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When a big firearms corporation is taken to court by the widow of a man killed in a shooting rampage the implications for the gun industry are enormous. It's important to win this trial in New Orleans and the burden falls on jury consultant Rankin Fitch, Gene Hackman, to set up a task force, backed up by the latest technology to pick a jury that will deliver the right verdict. Up against him is Wendall Rohr, Dustin Hoffman, a man of principle and idiosyncratic dress. The wildcards in the pack are Nick Easter, John Cusack, who is seemingly reluctantly selected for jury duty and his lover Marlee, Rachel Weisz, who offers to deliver the verdict Fitch wants for $10 million.It's virtually impossible to make a subtle film based on Grisham's work and certainly in terms of the social issues concerned Runaway Jury wears jackboots. Fitch is the ultimate bastard and Rohr rivals Mother Theresa for sainthood. However as a thriller it works. Director Gary Fleder, working with a very solid cast, manages to keep the tension up and the yarn ripping. While touching on potentially explosive issues it loses any possibility of social impact by its sheer implausibility. Comments by David StrattonA rather overblown John Grisham adaptation in which a distinguished cast strives to make some fairly unconvincing plot developments believable.??

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