Director: Norman Jewison
Year Released: 1979
Al Pacino is the only levelheaded lawyer in this Stanley Krameresque film about the flaws in the judicial system (like Kramer, Jewison's trying to take down such a complicated subject with just a single swipe; David versus Goliath was only a fable, Norm). It's a flamboyant, rambling movie, which has everything from a judge who is suicidal (Jack Warden), a transvestite African-American, and a psychotic lawyer who loses his mind and throws dinner plates down the hall - yet none of this is even remotely amusing, and the picture's mood is never made absolutely clear (is it surreal? real? satirical?). Pacino is given his obligatory chance to scream and yell in the final courtroom showdown, raising liberal hell. The script's empty-headedness is evident in a scene where Warden tells of a skydiving accident and his stumbling onto the 'meaning of life:' "It sucks." Those are some strong words of wisdom for us all.