THE JUDGE is interminably long, but I suppose that's what happens when a film has a multifaceted murder trial and an involved family drama filled with pathos; it can be a grind on the ol' stopwatch. Good thing Robert Downey Jr. is there as a hot-shot lawyer to ooze charm and charisma all over the procedural proceedings, while Robert Duvall, as his father and the titular judge, does his part to grump about a small Indiana courtroom, and Vera Farmiga is effervescent as Downey's high school flame. Good work, actors! Now, if you could talk to the director—like maybe we don't need to see all the specifics of the elderly judge's health decline, as he's tried for killing a criminal whose case he presided over in his past. Maybe not so much Downey in a stuffy courtroom trying to save his crotchety pop from prison; maybe more of Downey riding around on his bike wearing a skin-tight Metallica shirt. Give the people what they want.
So, should you go see this pretty rote legal/family drama/RDJ delight-fest flick? Meh, it's fine. You and your estranged mother/father/brother/sister might squeeze out a healthy reconciliation cry afterward, followed by a strange desire to move to a gosh-darn pretty Midwestern town.