Title: The Judge Director: David Dobkin Year: 2014 Run time: 2hrs 21m
“Robert Downey, Jr. stars as a successful attorney who returns to his childhood home for his mother’s funeral, only to discover that his estranged father is suspected of murder. Arrogant and conceited, Hank has no choice but to put his life on hold to deal with his stern, newly widowed father - the town’s judge who is accused of deliberately running someone down. Now determined to find the truth, the big city lawyer must reconnect with the family he left behind years ago.”
2:55 - “Innocent people can’t afford me.” 4:59 - Epic house. If only it didn’t come with a massive garden to maintain. 7:55 - Wow, just crops as far as the eye can see. So beautiful. 13:20 - Ve-hicle. 15:44 - Awkward family reunions are hard enough, let alone at a funeral in front of everyone. 18:33 - That’s an incredible waterfall out the window. I’d eat there every day. 21:34 - #justsayin 29:33 - “Unless he killed somebody…” Jinxed it. 35:08 - Small town life is just so hard. Everyone knowing everything, everyone being connected. 38:16 - “I wish I liked you more.” Such an awful thing to say. 43:25 - Tough to be on the receiving end of that, not his fault he’s not so experienced! 46:22 - Clearly it’s ending up as Downey versus Billy Bob. Amazing. 50:51 - The note coming under the door… cutest thing ever. 56:25 - That was a vivid bike crash, felt that from the sofa. 1:06:25 - I’m going to be the hero of my own story. 1:08:50 - “That I’m a great lawyer, have a work ethic to rival the effing Amish.” 1:15:17 - Love the kid wanting to be a race car driver. 1:29:30 - The tornado air raid siren is scary. I would definitely dive in a basement. 1:33:44 - That’s kind of all people want. A kind word, an attaboy. 1:47:01 - Yeah, now we get to the objections part! 2:00:33 - Still his niece though. 2:11:30 - Note to self, research the difference between half mast and half staff.
There was so much hype around this film, and it looked so good in trailers and early reviews, that we were pretty keen to watch it. From the very opening scenes, you can tell it was a finely crafted piece of art, with some exquisite shots and intense acting, high emotions and beautiful imagery.
But actually that’s all it was for me. I didn’t connect with any of the characters, none of them seemed particularly nice or sympathetic at all. Sure Downey wanted what was best for his dad, but his dad went above and beyond the stubborn-ness you should be expected to deal with. I was with it until about halfway through, I so wanted to get invested in this family, but in the end they all just frustrated me.
It’s worth watching, though, if only to see the view from that diner window.