Freeview film of the day: John Grisham’s The Rainmaker

Before he was Bourne, Matt Damon plays a hotshot lawyer in this John Grisham adaptation

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John Grisham’s The Rainmaker ★★★★ 
9.00-11.45pm Sony Movie Channel

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The Rainmaker is another of those ubiquitous 1990s John Grisham adaptations from top-flight “name” directors. To add to a list that also boasts Sydney Pollack’s The Firm and Robert Altman’s The Gingerbread Man, this one has none other than Francis Ford Coppola having a bash. It would be snobbish to hold it against him – Grisham writes big legal potboilers that millions read, and why shouldn’t high-quality film-makers have a crack at them? Matt Damon, pre-Jason Bourne, plays the obligatory, ethical hotshot southern lawyer – aided by partner Danny DeVito – who re-opens a medical insurance case that goes much deeper than expected. Jon Voight represents the statutory big bad law firm and unscrupulous insurance company they’re up against, while Claire Danes is the client with whom Damon crosses a certain line and a pre-Wrestler Mickey Rourke is boldly cast as Damon’s charismatic boss. It’s briskly handled and will keep you hooked. And Coppola wrote the majority of the screenplay, too.

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