[rating=3]Starring: John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Weisz, Jeremy Piven
Director(s): Gary Fleder
Writer(s): Brian Koppelman, David Levien, Rick Cleveland, Matthew Chapman
I’m always slightly alarmed when I see a new film and find that John Cusack is no longer the gawky, awkward teen I remember in Say Anything. In Runaway Jury, Cusack is anything but gawky in a fast-paced thriller about jury tampering. In fact, Cusack, the proverbial nice guy,” is Nicholas Easter, a mysterious class clown that’s also one of Runaway Jury’s stealthiest manipulators.
Runaway Jury is a courtroom drama full of the kind of suspense, sudden plot twists and turns that make for a fun ride. Gun companies are on trial after a scary shooting kills a loving father (Dylan McDermott) in the workplace. As the trial proceeds, an all-star group of very diverse jurors — look for appearances by Jennifer Beals and Luis Guzman — is chosen. That’s when the real intrigue begins.