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Laramie Movie Scope:
The Client

A good Grisham thriller

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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July 26, 1994 -- ``The Client'' is the latest of the John Grisham novels to make it to the big screen. It is not really believable, but it is an entertaining thriller nonetheless.

Grisham's first two novels to make it to the screen were ``The Firm'' and ``The Pelican Brief.'' Both were very successful movies. Both benefited from fine actors and good production values. This film shares those characteristics and it has the extra benefit of added suspense.

Susan Sarandon, starring as defense lawyer Reggie Love (really) and Tommy Lee Jones as prosecutor ``The Reverend'' Roy Foltrigg, provide the acting fireworks in this thriller. Love's client, pre-teen Mark Sway (expertly played by Brad Renfro) witnesses a mob lawyer's suicide and in the process learns, literally, where the body is buried. Sway, who must have an I.Q. of at least 900, tells no one what he knows and realizes that if he does, he will be killed.

Sway also seems to know more about the law than the supposedly competent lawyers in the story, and says he learned everything he knows from television. The bad guys are evil, stupid, incompetent and have no depth. Despite all this nonsense, director Joel Schumacher (``Falling Down'') and writers Akiva Goldsman and Robert Getchell squeeze the most suspense they can out of a story that lacks a good climax.

Sarandon, Jones and Renfro along with some good supporting actors make the story more believable than it should be with their excellent performances. There's also a good chemistry between the three lead actors. Despite its flaws, it is an entertaining movie. It rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)