Runaway Jury (2003) Review

A trial about to begin which is against a major gun manufacturer after an innocent man was shot and killed at work. This leads to Nicholas Easter getting on the jury along with Marlee on the outside as they try and manipulate the trial.


Wendell Rohr is the lawyer working to try and win this trial and start something that should see a change in how guns are sold. Rankin Fitch is the jury consultant for the defendants and the battle will continue on, a lot more goes on behind the scenes than what is seen in the courtroom. Nicholas and Marlee have a past and the reasons behind them attempting to swing the jury in which ever way will pay the most money is probably not what it first seems. Was it really all about just making as much money as possible?

Runaway Jury is paced in a very good way, a rater slow build up to the actual start of the trial which was essential to show how a jury is chosen. But then also what a defence will want to do to ensure that particular person is not already against them. Fitch had a lot of information set up already on the potential jurors, so the lawyer within the courtroom can reject a certain amount of them.

As the court case begins the things happening outside of that are what could make or break the trial. With Marlee getting into Fitch and even Rohr saying she can get the swing to favour either of them, guaranteed. This certainly makes it interesting in checking the morals of the men, although it is obvious right away that Fitch doesn’t have any and would do anything to win. Although with Rohr it certainly makes him think and assess everything about himself. I found the decision he made to be fantastic and quite frankly reassuring.

Nicholas is targeted and that happens to many of the other jurors from Fitch’s men and finding out different things about each of them, very personal and being able to use this information as a threat and quite frankly influence the way they vote. It makes you really wonder as a viewer if this type of thing happens very often or not? It also makes you truly terrified of being on a jury!

John Grisham novels seem to transfer so well to the screen and also manage to contain a very good balance of different themes. The tension built is something that is very impressive and makes the film work so well. Then obviously to achieve this you need some good performance and everyone turns up! John Cusack is engaging and we cannot help but want to him to succeed, even before we knew the full story. Rachel Weisz holds her own and the scene with Gene Hackman was a particular highlight. I absolutely love Gene Hackman each and every film I watch him in, this was no different even though he was a truly horrible man. He still manages to have so much charm and charisma that you even doubt not liking him. Then we have Dustin Hoffman who was so well suited for the likeable lawyer role.

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