richard Gere), a self-proclaimed "big-deal lawyer," offers to defend him - pro bono. The prosecutor he'll be facing in the courtroom is none other than his ex-girlfriend (Laura Linney) who is still bitter about their past. With the help of a psychologist (Frances McDormand), Vail discovers a shocking secret about young Aaron that may save his life.
This is a great movie; I've seen it many times and it never gets old. Gere is perfectly cast as the handsome and confident charmer, and Edward Norton surely had one of his best roles ever as Aaron - and this was his first movie role. He is so charismatic that you will not be able to take your eyes off him. The search for the killer's motive is intense and surprising, with lots of opportunities for Gere to showcase his tremendous appeal. Highly recommended for those who like character-driven mysteries.