The Judge, a drama headlined by Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall, hits Blu-ray and DVD on January 27 via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
The story centers on Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.), a highly successful defense attorney who returns to his hometown for his mother’s funeral. Hank’s reunion with his family is bittersweet due to his estranged relationship with his father (Duvall), who serves as the town’s judge. When his father’s accused of murder, Hank takes on the most important case of his life. Jeremy Strong and Vincent D’Onofrio play Hank’s brothers with Vera Farmiga starring as the lawyer’s former flame.
The Judge Blu-ray Combo Pack Special Features Include:
- Commentary from director David Dobkin
- The featurettes “Inside the Judge” and “Getting Deep with Dax Shepard” (he plays a well intentioned but inexperienced lawyer).
- Deleted Scenes with optional commentary from David Dobkin
***The Standard DVD edition release has the “Getting Deep with Dax Shepard” featurette.
One of The Judge’s strengths lies in Downey Jr.’s innate chemistry with the ensemble cast. Hank Palmer is a lawyer who’s still living with a chip on his shoulder, only to have those edges slowly worn off by letting go of his past.
Since it clocks in at 141 minutes, The Judge thankfully doesn’t skimp on character development, and one wonders what David Dobkin left out of his final cut. Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl, Country Strong) is wonderful as a young girl who flirts with Hank at a local bar, but her character is understandably under developed (there’s a ton of story to tell in The Judge). Maybe Meester, as well as Samantha Powell’s (Vera Farmiga) relationship with Hank, will be given a bit more “screen time” with deleted scenes.
As it stands, The Judge is one of this year’s most underrated films, and it’s great to see Robert Downey Jr. in a dramatic role that has nothing to do with the Marvel Universe.
During The Judge press conference, Robert Downey Jr. talked about the universality of the film and the joys of working with Robert Duvall.