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A Reel Life film section

Issue: Spring 2003

Runaway Jury (2003) movie review

Conscience for Hire


"Trials are too important to be left up to juries."

A gun trial in good time time New Orleans becomes a behind-the-scenes drama when a couple puts the verdict up for sale.

Elegantly-written and well-paced, Runaway Jury is a variation of the classic trial movie. Like The Juror and others, this movie is about the efforts of one side to prevail in the adversarial system by taking the fight outside.

This jury can be bought for $16 a day and a brown bag lunch.

In Runaway Jury the players are a legal team representing the wife of a man murdered in a workplace killing spree, the legal team and backroom fixers representing the gun making companies, the jury whose lives are torn open by those seeking to force the verdict, and outside a woman promising to provide the verdict to the highest bidder.

Movie poster, Runaway Jury; Festivale film review

Movie poster, Runaway Jury
Trials are too important to be decided by juries.

"I'm in it to win ... everything else is coloured bubbles."

Like all movies in which John Cusack appears, Runaway Jury is interesting and has a point to it. Whether you take the point to be one about the inherent weaknesses of an adversarial system, especially one that tends to support the deepest pockets, or about gun control, or whether you simply watch for the suspense and the final reveal, this movie has something interesting to offer.

Make gun violence the gun industry's problem.

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by Ali Kayn
Due for Australian release 30 October 2003
For credits and official site details, see below
Search Festivale for more work by the film-makers below.

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Just the facts:

Title: Runaway Jury (2003)
Written by: John Grisham (novel), Brian Koppelman (screenplay) & David Levien (screenplay) and Rick Cleveland (screenplay) and Matthew Chapman (screenplay)
Directed by: Gary Fleder
running time: 127 mins
rating: M

The Players: John Cusack, Bruce Davison, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Weisz, Bruce McGill, Geremy Piven, Jennifer Beals, Nora Dunn, Rusty Schwimmer, Ned Bellamy

Official website:
IMDb entry

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