True Believer

  • Film
  • Thrillers
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A riveting legal drama which casts James Woods as a jaded, ex-radical lawyer, once dubbed 'The bastard son of Mother Teresa' but now reduced to defending scumbag drug dealers. His '60s idealism rekindled by a new, wide-eyed assistant (Downey), he takes on the case of a young Korean serving '25 to life' for murdering a Chinatown gang leader. Things get nasty when the DA starts pressuring Woods to drop the case; but convinced of his client's innocence and determined to salvage his self-respect, he presses on with a desperate, almost evangelical zeal. Ruben's smart direction keeps one guessing throughout, with an investigation that takes in a paranoid Vietnam veteran, white racist vigilantes, a retired detective with a guilty secret, and plumbing supplies. A taut, intelligent and engrossing thriller, featuring yet another manic performance by Woods, the undisputed King of Misdirected Energy.

Release details

Duration: 103 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Joseph Ruben
Screenwriter: Wesley Strick
Cast: James Woods
Robert Downey Jr
Yuji Okumoto
Margaret Colin
Kurtwood Smith
Tom Bower
Charles Hallahan
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