2.0 out of 5 stars
Stick with the book, and see the movie for the acting only., April 26 2004
Slick and improbable adaptation of the John Grisham book not only burns the premise of the novel with an unnecessary bad story about gun responsibility but also lacks the real direction of a director who knows what he is doing. Scenes go by way too fast to comprehend what is going on from time to time and a lot of the movie itself does not even fit with the whole story. Characters come in and then disappear with out motive, and much of the back-story does not make sense in some parts of the film. Not to mention that the whole scam would have been exposed in a matter of minutes if the characters were to try what they did in the real world.
Like everyone who has written here, I agree that the acting is the only major draw in this film. The only problem with that is the fact that you have good actors who are going against a bad script that really does not know what to do with itself. Gene Hackman and Rachel Weisz are the best things here because they are least make their characters a bit interesting with performances that are better than the whole script of the film. Gene Hackman. has done this character like a billion times over but he does it with a real sense of class and menace. Rachel Weisz not only outdoes Hackman in their scenes together but also gives her character a real reason to do what she is doing. The rest of the cast is great as well with John Cusack and Dustin Hoffman giving great support, and a good cast that is really not used too much because the script really does not know what to do with them.
Stick with the book, and see the movie for Weisz, Hackman, and Hoffman, because they give great performances in this bad movie. Which is a shame because they could have used their talents in a much better film than this.