The Pelican Brief


Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Julia Roberts Photo
Julia Roberts as Darby Shaw
Denzel Washington Photo
Denzel Washington as Gray Grantham
John Lithgow Photo
John Lithgow as Smith Keen
Stanley Tucci Photo
Stanley Tucci as Khamel
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.17 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 21 min
P/S 1 / 12
2.26 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 21 min
P/S 2 / 16

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Doylenf7 / 10

Scary political thriller works due to good script, fine performances...

JULIA ROBERTS is a damsel in distress when she writes a brief, theorizing what and who was behind the murder of two Supreme Court justices. DENZEL WASHINGTON is the investigative reporter who sees some merit in her theory and reluctantly decides to offer his help in tracking down the bad guys.

It's based on a terrific John Grisham thriller and given a well crafted script, good performances and taut direction from Alan J. Pakula. I'm not a fan of either Roherts or Washington, so for me to praise this movie shows you how suspenseful and entertaining it is as a thriller.

The overrated Julia Roberts is a huge box-office star who never once appealed to me despite her enormous popularity and Denzel Washington is a competent actor who sometimes does extra fine work--but neither one would win a popularity poll with me.

So, with that personal bias showing, I still give THE PELICAN BRIEF a respectable rating because it does what it sets out to do--it keeps you hooked until the ending after a few unexpected plot twists totally in keeping with this kind of story where the heroine is in peril because she knows too much.

Well worth a view.

Reviewed by moonspinner557 / 10

Engrossing, exasperating, enjoyably silly...

John Grisham's bestseller becomes paranoia thriller directed capably by Alan J. Pakula. "Eager beaver" Louisiana law student Julia Roberts does some home research trying to connect the backgrounds of two Washington, D.C. Supreme Court Justices who were murdered; her theories regarding the two men--who wanted them dead and why--turns out to be scarily accurate. The brief manages to get into the hands of top Presidential aides, and soon a contract is put out on her life. Shady political business is mixed with detective yarn and a (semi) love story between Roberts and stalwart newspaper journalist Denzel Washington, who is excellent. Smoothly done commercial package, well-paced and entertaining, though exceptionally far-fetched (which parlays into the enjoyment factor). Roberts pouts too much, and her first meeting with Washington (talking in a weepy whisper) is awful, but there is chemistry between the two and they help gloss over the more nonsensical parts of the script (such as a chase through a parking garage--full of cars but no witnesses--and the ridiculous, fatuous way the writers explain Roberts' seemingly unending credit and cash flow--"I have the money my father left me"). The supporting cast is filled with recognizable character actors all playing two-faced sons-of-bitches, with the minor exception of John Lithgow doing a nicely benign turn as the editor at Washington's paper. *** from ****

Reviewed by bkoganbing8 / 10

A Scandal Bubbling Up Around Pelicans

The assassination of two Supreme Court Justices in a 24 hour period would certainly be a crisis of incredible proportions for the USA. But I wonder would the solution be even more cataclysmic for the national psyche, depending on what it was.

Food for thought should you decide to watch The Pelican Brief. Now how does the state bird of Louisiana fit into the homicides of two of the Brethren? That you have to see the film for.

Paranoia is the key word of The Pelican Brief. Julia Roberts is a law student who is sleeping with her professor, Sam Shepard, who once clerked for Justice Hume Cronyn and in fact will probably be his biographer. A little bit of research on Roberts's part into the cases involving these two who were generally on opposite sides on the court gives her what she feels could be the reason and link for the killings. And pelicans actually have something to do with it.

I've heard it said that if one could just keep a cool head in a crisis, you can get out of it. Roberts writes her theory up, shows it to Shepard who in turn shares it with a friend in the FBI. Next thing you know he's blown up by a car bomb and she's running for her life. What if they had just ignored her theory?

Julia's a pretty woman in real fright and her one source of support is Denzel Washington, an investigative reporter also looking into the assassinations. No romance here, but good chemistry between the leads.

At this point with films like The Firm, The Client, The Rainmaker, John Grisham's books have a pre-sold audience. But that also places a big responsibility on the players who have to live up to the Grisham characters that his readers have come to know. I can't see how he could complain about Julia, Denzel and the rest of the cast of The Pelican Brief.

I'd pay attention also to Tony Goldwyn who in the Nineties was making a nice name for himself in villain roles like in Ghost. Goldwyn plays a really creepy White House aide to President Robert Culp. The kind of man who would have found a home with Richard Nixon. Culp's pretty good to as a president like Nixon, who has a nice scandal bubbling up around him.

A film made from a John Grisham novel with a great cast of players. What's not to like?

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