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Runaway Jury

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Went with my mom and grandma.  My mom read the book a week before seeing the movie.  She pointed out that one huge change was that the corporation in the book was a tobacco company, and in the movie it was a gun company.  In the book, the fact that four of the jurors were smokers was an important plot point.

This is basically a Conspiracy Theory movie.  The Big Bad Corporations hire some super jury selector guy, who makes their own lawyer look like a buffoon.  He comes in and sets up shop with a bazillion computers and an army of investigators, albeit he settles on two for most of the important bits of the movie (standard Hollyweird reuse of characters.)  Somehow, they're able to turn up dirt on all of the jurors without alerting anyone.

For example, one woman had an affair over a year prior, and had gotten an abortion.   I can maybe see how they might have turned up medical records, though even that's a stretch.  But I can't imagine how they could find out any details about the affair.   That would have required at the least them survelling her a year prior to the trial.

Early on you learn that Rachel Weisz and John Cusack are working together.  And you learn quickly that Cusack is really good at reading people and manipulating the situation.  The stuff he does is really pretty clever.

The story has very little about the trial itself.  It's mostly behind-the-scenes stuff, like the interaction of the jury members themselves, and the interaction of the lawyers and the clients.  A teeny bit about the workings of how the court handles the jury.  Though, obviously greatly simplified in order to simply provide a couple of plot points.

The movie did keep you guessing about whether or not they were going to get away with it.  They managed to pull that off fairly well.

One thing I despise about the movie though is the ultra-liberal viewpoint that gun companies (and tobacco, and McDonald's, etc) are responsible for the problems in our society.  People need to take responsibility for their own lives.

On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Matinee with Dinner.  Big name cast.  Coupla interesting twists.  Straight up movie, not an odd Cusack movie.

Editing history:

05/NOV/03 - Added bit about society of blame and pointed to my rant page.

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Last modified: June 14, 2004
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