I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and am at a total loss as to why it scored such a low vote. I guess these days a movie just can't be a big hit unless it has lots of fancy special effects and sex scenes. 'The Juror' has a strong, easy to follow plot and some really great acting; Alec Baldwin's role was terrifyingly real! I'm no fan of Demi Moore, but she played her part very well. And the kid that played her son was equally great -- I remember him from the TV series 'Third Rock from the Sun' and always liked him. To anyone thinking of renting this flick, I say pay no attention to the naysayers and go for it!
Alec Baldwin comes on quoting from the Tao Te Ching, making me think he's my kind of anti hero. He's urban, sophisticated and seemingly very safe since he's an art curator, or seems to be. Demi Moore as Annie Laird, a gifted and original sculptor (she sculpts works of art that you feel with your hands by reaching up into them: it's all tactile), is thrilled when he offers to buy her work and sell it to the Japanese. Wow. She has arrived as an artist.Thus we have an intriguing and original premise for a thriller. One almost wishes that there weren't this little matter of her agreeing to serve on the jury in the case of a Mafia boss on trial for murder..I will gloss over the excellent, if unlikely, plot since it would be preemptive to reveal any of it, and concentrate on Demi Moore who is gorgeous, strange and riveting.It might seem impossible to give an 'heroic' performance in a thriller, since the point of a thriller is pure entertainment, but this movie manages to look into the nature of good and evil a bit more than most, and Moore plays her part like our dream of a true heroine. Her character has strength and cunning; she's sharp without pretension. I always thought Moore was better than her reputation, but somehow she always seemed a little on the not entirely bright side, the kind of actress who would never presume to play Shakespeare. But now I think she's a 'natural,' like a gifted athlete-I'd almost say an 'animal'-as an actress, which is probably why some people don't like her. She can project the beautiful woman, an ordinary woman, or herself as a matronly woman with just a turn of her head. She can display a wide range of emotions and be, by turns, both a masculine and a feminine entity; but she is not androgynous. The role she plays here is, in a sense, the feminine counterpart of many Harrison Ford roles, the ordinary person elevated to heroic action by compelling circumstances. I would not say that Demi Moore is a great actress, but she is close, and I could be wrong.Alec Baldwin combines megalomania with a seductive cynicism. He fills the screen with his presence like something you can't get rid of. He is so compelling you want to push him away or just give up. And he is charming-evil, but charming.Brian Gibson's direction is unobtrusive and clever, and he pays attention to detail. The script is relatively free of the implausibilities that usually mar the genre, and the editing is crisp without jarring. The story practically transcends the genre by making us feel the evil of violent crime and how it perverts society, the sort of revelation not usually attempted in a thriller. I was especially delighted to see the Mafia demeaned and defeated, even if it's only by a new breed of international criminal. This is a superior thriller.(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)
This movie is enough to recommend on the strength of the acting from Moore, Gandolfini, and especially Alec Baldwin but it is a shame that some of the excesses and superfluousness (especially the unsatisfying escapade in Guatemala) could not have been cut out. Instead of more action it would have been interesting if the ethical aspect of a compromised juror (albeit unwillingly) could have been explored in the spirit of 12 Angry Men. Anyway, this movie still rates a 7/10 on the strength of some undeniable suspense and very strong acting especially from Baldwin.
I am not a big Demi Moore fan and seeing this movie wasn't top priority but afterwards I was very pleased with the outcome. This is, by far, Demi Moore's best film to date as she shows so much emotion as a single mother stuck in a difficult position between working for the mafia in order to save her family and herself. Moore truly deserved an Academy Award nomination if not a win, and the Razzies were very out of line by giving her Worst Actress for this (it was moreso for "Striptease" and that also wasn't that bad...a thing about the Razzies, they don't know what the hell they're talking about half the time). Alec Baldwin is pretty good as the villain and Anne Heche gives all she has as the token best friend. Ted Tally's ("Silence of the Lambs") script is riveting and keeps you on the edge of your seat. A great suspense film with a great performance by Demi Moore...see it and believe it. 8/10
This film had a great cast and a tried and tested format of a juror forced to get a mafioso acquitted so nothing will happen to her son. Right from the getgo though, I could tell this was poorly done. There were so many plot holes and inconsistencies that ruined any semblance the movie had of being a thriller. I thought the movie was going to be a courtroom drama but the movie continued long after the acquittal (which again was done so unconvincingly). The movie then began to meander with all these small sub-plots between Baldwin, Moore, the mafia guy, Anne Heche etc. Fifteen minutes before the movie ended I gave up, nothing was making any sense and this was so disjointed and unbelievable that I had no interest to find out what happened. Maybe, this needs a second viewing, but I doubt it as its hardly high brow stuff. In any case, this isn't a courtroom drama and its far too lightweight to be a mafia movie. Its an unsuspenseful, poorly written film that I wasted an hour and three quarters on.
Yeah, I know it's popular to diss movies like this and even more popular to diss Demi Moore. I'm gonna have to report, though, that Demi Moore IS the best thing about this movie and, as I have discovered, she CAN act. It's been a long time since I saw this film but I can still remember her wonderfully fierce, beautiful performance that rises above the pouty, mediocre script. I was also struck by her performance in "The Seventh Sign" (which was better written than "The Juror"). So, I guess what I'm trying to say here is, C'mon give her a chance, watch some of her films and decide for yourself. This may not be her best film, but it is one of her best performances. Oh yeah, other reasons to watch this film are nice supporting performances from Alec Baldwin and Anne Heche. Oh yeah, and if after watching this you don't believe that Ms. Moore can act, check out "Ghost" or "GI Jane" and then tell me that those are two of the gutsiest performances of the decade. So, take it or leave it...I guess it sounds like I'm a big fan of hers, which I'm really not, just sick of all of the trash talk that she can't act.
A thoroughly enjoyable film with the sexy and talented Alec Baldwin playing a sadistic dark character role as a hitman for the Bofanno family. They hire him to take care of their dirty deeds and give him a code name as the teacher. The film's opening is both entertaining and unpredictable as Demi Moore's character, Annie Laird is called up for jury service and is subsequently taken on as a juror for the Bofanno case " the big spaghettio" , a nick name for Louis Bofanno's character. The film develops into a struggle for survival as deceit and treachery is the name of the game. The teacher makes contact with Annie as he politely calls her. His objective is to threaten Annie,her son played by an angelic Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and friends and family, to get to her and force her to get a not guilty verdict for Bofanno's pending trial. He deceptively makes first contact by posing as an art dealer and as Annie is an up and coming artist he buys some of her contemporary boxes and later waits for her outside the art gallery and takes her to lunch. He then tries to win her confidence by inviting her on a date ,but when they get back to Annie's place he shows his true colours by threatening her with the fact that he will kill her son if she does not co-operate with his wishes to render a not guilty vote. The film then takes an interesting roller coaster ride of death and betrayal as Annie and the teacher are locked in a spiral of survival with Annie out doing him. The moral of the story I believe is that if a woman is pushed to the ultimate limits she will fight to the death for the protection of her family. As the old saying goes, "Hell have no fury than a woman scorned."