Robert Downey Jr steps away from his multiple franchises (Avengers, Iron Man, Sherlock) for long enough to remind everyone that he has a talent for serious roles, as well as for superheroes. Flexing his chops in this outstanding drama with Robert Duvall is something to behold, the frustration and tension constantly bubbling beneath the surface is electric between them. From the trademark cheeky bravado that Downey Jr does so well onscreen to the painful vulnerability of an estranged son seeking his father’s forgiveness and approval, he has the audience hooked.
The Judge is a moving drama guaranteed to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. Through each twist and revelation, the ground under each character is constantly shifting until the viewer doesn’t know whether they love or loathe him. Every role is expertly cast and it should go without saying that Duvall is sublime as the stubborn, righteous, crank at the centre of the film.
To find fault with such a gripping narrative is tough but for the sake of balance, a weak subplot or two could have been omitted and it wouldn’t have affected the flow of the film at all.
(Review first published in City Hub, City News, Inner West Independent and Bondi View for Alternative Media Group)