Paramount Pictures | Release Date: April 3, 1996
8.8
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 141 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
134
Mixed:
4
Negative:
3
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9
SpangleJul 27, 2013
The acting in this film is outstanding. Edward Norton was absolutely amazing and the twist really makes this better than your average courtroom drama. Really good film, kept me on the edge of my seat for sure.
5 of 5 users found this helpful50
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8
PushkarMay 16, 2011
A really good psychological thriller supported by some brilliant performances by the lead actors. Don't get carried away by 47% rating for critics will not appreciate a good movie even if it comes and bite their bum. Watch it to believe itA really good psychological thriller supported by some brilliant performances by the lead actors. Don't get carried away by 47% rating for critics will not appreciate a good movie even if it comes and bite their bum. Watch it to believe it and definitely don't miss the last scene. Expand
4 of 4 users found this helpful40
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8
NickHAug 27, 2005
A 47 percent? Bull. This movie deserves to have those numbers flipped. 74% or higher, come on! I really liked it. Ed Norton was great.
3 of 3 users found this helpful
8
RJGDec 7, 2006
Don't be mislead by the 47 number above. This is as good a psycological thrillers as they get. Norton's performance is resourceful, convincing, and powerful. The plot is better than most movies in the genre.
3 of 3 users found this helpful
8
Tss5078Feb 22, 2013
Based on a best selling novel by William Diehl, Primal Fear stars Richard Gere, as a high powered defense attorney, who decides to take on what appears to be an open and shut case, just so he can get his face on Television. The case isBased on a best selling novel by William Diehl, Primal Fear stars Richard Gere, as a high powered defense attorney, who decides to take on what appears to be an open and shut case, just so he can get his face on Television. The case is intriguing and did what seldom movies can do, surprise me. There is an ending to this film that will just completely blow you away. As for the rest of the film, it was extremely entertaining thanks to the outstanding cast, that features both Richard Gere and a very young, Edward Norton, in one of his first roles. At the time Norton was a no-name, while Gere was the big star. Who would have thought that eventually Norton would become the bigger name? Well, anyone who saw this film and the absolutely tremendous performance Norton gives. To be honest, most court room dramas don't surprise me. You can always tell if the suspect is guilty or innocent, and there is usually some kind of twist in the story. Primal Fear was not so cut and dry, I kept going back and fourth on the suspects guilt or innocence myself. That's because this is a powerful movie, with an unrivaled cast, written by a professional novelist, as opposed to some amateur screenwriter. Primal Fear is a perfect example of what it takes to create a great movie, and after you watch it, let me know if you can figure out where the title comes from. It took me a while to get it, but eventually I did. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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9
kykthebrykDec 19, 2012
Os actores falam por si, talvez o melhor papel jamais desempenhado por Edward Norton. O Thriller em si é genial, talvez um dos melhores, simples, agradável de ver, boa qualidade de fotografia, papeis bem desempenhados,Os actores falam por si, talvez o melhor papel jamais desempenhado por Edward Norton. O Thriller em si é genial, talvez um dos melhores, simples, agradável de ver, boa qualidade de fotografia, papeis bem desempenhados, personagens bem caracterizado que nos agarra á história até ao fim surpreendente que é a cereja no topo do bolo! Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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8
joyalJul 21, 2014
suspenseful and twisting ...! awesome superb performance by edward norton richard gere,excellent script and direction, mind blowing ending, one of the greatest TWIST ending Film of All Time.!
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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9
Compi24May 3, 2013
Chock-full of dazzling "holy sh*t" moments, "Primal Fear" not only delivers intrigue as a fascinating courtroom drama would, but it also shocks you the way a gripping thriller would.
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
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7
grandpajoe6191Sep 29, 2011
"Primal Fear" is just a average lawyer thriller. But, as Tom Cruise did in "Jerry Maguire", it's the superb acting by Edward Norton that changes the tables of the movie's tone.
3 of 6 users found this helpful33
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7
barnet42Oct 15, 2012
Was I alone on this? The whole point of this movie was supposed to be the shocking twist ending. But, I knew what was going to happen the entire time. No, I didn't have the ending spoiled. No, I didn't google it before watching. I knewWas I alone on this? The whole point of this movie was supposed to be the shocking twist ending. But, I knew what was going to happen the entire time. No, I didn't have the ending spoiled. No, I didn't google it before watching. I knew absolutely nothing about this movie what so ever. I watched it because it was suggested as good Edward Norton film. I had other people say they were so shocked and dismayed by the ending. How is this possible? It was so obvious. I knew he was faking it 5 minutes into the first scene. Was it this extremely obvious to everyone else? Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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7
GayatreeMay 24, 2013
To label this as yet another courtroom drama would be far too hasty. Primal Fear has layers which are not apparent if we just look at the surface story. Its success as a film is mostly carried by Edward Norton as the naive, utterly convincingTo label this as yet another courtroom drama would be far too hasty. Primal Fear has layers which are not apparent if we just look at the surface story. Its success as a film is mostly carried by Edward Norton as the naive, utterly convincing alter boy. We go with the story, on the same journey as Gere, against our better judgement; which, in the end throws up the question of what separates our belief in innocence from our susceptibility to be taken in by appearances. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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6
MovieGuysAug 17, 2014
I wish that the well-known twist in this movie had come with a little more power and wouldn't have been as predictable, but Primal Fear is engaging enough to work for a Saturday movie night. Gere and Norton give their characters a little moreI wish that the well-known twist in this movie had come with a little more power and wouldn't have been as predictable, but Primal Fear is engaging enough to work for a Saturday movie night. Gere and Norton give their characters a little more edge than what lesser actors would've done, and the story is only a few plot points short of plausible. Expand
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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7
DollCrushOct 29, 2013
Great performance from Edward Norton with a combination of innocence and sadist. Couldn't think anyone more suitable playing Aaron Stampler and could radiates the same energy as Edward did in "Primal Fear". Richard Gere was great too, onlyGreat performance from Edward Norton with a combination of innocence and sadist. Couldn't think anyone more suitable playing Aaron Stampler and could radiates the same energy as Edward did in "Primal Fear". Richard Gere was great too, only him are much less than I expected. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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3
BroyaxDec 8, 2017
L'intérêt de ce film procédurier à procédures réside dans son duo d'acteurs, l'un confirmé, l'autre très prometteur... ainsi Richard Gere très convaincant en ténor du Barreau prêt à défendre l'indéfendable (on en a aussi chez nous) qui donneL'intérêt de ce film procédurier à procédures réside dans son duo d'acteurs, l'un confirmé, l'autre très prometteur... ainsi Richard Gere très convaincant en ténor du Barreau prêt à défendre l'indéfendable (on en a aussi chez nous) qui donne la réplique à Edward Norton dans son rôle de psychodingo que le petit jeune maîtrise déjà parfaitement.

Le film vaut également le coup d'oeil pour son final d'une belle ironie, une sorte de cerise sur le gâteau inattendue... mais pour arriver jusque là, il faudra en passer par tous ces blablas d'avocaillons et de cour volubile qui durent une éternité : le rythme en pâtit énormément et le Jury s'est endormi depuis belle lurette.

La mise en scène très molle, typique d'un téléfilm à la petite semaine se révèle assommante et propice à un bon roupillon de l'audience bonne pomme que nous sommes, malgré les acteurs qui ne déméritent pas. Ah si on avait enlevé au moins une demi-heure à ces deux plombes, la physionomie du film en eut été radicalement changée. Peut-être.

Bref, objection Votre Honneur, le film est trop long et irrecevable en l'état... je demande un vote-sanction comme à Koh Lanta : Peur primale doit rentrer chez lui pour se reposer.
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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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8
SEROJOct 30, 2015
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. "I've never been afraid of wackos, I've always been afraid of somebody disguising themselves as a wacko." Serj Tankian. The ending was absolutely amazing! Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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9
FilmQueenNov 25, 2015
This film is great! Edward Norton is outstanding and the plot is also pretty good. Although the twist is a bit predictable, I still think it's very good.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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8
HerlyantiJan 6, 2016
This movie really reminded of The Fugitive, including the running time. Only 1 minute differs and never made me sleepy no matter how late I watched it. I really enjoyed the thrill. Love the music so much. No wonder, actually, cause it'sThis movie really reminded of The Fugitive, including the running time. Only 1 minute differs and never made me sleepy no matter how late I watched it. I really enjoyed the thrill. Love the music so much. No wonder, actually, cause it's scored by the same person so it sounds pretty similar. Hihi. Sorry, can't help.
I always fall in love with movie screening drama trial. And this movie gives me one, plus the psychological element. I like the plot twist, but surely I need more. I need to be shaken even more, to make the story more unpredictable. Btw, I couldn't quite follow what happened between Mr. Shaughnessy, Archbishop Rushman and Joey. Yeah, call me stupid
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0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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