Box art for The Verdict

The Verdict

drama


An alcoholic Boston lawyer takes on a hopeless medical malpractice case in a desperate attempt to pursue justice and redeem his honor.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    96%
  • Audience Score
    88%

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    96%
    reviews counted: 9
    see all The Verdict reviews
  • Audience

    88%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh:

- A.O. Scott, New York Times, Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fresh: Newman gives a brilliant performance in this powerful David and Goliath tale of a sad man's quest for redemption in the face of despair. Newman, director Lumet and the film itself all should have won an Academy Award, but sadly didn't.

- Chuck O'Leary, FulvueDrive-in.com, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh:

- Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

The Verdict is one of the finest courtroom dramas ever filmed, the only reason I've given it less than the full stars is that the plot has some convenient points in its last act to provide a studio imposed 'happy ending' that border on cheap. The excellence is wall to wall, starting with a terse, brilliant script by David Mamet, a performance of passion and prefection from that great soul, star Paul Newman in autumnal late middle age, and superbly deft direction from one of the finest American directors who ever lived, Sidney Lumet. It benefits from note perfect supporting perfomances from film icon James Mason, the teddy bear like, truthful presence of the great Jack Warden, sleazy Irish Judge Milo O'Shea, and the mysterious love interest Charlotte Rampling. The story is Newman, by fluke, getting a medical malpractice suit against a powerful law firm acting for the Catholic diocese who run the hospital where a healthy young woman is turned into a vegetable by negligent high profile doctors. James Mason exudes power and smugness as the senior partner with his usual subtlety. Newman is given the case by his colleage Jack Warden who has had enough of his friend's alcoholic negligence and wants to be done with him. Charlotte Rampling is a stunning, almost ghost like presence who offer's Frank one last chance at love in his late years. The dreary color palette and gothic (Boston and New York pretending to be Boston) locations add to the melacholic atmosphere of broken down, end of his rope ambulance chasing lawyer Frank Galvin (Newman). Music is minimal and close ups are used very sparingly. Galvin's need for redemption is so palpable that any human heart watching this gut wrenching performance is made to care deeply that he succeeds. Somehow, this 'need for redemption' trope, normally a hackneyed cliche, which fails in so many similar movies of the recent era is as perfectly executed here, due to Mamet's economical, unsentimental use of words (look for Galvin's haunting jury summation) and Newman's self-effacing, brave emotional nakedness. This film grips for all of its two plus hours, and though it may look a little old fashioned to modern eyes, it is very rewarding viewing. An almost pefect film.

- fb1038944442, Sunday, April 15, 2012

4 stars

The Verdict is one of the finest courtroom dramas ever filmed, the only reason I've given it less than the full stars is that the plot has some convenient points in its last act to provide a studio imposed 'happy ending' that border on cheap. The excellence is wall to wall, starting with a terse, brilliant script by David Mamet, a performance of passion and prefection from that great soul, star Paul Newman in autumnal late middle age, and superbly deft direction from one of the finest American directors who ever lived, Sidney Lumet. It benefits from note perfect supporting perfomances from film icon James Mason, the teddy bear like, truthful presence of the great Jack Warden, sleazy Irish Judge Milo O'Shea, and the mysterious love interest Charlotte Rampling. The story is Newman, by fluke, getting a medical malpractice suit against a powerful law firm acting for the Catholic diocese who run the hospital where a healthy young woman is turned into a vegetable by negligent high profile doctors. James Mason exudes power and smugness as the senior partner with his usual subtlety. Newman is given the case by his colleage Jack Warden who has had enough of his friend's alcoholic negligence and wants to be done with him. Charlotte Rampling is a stunning, almost ghost like presence who offer's Frank one last chance at love in his late years. The dreary color palette and gothic (Boston and New York pretending to be Boston) locations add to the melacholic atmosphere of broken down, end of his rope ambulance chasing lawyer Frank Galvin (Newman). Music is minimal and close ups are used very sparingly. Galvin's need for redemption is so palpable that any human heart watching this gut wrenching performance is made to care deeply that he succeeds. Somehow, this 'need for redemption' trope, normally a hackneyed cliche, which fails in so many similar movies of the recent era is as perfectly executed here, due to Mamet's economical, unsentimental use of words (look for Galvin's haunting jury summation) and Newman's self-effacing, brave emotional nakedness. This film grips for all of its two plus hours, and though it may look a little old fashioned to modern eyes, it is very rewarding viewing. An almost pefect film.

- fb1038944442, Sunday, April 15, 2012

4 stars

Judge Hoyle: It seems to me, a fellow's trying to come back, he'd take the settlement, get a record for himself. I, myself. would take it and run like a thief. Frank Galvin: I'm sure you would. The Verdict is one of the best courtroom dramas you'll ever see. It's success is not on one level, but on many. Sidney Lumet was always a great director primarily because his movies never strayed from the path of the lead character. He has extreme focus on Frank Galvin in this film. Frank is an alcoholic lawyer who has only one client. She happens to be a total vegetable. Frank takes the doctors to trial even though he could have received $200,000 plus, not to. Paul Newman is as extraordinary as ever in this role. He gives a powerful and emotional performance and elevates a good movie to greatness. The movie is all about the conflicts Frank is facing. He has a case that is going to be tough to win. On top of that, the judge is against him and his star witness is gone. Then there's another conflict that I didn't see coming and I don't feel one should know before watching the film. It seems throughout the whole movie that whenever Frank starts to make some headway something happens that pushes him back. It's his job to pull through and win this case. Not only for himself, but for the family of his client. Unlike many courtroom films, this always was understandable and more than that, it was always engrossing. Lumet never gets too wrapped up in the ins and outs of the trial process. He always sticks to the conflicts that plague Frank. The movie has tense scenes and but also many somber scenes that succeed because of just how good Newman is. This really is a must watch.

- blkbomb, Monday, October 3, 2011