The Judge

Director: David Dobkin
Year Released: 2014
Rating: 2.0

A successful Chicago-based lawyer (Robert Downey Jr.) - who is recently separated from his cheating wife (and fighting over custody rights for their daughter) - returns to his tiny hometown in Indiana for his mother's funeral ... which leads to a confrontation with assorted old demons, particularly his combative relationship with his father (Robert Duvall), a prominent judge who gets into his own legal trouble when his vehicle allegedly strikes and kills a man he previously put in jail. The bloated and clich├ęd narrative is loaded with side stories and histrionics - think of it as an even more serious This Is Where I Leave You - that all somehow get worked out by the conclusion and the Prodigal Son takes over Old Pop's Chair. Downey's smarminess gets a little worn out - he's always ready with a quip, even though that seems better suited to Tony Stark - but he's aided by a strong supporting cast (particularly the ever-solid Vera Farmiga and Billy Bob Thornton) to make the script's over-calculated components easier to tolerate.