Primal Fear

Primal Fear

Gregory Hoblit (1996)

18 Certificate


Our Score
Hotshot lawyer Richard Gere chases fame as much as justice in this enjoyably involving courtroom drama from director Gregory Hoblit, based on William Diehl's bestselling novel. But when Gere takes on the high-profile case of a bewildered altar boy (Edward Norton) accused of murdering an archbishop, his cut-and-dried life begins to unravel. Having squared up to a state prosecutor (Laura Linney) who just happens to be his ex-girlfriend, Gere begins to suspect that still waters run deep in his seemingly angelic client. The movie brims with humour and excitement, while the performances of Gere and, particularly, the quite electric - and Oscar-nominated - Norton crackle with energy.


A cynical lawyer plans to boost his public profile by defending an altar boy who stands accused of murdering an eminent Catholic bishop. The case seems open and shut, as the boy was found covered in blood fleeing the scene - but as the victim's dark secrets and the defendant's psychological disorders come to light, things prove far from simple. Courtroom thriller, with Richard Gere, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand and Laura Linney.

Cast & Crew

Martin Vail Richard Gere
Aaron Stampler Edward Norton
Dr Molly Arrington Frances McDormand
Janet Venable Laura Linney
DA John Shaughnessy John Mahoney
Judge Miriam Shoat Alfre Woodard
Assistant DA Bud Yancy Terry O'Quinn
Tommy Goodman Andre Braugher
Director Gregory Hoblit
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: U.I.P. (UK)Guidance: May be edited for language, violence, a sex scene and brief nudity.Available on: video and DVD