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The Firm
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  • Simply Too Implausible
    Maybe its because I'm a lawyer and know what the "real world" is like (as opposed to the fantasy portrayed in this movie), maybe its because I'm not much of Tom Cruise fan (the only movies he's done that I can stand are Rainman and The Color of Money, and that's because of his co-stars in those films, not him), but for whatever reason I've got to rank this film as one of the worst I've ever seen.

    The ending of the movie (which is different from the ending in the book) is so totally implausible that it ruined whatever entertaining aspects the film possessed. Cruise's performance is even more woodeen here than in last summer's disasterous Eyes Wide Shut. And, except for Gene Hackman, the casting is completely misplaced --- I mean, really, Wilford Brimley as a Mafia enforcer ???? Gimme a break.

    If you're looking for a legal thriller, go get The Rainmaker instead, or watch an episode of The Practice....more info

  • no problem with product but movie sucked!
    uh i hate this movie it was sooo boring i had to watch it for my business ethics class and then write an essay on it! but amazon sent it in a timly manner and it was in perfect condition...more info
  • Objection, Your Honor
    This is the first novel of John Grisham and like the movie, it's very strong in characters and dialogue. At the time he wrote it, there was some pretty good attempts at making good 'lawyer' movies. "Witness for the Prosecution" comes to mind. And we had uncovered a whole raft of great new mystery writers like Parker, Crais, Lehane, George, and Grafton. But the legal-mystery novel was uncharted land and Grisham plowed it over with a passion. How was Grisham to know that like the fall of communism had given "evil empire" writers like Len Deighton and John LeCarre fits, eventually the public would tire at lawyers, even laughing at them?

    Nevertheless, it's a good book and also an excellent movie. If there are drawbacks, then truthfully there are some areas that require a little trust. The lawfirm itself for example. Sexual misconduct in a lawfirm? Sure. Misconduct in billing? Always. Stealing from the evidence locker of ill gotten gains? Occasionally. But murdering associates who try to leave? I don't think so. (But it does give Department of Justice cop Ed Harris a great line in the movie, "McDeere, no one has left your firm alive!")

    The movie has a solid script and a great cast to carry it. The lovely Jeanne Tripplehorn, the this time not very grandfatherly Wilfred Brimley, Holly Hunter, always a hoot, Gary Busey, Hal Holbrook and Law and Order's Steven Hill, to mention a few. And Tom Cruise as always doing a powerful job who suddenly realizes that the pot of gold at the end of his and Abbey's rainbow has a HAZMAT sticker on it that he's overlooked. Cruise is just great. A true Hitchkockian character, the average man with no where to run.

    What would you do if you found that the company you had waited for all your life was evil from top to bottom? That's The Firm. 5 stars. Larry Scantlebury...more info
  • Always Fun To Watch Bad Things Happen to Lawyers
    Lawyers and Tom Cruise. I tend to like neither. But in this Sydney Pollack-directed adaptation of John Grisham's bestseller, Cruise is actually tolerable as a hotshot Harvard Law grad just hired by a Memphis law firm with more skeletons in its closet than grains of sand on Malibu Beach. Cruise's character is arrogant, brash, and smug--as we would expect most young attorneys to be--but as his life unravels, as he learns more and more about the machinations of his employer, he's just darn fun to watch as he tries to distance himself from THE FIRM.

    One of the reasons Cruise is tolerable is because his surrounding cast is so outstanding. Gene Hackman, who plays Cruise's mentor, is as good as it gets; so is Ed Harris as a feisty FBI agent. Jeanne Tripplehorn is okay as the young, homesick, unhappy wife, yet as the story races to its conclusion she does some really out-of-character stuff. Hal Holbrook is solid (as always), while Wilford Brimley steals the show as the firm's tenacious "head of security." There are thrills and plenty of suspense, with an ending so out of breath and over the top you'll need oxygen, but overall THE FIRM is satisfying. Watching lawyers run for their lives always is.
    --D. Mikels, Author, The Reckoning...more info
  • Awesome!
    One of the best movies I've seen. Had me on the edge of my seat. Well worth the time....more info
  • A bit long, but a tense, fun ride
    I was predisposed to like this movie when it hit theatres in 1993 because it was filmed in my hometown and I worked as an extra in it. But putting all my bias aside, the film is better than it could have been, but not as good as it should have been. Jeanne Tripplehorn took over as Abby McDeere when a pregnant Robin Wright (Penn) dropped out, and she does well with an underwritten, stock character. Wilford Brimley is deliciously evil, and Gene Hackman is, well, perfect as always. Some folks balked at the different-from-the-book ending, but as director Sydney Pollack explained, the original town-to-town-chase ending would have added too much time to the film. As for the musical score -- I was a bit taken aback by the Dave Grusin piano in what I thought would be an action/thriller genre movie. But Pollack has used Grusin on many of his films, and soon the score grows on you.

    I think this was probably the best movie version of a Grisham novel. "The Client" seemed kind of flat (sorry, Joel Schumacher), "The Pelican Brief" was far from Alan Pakula's best (he did the superb "Parallax View" w/Warren Beatty), and "John Grisham's 'The Rainmaker'", while not bad, was a step down for the masterful Francis Ford Coppola. I haven't seen "A Time To Kill" yet.

    The cast of "The Firm" actually did pretty well with the material given. The book reads like a movie screenplay, but that can be a curse. Every reader "sees" a different version or treatment of it in their heads as they read it, so how could the actual film ever live up to every reader's expectations? It can't. So the film manages to succeed in spite of all that. Good job! But then again, I'm in it and I got to meet the whole cast (except Holly Hunter and Gary Busey), so I'm biased....more info

  • A Complex Suspense-Drama
    This is a long (154 minutes) but pretty solid drama-suspense story about corporate corruption. The film features a well-known cast, and as soon as the action kicks in this becomes a very tense story.

    Tom Cruise is very good as the hotshot lawyer, as is Jeanne Tripplehorn who plays his unhappy wife. This is a complex story at times, one not always easily understood, especially the ending. So much is explained so fast at the end it's tough to comprehend it all.

    It's okay because sometimes that makes me want to watch a good movie several times, hoping I'll finally figure everything out! That's what happened here.

    Wilfred Brimley, Gene Hackman, Hal Holbrook, Holly Hunter, Robert Strathairn and Ed Harris all make this a really deep, impressive cast.
    ...more info
  • Great Suspense!
    This is a smartly written and fast-paced drama. Tom Cruise plays a sharp young Harvard grad lawyer who must use all his skills to out smart the mob. Great supporting help from Gene Hackman and Wilford Brimley is chilling as one of the mob security directors. ...more info
  • not firm enough
    good points: gene hackman, some great cinematography, some fast-paced scenes, at points the female co-star cuts the mustard

    the bad points (my revenge at having to sit through 2.5 long, annoying hours): tom cruise is often emotionally fake and shallow, the story isn't always logical (so don't watch it if you like to analyze stories too much), many of the characters and scenes were WOODEN!, overall mostly just junk food quality (and at times i got a hair in my burger!)

    why i kept watching it: gives insight into our culture and its ideals - the immature grandiose fantasy of being the genius, brilliant, athletic hero who stumps everyone and is more clever than the FBI and the mob [= the child is more clever than the abusive parents = unreality!]...more info

  • Cruise's Oscar Worthy Performance
    First off, I did read the book and felt the movie's plot changes were for the worse. However, this movie on its own is an entertaining and generally good piece. What really stood out for me was Tom Cruise's performance. I have seen most of his films and I think this was by far his best showing. We all know that he can play the young, ambitious, somewhat naive type (see Top Gun, The Color of Money, A Few Good Men), which is what he basically does in the first quarter of the movie, but after he becomes suspicious of the firm and has to deal with the FBI and pulling off a way to extricate himself from this whole situation, his acting really starts to shine. The way he is able to convey fear, anxiety, confusion, etc. without much dialougue is truly remarkable. The scene in which he tells his wife that he went to see his brother in jail is a great example of what I'm talking about. I think it was a travesty that he wasn't even nominated for an Oscar for this film....more info
  • An imperfect but generally good thriller
    Tom Cruise plays another slick, humorous, all-American man and as usual is well cast. The story tells of his signing onto a law firm and finding out that it isn't all it's cracked up to be, with corruption, murders, and all the other juicy stuff thrown in. Starts off very well but is still a little too talky and overlong. The cliches are plentiful and the ending is predictable, though pretty good near two-and-a-half hours of entertainment....more info
  • Better than a book!
    Nothing can be better than "The Firm" written by John Grisham, who himself is a lawyer. The attentions to details that Grisham manages to pull are just fantastic. I read the book before watching the movie, and hence can compare and tell that the movie has been directed perfectly and in fact a lot more interesting than the book, as the book gets slow in between, but not the movie.

    Cruise's is superb, so are the other actors in this movie. I don't know why people have given negative reviews by comparing it with real life scenarios. This is a movie based on a fiction novel, and as rightly said by one of reviewer here;it does its job by entertaining the audiences.
    ...more info
  • It gets a little messy towards the end, but it's still nothing short of exciting...
    Legal thrillers rarely satisfy me. It takes a really strong one to peak my interest, hold it and keep me remembering it long after it's through. I guess I just never warmed up to them the way that a lot of movie goers have. That, coupled with the Tom Cruise bug, has kept me away from `The Firm' for some time. I adore Holly Hunter, and her Oscar nomination did make me curious, but as a whole I just wasn't that interested in giving this film a try.

    It came on television the other day though, and I had nothing better to do, so I bit.

    That said, `The Firm' was actually pretty well done. It was intense when it needed to be, and it contained enough plot twists to keep me interested even after I figured everything out. I will say that some of the plot developments felt a little sticky, especially once Abby and Tammy go all sorts of espionage on the firm, but that aside, the film is quite good.

    The film follows Mitch McDeere, a bright lawyer who is being wooed by a prestigious law firm that seems to watch to control everyone around them. Mitch's wife Abby is turned off by this, but Mitch's enthusiasm for the firm and his potential working there outweighs her concerns. Mitch is taken under the wing of Avery Tolar, shown the ropes and given all the perks, and then there is a murder, and then the FBI comes looking for Mitch, to turn him, and he gets an earful, and he starts to dig around and soon all the pieces start to fit together and Mitch realizes that this prestigious firm has some very unorthodox practices that could threaten his marriage, his profession and ultimately his life.

    I have never felt Tom Cruise was as talented as he is made out to be. Yes, when he hits it he usually leaves a lasting impression (um, he was all kinds of stellar in `Eyes Wide Shut' and he was definitely Oscar worthy in `Jerry Maguire') but for the most part he is either outshone by the rest of the cast (as in `Rain Man') or simply not that impressive (I need to rewatch `Top Gun' but I do remember being less than impressed with Cruise). Here he is actually pretty good. He holds his own alongside Hackman (which is hard to do) and delivers a believable and relatable performance.

    He's not best-in-show though.

    `The Firm' is littered with actors doing their best to grab out attention. The most successful would have to be Holly Hunter who just breezes though her performance as if it were effortless for her. She is witty and charismatic and adorable to boot; and when she wants to lay on the drama she can and does so brilliantly. Gene Hackman is also on the top of his game; sly and cunning and very approachable which only adds layers to his characters mystery. Hal Holbrook is ruthless as Oliver Lambert and commands in his few scenes. David Strathairn is commanding if not a little out of place here (I really didn't like his characters arc, but whatever). Jeanne Tripplehorn gets better and better as the film progresses. I think that Ed Harris is a pretty good actor, but he seems wasted here in my opinion.

    In the end I must say that `The Firm' is a far better film than I expected it to be. No, it is not a favorite of mine (based on genre alone really) but it manages to be memorable and exciting and I will watch it again, I'm sure of that. I wish that they had cleaned up the ending a tad, for as the plot keeps twisting the film gets a little messy, but that messiness makes for an entertaining roller coaster that serves it purpose....more info
    I did not like this film. It did have drama and suspense, and Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman were good. Bribery, blackmail... always good premises for action pictures. But personal taste dictates that I just did not get into it. Jeanne Tripplehorn is one good reason not to like it. Sometimes she is very likeable (in the virtually unknown Til There Was You) but other times not so (Sliding Doors). Most people who see this will probably like it. What can I say?...more info
  • The movie (not the book)
    I'm going to give my opinions of this movie, not the book it's based on, and I'm not going to judge the movie against the book because the movie simply isn't the book. If everyone posting here understood this, these posts would be a lot shorter and probably less rancorous.

    Pollack is a better director than Grisham is a writer. The movie is better directed than the book is written. The ending works for me. I liked it. I liked Cruise and Tripplehorn. I liked the music. I very much liked the entire supporting cast (this is one movie I'd add to a list of great ensemble movies). Hackman gave one of his best performances, which is saying a lot. Hunter and Strathairne were excellent (their last few lines together by the water were written and delivered perfectly). Ed Harris was powerful. Holbrook and Brimley were very good. Brimley's little talk with Cruise over the photos was maybe the best scene in the movie, and his way with the simplest lines ("I get paid to worry when there isn't anything to worry about," "He's going nowhere," "OK, Mitch?") is the mark of a pro.

    This isn't one of my favorite movies, but it does fall into another unique category--it's one of those movies I can watch almost anytime, all the way through, and enjoy it....more info

  • Very good
    I like Tom Cruise in most of his movies, I thought this was one of his better ones. A young husband and his wife start out with a big Law Firm making major money only to find it is a very corrupt firm trying to take over every aspect of their lives, at work and in the home. I really liked his solution to the problem, not only did he get his brother out of prison, but he freed himself and his wife without giving up his whole life and career and had the FBI where he wanted them for a change instead of the other way around. And he kept all the evidence against the firms clients and them in the event he ever needed it, so boy did he have the hammer! He also got rid of two of the really bad guys. He and Abbie went on with their lives in a new place and in a new way....more info
  • The Firm
    Any Mafia/Gang film should contain a little more effort on the part of the villians to stop/end the lives of persons who are threats to them.

    I thought that the story was quite good except for the ending sequences, which required a little more intrigue and action.

    Excellent film though....more info