(Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton, et al / Blu ray + DVD / R / 2015 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: Big city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his father, the town's judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his estranged family.
Blu ray Verdict: 'The Judge' is an original story from the director David Dobkin and Robert Downey Jr's words say it all when he says, "It's a modern tale of conflict, judgment, death, regret, irony, family dysfunction, hilarity, and of course, unconditional love". Indeed, it goes way beyond a courtroom drama, it's about family, showing up for uncomfortable things; it's about not leaving things unsaid, and seeking for redemption, for forgiveness.
It works so well that the most accurate comparison I can do is to an orchestra, each element of this cast is a brilliant musician with a unique instrument, and together they created the most sublime melody, so revelatory, unforgettable. This is art imitating life as it is, and people can relate with it because life is messy, people are not flawless, in real life there's no perfect way to deal with what happens to you. So whoever you are, wherever you are, you will be touched by this story, it will make you think and realize that if there's something you need to correct in your life, now is the right time.
This is something different, something special, it's a great drama with great laughs, there's a lot of wit and heart in it, and we all hope to see more movies like this in the future. It's also the first movie produced by Team Downey and like Downey's character says, "Oh, we are not done", in fact this is just the beginning, an amazing takeoff for Team Downey.
In closing, 'The Judge' delivers with heart and soul. The cast couldn't be better, the cinematography is as beautifully framed as a Normal Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover. The story itself, well it's never more sensational than real which is to say it works on a very humanistic level. 'The Judge' humbly weaves it's magic by not overreaching and succeeds by just showing a family's triumphs and tragedies that ring true. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Commentary by David Dorkin
Getting Deep with Dax Shepard
Inside The Judge