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Teen Movie Critic

Primal Fear

by

Roger Davidson

Primal Fear
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Just when you thought the courtroom thriller was dead, out pops this surprisingly suspenseful story, with plot twists galore. Richard Gere stars is a lawyer, who seems to have learned his courtroom tactics from Johnnie Cochran. He has been assigned his biggest case ever. It deals with the murder of a well-known cardinal, and the accused who is a baby-faced alter boy (Edward Norton). It seems like an open-and-shut case, but Gere has a few tricks up his sleeve. He gets into a grudge match in the courtroom, when his ex-girlfriend (Laura Linney) becomes the prosecuting attorney on the case.

The film has a gritty feel, in both filming and storyline. It's the outstanding performances that dominate the picture more than anything else. Gere is finally given a role he was born to play, displaying his trademark cool, and for once seems to be awake from that long-term coma of his previous movies. Linney, Alfre Woodard as the judge and Frances McDormand as Norton's psychiatrist give crafty performances, while Norton gives a stand-out one as Aaron, the accused alter boy. You must stay for the ending. Just when you think everything is finished, out pops a whammy that will leave you as stunned as Gere's character is at the end.

My Rating = Four Stars


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