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Runaway Jury

Year: 2003
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Gary Fleder
Writer: John Grisham
Cast: John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Weisz, Bruce McGill, Bruce Davison, Jeremy Piven, Jennifer Beals
As powerfully and dramatic a courtroom thriller as there's been recently, made all the more exciting by depicting the corruption that goes on outside the courtroom.

John Grisham's tobacco company defendant of the novel has been replaced with gun manufacturers. After a madman goes on the rampage with an assault weapon, the widow of the one of the victims sues the gun manufacturer.

Enter slick jury manipulator Rankin Fitch (Hackman), whose specialty is hand-picking jurors to ensure favourable verdicts for his rich clients.

But he hasn't counted on flies in the ointment, lovers Nick and Marlee (Cusack and Weisz), with a darker agenda to overturn Fitch and his rich benefactor.

Fleshing out the role of the prosecuting lawyer that was smaller in the book is Dustin Hoffman, and for the first time ever we see old acting buddies Hackman and Hoffman on screen with sparks flying.

In the face of such old school pros, Cusack and Weisz more than hold their own, bringing charm, energy and even a kind of menace to their roles, and together with a script full of red herrings, the dream cast make it well worth watching.

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