American author/real life attorney, John Grisham, is known for writing thrillers related to the legal system. One novel that boosted his career as a novelist, is a book called “The Firm.” This was his first ever bestselling work with seven million copies bought by readers worldwide. If it weren’t for his first big hit, he would’ve never earned big bucks in the first place.
The Firm is about a recent Harvard graduate named Mitch McDeere, who is caught in the middle of a conflict between his job as lawyer, and the firm he works with is connected to the mafia.
A film adaptation was directed and produced by the late filmmaker/actor, Sydney Pollack, (Tootsie, Eyes Wide Shut) and starring Tom Cruise as the lead character. The Firm was released in 1993, (my actual birth year) it became a critical and box office success. Nineteen Years Later, a television series of the same name, takes place after the event of the film starring Josh Lucas taking over Tom Cruise’s role. However, the show got cancelled after one season due to negative reviews from television critics.
Fun Fact: Cruise & Pollack, later reunite and share scenes together in Stanley Kubrick’s last film, Eyes Wide Shut.
The following review contains no SPOILERS whatsoever, if you never had a chance to watch it, feel free to read this article.
Positive: Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, & Gene Hackman, all did a great job on their respective performances.
Supporting Cast consists of Ed Harris, Wilford Brimley, (Diabeetus guy from Liberty Medical) Holly Hunter, Tobin Bell, (Jigsaw) Dean Norris, (Hank from Breaking Bad) Paul Sorvino, (Paulie from Goodfellas) and Gary Busey, yep “THE” Gary Busey, all did a good job on their performances. I did not expect him to show up in a Tom Cruise movie.
Cinematography felt normal. No gimmicky Shaky Cam throughout the picture.
The film is slow paced and you’ll need to pay extreme close attention to all the crucial details due to character buildup surrounding an ensemble cast of characters.
Working as a lawyer at a firm with dark secrets, can result in dire consequences both professionally and personally.
At the time of the film’s pre-release, Gene Hackman decided to not have his name for The Marketing Campaign, as a ploy to surprise the audience, and it worked out pretty well. This was before internet leaks, but if it happened today, nobody loses their minds. Must be hard to keep things under wraps these days.
Cruise’s character, Mitch, has a brother named Ray, this isn’t the first time Cruise has an onscreen brother named Ray.
Besides Mitch, other characters were unforgettable and weren’t one sided distractions to squeeze into the film. Wilford Brimley plays against type as a villain working with Hank Schrader & Jigsaw.
An intense Chase Sequence revolves around running for your life on foot. Ain’t gonna tell you the juicy details.
The Ending felt satisfying for most of the following characters.
For a Crime Thriller, the musical score has the sound of a jazz piano mostly playing throughout the background. Makes you want to lie down on your recliner and grab a drink.
Negative: The Pacing can be a bit of a drab. If you’re not into law related films, you’ll probably be bored to death. If I were you, grab yourself a coke or energy drink to keep you eyes wide awake.
Product Placement for the following brands such as U-Haul, Marlboro, Apple, Sony, and Coca-Cola.
The Final Verdict: A-
I thought the movie was decent, perhaps the best John Grisham related film adaptation. If you haven’t seen this picture, go out and give it a try.