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PRIMAL FEAR (SPECIAL EDITION) - DVD Movie
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Top Customer Reviews
The cast is definitely the best thing about this movie though. Gere is competent though not an obvious choice as the lawyer, yet the succession of breakthrough roles is very impressive indeed. Norton is probably one of the most versatile and compelling actors I have ever seen on screen although strangely enough is only just starting to be recognised as such, mostly choosing if not indie movies then certainly ones that are often outside of the glare of Hollywood (excepting the recent Red Dragon). Anyone who has seen Fight Club, Rounder or in particular the astounding, electric performance he puts in for American History X, can testify to this. Primal Fear is no exception, and his performance here is probably second only to his in American History X. There's also an appearance from Frances McDormand before fame hit, as well as Maura Tierny (ER's Abby, who is surely just waiting for her big break anytime soon), both in medium roles. In addition, Laura Linney proves that she has more than it takes to become a leading lady in a largely unrewarding role.Read more ›
"Primal Fear" is a quiet masterpiece. It's an Oscar contender at heart, hidden beneath a layer of assorted cliches and plot twists. Does that mean the movie is bad? Not by a long shot. It's terribly entertaining and splendidly acted, particularly by a young Edward Norton. It's a fine movie in almost every respect, although it has a few minor flaws that prevent it from becoming completely excellent.
In a nutshell: Norton is the 19-year-old who kills the archbishop of a church in Chicago; Gere is his attorney who takes on the case.
Gere doesn't care whether his clients are guilty or not. "I just do my job. It's not like I'm friends with them," he says. But he connects with his newest client in a way unlike he ever has before. "I think he's innocent," he tells one of his co-workers. "I think he's telling the truth."
The stuttering 19-year-old Kentucky boy has no clear motive for killing the archbishop. They are related only through the fact that he was a choirboy for the church and the archbishop had taken him in off the streets. But the clues start to connect and soon they find out that sweet ol' choirboy may have split personality disorder--his other side, Roy, comes into play when his normal side becomes hassed and hurt. The stutters fade away and an evil side shines through--an evil side that admits to killing the archbishop.
Of course, we all know that it doesn't stop there.Read more ›
The movie introduces a cynical, narcissist and ambitious famous lawyer Martin Vail, he is played by Richard Gere, and of course he has no problem with the role because Richard Gere is cynical, narcissist, ambitious and famous. Anyway, when Martin Vail watches on TV the arrest of a boy accused of the homicide of a Chicago archbishop, he immediately sees the opportunity of raise his profile by defending the boy.
Then he meets Aaron Stampler (Edward Norton), a quiet and harmless boy; then the lawyer realizes that Aaron is innocent. After that, the movie becomes an entertaining thriller / mystery / courtroom drama, with some plot twists, interesting characters and revelations.
But the most interesting part is to see all the changes and emotions that Edward Norton prints in his character; he is just an amazing actor, his performance is by far the best in the movie. After this film, Norton delivered his best performance in American History X, and established himself as the best actor of his generation.
When Chicago's beloved Archbishop Rushman is stabbed to death (78 times) in his rectory and a blood-soaked alter boy (Edward Norton) is arrested as the prime and only suspect, Vail can't resist being the first to offer his services - pro bono. Aaron Stampler is the 19-year-old alter boy who claims he didn't kill the Archbishop. He says he was in the room at the time of the murder, but that there was a third person there and he blacked out. His stuttering Kentucky mountain accent and angelic boy scout look is only the beginning to a great defense.
Janet Venable (Laura Linney), a former girlfriend of Vail, is the prosecutor assigned to this case. I think she's looking forward to butting heads with Vail again. Her bosses want the death penalty and nothing less.
Based on the novel of murder and suspense by William Diehl, we've got a truly star-studded jackpot with "Primal Fear." The characters were so well written in the book, it must not have been too difficult to convert to film. It's easy to love and/or hate each character.
Richard Gere is always brilliant, putting everything he's got into each role. This character, Martin Vail, reminds me of his Edward Lewis in "Pretty Woman.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This is a brilliant movie. Very well done. I loved the surprise twist at the end. Quite terrifying!Published 9 months ago by C.R.
superb acting ..... story is completely convincing with some facinating twists. One of Norton`s best achievements.Published 14 months ago by elizzy
By far, one of Edward Norton's best. The cunning personality of his character takes Richard Gere's character to an unexpected level. Read morePublished on Dec 15 2012 by Kate
this is one of the best murder mystery,psychological suspense films i
have ever seen.this thing will keep you riveted and guessing right down
to the end. Read more
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. Read morePublished on Aug. 9 2006 by Kona
This is a great movie with interesting plot twists?? I groaned throughout this movie. So predictable....the egotistical lawyer, his ex-lover DA, the dialogue, the acting....ughh. Read morePublished on July 1 2004 by Todd Martz
"Fui bailar no meu batel alem do mar cruel," sings modern fadista Dulce Pontes in this movie's dynamic title song: "I went dancing in my boat, there on the cruel sea. Read morePublished on June 22 2004 by Themis-Athena