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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Rainmaker (1997)

(aka: John Grisham's The Rainmaker)



Reviews and Comments

This sixth John Grisham adaptation, The Rainmaker, is more a legal drama than a thriller, and it's a good one. Matt Damon plays the Grisham protagonist this time -- the young, inexperienced lawyer in over his head. But there's a different tone to this film than in other Grisham adaptations. It takes a firm anti-lawyer stance and explores the kind of legal corruption that makes lawyer jokes such a universal pop culture phenomenon.

The villain in this film is a corrupt insurance agency. Damon sets about exposing it, but he's up against a pack of legal big shots headed by Jon Voight. For comic relief, there's Damon's partner, Danny DeVito, and if casting DeVito in a Grisham film sounds like a bad idea, reserve your judgment -- he's appropriately reserved in the role and manages to be funny without jarring the tone of the film. Characters we care about and fine performances by all make this movie a good one.