"Primal Fear" is an entertaining thriller with some plot twists, good performances and interesting story. But the best part of the movie is the Edward Norton performance, he steals the show from good actors every time he appears on the screen.
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.