Estranged families are common in everyday life – we can’t choose our blood, it’s what we’re born into, and we have to live with that every day until we pass. ‘Dysfunction’ and ‘Family’ go hand-in-hand unless for God knows what reason, you happen to have the perfect one. I most certainly don’t, but we make it work, and where everyone may not get along, there’s always the common link of blood that will (more times than not) bring them together for a common cause. I’m not the greatest family member; between both sides of my family, I have an issue with conveying balance. Seeing both sides is a difficult task, and most of the time, I’m not really up for it, but it doesn’t mean I don’t care. When I’m focused on doing my own thing, I often stop to think about the neglect I may be putting towards my family. The worst thing (and often the most common) that happens to most families is that they go so long without constant communication, that it’s a tragedy that brings them together. There have been many books & movies based on this notion, but what happens when it escalates to another devastating life altering situation? The Judge is this movie.
Robert Downey Jr. is famously known (well, for the newer generation) as Iron Man, but the only iron that he lays down is the iron of the law (that’s not even an expression, but whatever). As a controversial defense lawyer, you take a lot of heat, and when your life isn’t altogether, sometimes it takes a tragedy to take you out of your current surroundings and back to where it all started, as much as you wanted to get away from it. Robert Duvall; playing the respected Judge of a small town community – he’s the person who faces difficult challenges and decisions when it comes to punishing the wrongdoers, and having to live with that. There are things you get right, and things you get wrong, but it’s always about having instinct to make said decisions. Often times, decisions made within your own family work the same way in determining how a future relationship will shape up. The awkward and strenuous relationship between the Father-Son duo of Duvall & Downey Jr. would mimic a lot of relationships of everyday men that don’t have that connection to their old men or sons. I know that I definitely felt it, because my relationship with my Dad isn’t exactly held together by strong fibers.
This movie exercises a demonstration of rebuilding a connection not only with a loved one, but also with a community, in efforts to move forward with one’s life. There’s a lot of emotion because of so many contributing factors that play into the rebuilding which calls into morals, and that those on the side of law that are responsible for being fair, find themselves on the wrong side of the scale. The performances by Duvall & Downey Jr. are captivating and the sarcastic & witty charm that Downey is known for, is perfect for the role, because there’s a wide spectrum that he goes through emotionally. A good law movie is hard to come by, and with the Fourth Quarter of movies heating up a bit, it wouldn’t surprise me if some murmurs of awards fall his way. This is definitely a movie I would recommend watching, even if this isn’t necessarily a movie you’d voluntarily watch. It’s emotional, but overall enjoyable. But for now, this is my opinion, this is my review
That’s My Word & It STiXX