In this slow, talky adaptation of John Grisham's best-seller, Alan Pakula--director of subtle and suspenseful thrillers like KLUTE and ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN--is undone by the stubborn shortcomings of his source material. Grisham's ramshackle plot has no suspense, yields no surprises, and
demands almost constant explanations to get to its ending.
The plot is set in motion by the baffling murders of two Supreme Court justices, a curmudgeonly liberal (Hume Cronyn) and a closeted Republican homosexual (Ralph Cosham); all they have in common is a pro-environment inclination. Spirited and beautiful law student Darby Shaw (Julia Roberts) puts
together a brief theor...