Runaway Jury, The

Rating = B

This adaptation of the Grishom book of the same name is done in a craftsmanlike manner, both in terms of the adaptation and the film making.

The movie is noteworthy because it is the first movie Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman have appeared in the same movie, even though they have been friends since they were first in acting school and struggling young actors. Neither of them is working very hard in this movie. They have only one scene together, and it was interesting to me that a typical Hoffman performance plays less well than a typical Hackman performance. Hoffman may need more meat in a role (and more weirdness) for him to shine. Hackman has bigger and more important role in this movie and his basic performance provides sufficient malevolence for the role he is playing. It would be nice to have seen how they compared when each was each was giving his top level performance.

While I am speaking about the actors: John Cusack and Rachel Weisz also give good basic performances. In her case, I continue to be impressed with how many English, Australian, and New Zealand actors and actresses can sound completely American to me.