Time Out saysTypically filled with both awe and deep suspicion at the magnificently murky mysteries of the US judicial system, this John Grisham adaptation is notable not only for its regular-as-clockwork narrative twists, but for the many ethical contortions it performs in order to have its cake and eat it several times over. A New Orleans woman files suit against the firearms conglomerates she holds partly responsible for her husband's death in a loony's shooting spree. Prosecuting: Wendall Rohr (Hoffman), old-fashioned Southern idealist and believer in her cause. Opposing: not just a wily defence attorney (Davison), but expert jury consultant Rankin Fitch (Hackman), hired by the gunmakers to ensure the 12 good folk and true are well disposed to their argument. But can they sway, say, Nick Easter (Cusack)? Wanting out of the trial, he too has some tricks up his sleeve, smart Marlee (Weisz) included. Low on plausibility, long on paranoia, dripping in double bluff, deadly menace and deductive expertise suggestive of Sherlock at his most divinely omniscient, this slick suspenser is certainly hokum, but it passes the time enjoyably enough.
Cast and crew
Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Weisz, Bruce Davison, Bruce McGill, Jeremy Piven, Nick Searcy, Stanley Anderson, Cliff Curtis, Nestor Serrano, Leland Orser, Jennifer Beals, Gene Hackman, John Cusack, Gerry Bamman