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Runaway Jury

  • Thriller
  • Drama
  • 2003
  • Gary Fleder
  • 122 mins
  • 12A


Courtroom thriller based on the novel by John Grisham, starring John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman and Rachel Weisz. When the widow of an attorney killed in a gun massacre sues the manufacturer of the weapon used in the crime, she hires respected lawyer Wendall Rohr to represent her. With millions of dollars at stake, the firearms lobby engages jury-selection expert Rankin Fitch to load the odds in its favour, but even he has no control over a mysterious juror who seems to have an agenda of his own.

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A star rating of 3 out of 5.

Like many of its predecessors, this John Grisham adaptation is blessed with a cast of the great (Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman) and the good (John Cusack, Rachel Weisz). A New Orleans woman files a suit against the gun industry (interestingly, it was the tobacco conglomerates in Grisham's original novel) after her husband is murdered during a madman's shooting spree. Unfortunately for the widow and her idealistic lawyer Wendall Rohr (Hoffman), the firearms lobby has hired ruthless "jury consultant" Rankin Fitch (Hackman) and his crack surveillance team to ensure the people chosen are predisposed to the "right" verdict. But, before you can say 12 Angry Men, into the mix comes John Cusack as a juror who is not at all what he seems. Cue machinations, manipulations, twists and counter-twists that are guaranteed to keep the audience off balance. Director Gary Fleder - who made a name for himself with Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead - has produced a well-crafted and efficient Hollywood entertainment here, despite the odd implausible plot point and simplistic central message (guns are bad, principles are good). The big disappointment has to be the lacklustre head-to-head between Hollywood giants Hoffman and Hackman that promised much but fell far short of the must-see Pacino/De Niro eyeballer in Michael Mann's Heat.



Nick EasterJohn Cusack
Rankin FitchGene Hackman
Wendall RohrDustin Hoffman
MarleeRachel Weisz
Durwood CableBruce Davison
Judge HarkinBruce McGill
Lawrence GreenJeremy Piven
DoyleNick Searcy
Frank HerreraCliff Curtis
JanovichNestor Serrano
LambLeland Orser
Vanessa LembeckJennifer Beals
Lonnie ShaverBill Nunn
SebaldHenry Darrow
Jerry HernandezLuis Guzman
Jacob WoodsDylan McDermott


DirectorGary Fleder


Theatrical distributor
20th Century Fox
Released on
English | Italian | French
Some violence and swearing.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray

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