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NEW Gere/norton/mahoney - Primal Fear (Blu-ray)
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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 ›
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 ›
Now, if you've read William Diehl's book upon which this movie is based, you have the distinct benefit of understanding a lot more about Stampler's background and driving forces. Unfortunately, the movie could not provide a real motivation for Stampler's murder of the archbishop. If the movie has shortcoming, it's that it never really explains why Aaron killed him. And the book has a lot more involving the alternate Roy that also helps deepen the complexity of Aaron/Roy. The chilling ending, however, in both the book and the movie, still packs a tremendous wallop. If you liked this movie, read the entire Marty Vail series by Diehl; if you think Aaron was bad in this one, wait till you see what he does in the future!
Oh, by the way, Gere and Linney's relationship was one of the most honest I've seen in some while; wish we could have seen more of why they really had "split," so to speak.
A great movie, though.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a brilliant movie. Very well done. I loved the surprise twist at the end. Quite terrifying!Published 15 months ago by C.R.
superb acting ..... story is completely convincing with some facinating twists. One of Norton`s best achievements.Published 20 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