Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38

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Critic Reviews

  1. The already heavy-footed clomp of Grisham's declamatory storytelling style has been given an extra-thick-soled, wing-tipped, liberal-leaning, reality-tampering kick thanks to a screenplay credited to four writers.
  2. Like a juicy steak served to a man suffering on a diet of micro-greens and tofu, Runaway Jury will be devoured by fans of movie melodramas.
  3. A taut, escapist legal thriller.
  4. This bracing courtroom thriller is the most entertaining and satisfying John Grisham adaptation I've seen.
  5. 80
    Efficient, precise, carefully calibrated and terrifically entertaining.
  6. Reviewed by: Anna Smith
    It's the familiarity of it all that makes this a movie for movie-lovers: those who like good old-fashioned popcorn entertainment that reminds them of their favourite films.
  7. 75
    It's suspenseful. Fleder and his able cast deliver a brisk, entertaining story that, despite straining credulity at times, earns a positive verdict -- no undue audience-rigging required.
  8. Brisk pacing and a remarkable cast achieve the sleight-of-hand effect of making you forgive some implausible twists and a sanitized ending.
  9. 75
    The movie hums along with a kind of sublime craftsmanship, fueled by the consistent performances of Hackman and Hoffman (in their first film together), the remarkable ease of John Cusack (the most relaxed and natural of actors since Robert Mitchum), and the juicy typecasting in the supporting roles.
  10. 75
    The picture captures a contemporary mood-blend of cynicism, anger and woefully disappointed idealism. Runaway Jury may be just a classy potboiler, but Fleder spices up the stock and keeps it at full boil.
  11. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    The closest cinematic approximation to a beach novel that money and skill can buy.
  12. A courtroom drama with a compelling story and something peculiar about it, too: For most of its running time, there doesn't seem to be much in the way of a rooting interest. The audience isn't quite sure who it's for or against.
  13. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    With the standard Grisham formula having grown stale after so many books and film versions, Jury introduces ingredients that add zest to the old recipe and, in cinematic terms, open up increased possibilities for intrigue and narrative layering.
  14. 70
    John Cusack gives one of his wiliest performances in some time, and one of his most mature, as Nick Easter, an aging slacker drafted into jury duty. He subverts his protracted-adolescent cheekiness and pours the melted charm into something far bleaker.
  15. The spirit of the law will be upheld (this being Hollywood), but only after everyone has had plenty of nasty fun (this being Hollywood).
  16. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    This story of 12 manipulable -- or manipulative -- men and women rarely fails to hold your interest, even though much of it doesn't hold water.
  17. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Adds up to a nice little gotcha! courtroom melodrama.
  18. The irony is that when the movie plays it safe, it succeeds admirably; when it attempts to be about something, it rings false.
  19. 67
    There's little that will surprise anyone who's seen or read Grisham's work before, but it plays with slick competence, and there's that killer-diller showdown in the middle as a payoff.
  20. 67
    A notch above the mediocre movies that are usually made from mediocre John Grisham bestsellers. That may sound like faint praise, but it’s an endorsement for this surprisingly entertaining film.
  21. 63
    The film has its share of high points, but the flaws are frustratingly obvious and impossible to overlook.
  22. 63
    Grisham is an expert at hooking the audience, and he fills the edges with legal details that, realistic or not, are always fascinating. Runaway Jury is an adequate, unremarkable piece of work, but as they say in the book world, you won't be able to put it down.
  23. Its themes and performances didn't stay with me, as did those in "Out of Time." I think this is because, with the exception of Hackman, the actors' performances illuminate strategy rather than character.
  24. 63
    Delivers one of those classic movie moments in which two screen legends go toe to toe, both barrels metaphorically blazing.
  25. Entertaining and preposterous in nearly equal amounts.
  26. Does not disappoint expectations: This is not a case of dumbing down literature; it's mediocrity aimed for and successfully achieved.
  27. 60
    It's a clever legal thriller, one that thankfully doesn't twist itself into a knots trying to keep audiences off guard.
  28. 60
    It’s a crisp piece of entertainment that was worth waiting for, considering that I’ve been waiting quite a long time to see this ever since reading the book.
  29. 50
    Though star-packed to the point of absurdity--juror Luis Guzmán has little to do but nod his head every once in a while--The Runaway Jury doesn't know what to do with its players.
  30. Not nearly enough time is spent in court--that is, on the movie's ostensible subject. (Besides, the down-to-the-wire deliberation scene is risibly unconvincing and abbreviated.)
  31. Reviewed by: Sara Brady
    Irritatingly, Fleder's flair for broadcasting plot twists treats the audience with the same patronizing indulgence as Hackman does his potential jurors.
  32. After arousing high expectations, Runaway Jury turns out to be a trial to sit through.
  33. 50
    Here's a real mystery: How can John Cusack, Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman, acting in a John Grisham thriller, be so dull?
  34. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Only slightly more slick and slightly less edgy than past John Grisham adaptations.
  35. 50
    Hackman and Hoffman, old pals in their first film together, make a lively business of their one scene together -– in a toilet, no less. The rest you can flush.
  36. The inevitable showdown between these two paragons is something of a fizzle; there's too much over/under-acting going on.
  37. 50
    As in all his films, there's a sense that honest human emotion bores Fleder, but he gets points for packing the trial with fine character actors.
  38. Hackman, playing it gleefully amoral, walks away with the film, for what that's worth...which is a video rental for fans of the actors involved. Yes, that's video, not DVD -- four bucks at Blockbuster is more than you ought to be paying.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 187 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 52
  2. Negative: 25 out of 52
  1. Aug 16, 2015
    It'll keep you leaned forward in your chair with interest as it simultaneously shovels a unequivocally partisan message down your throat -It'll keep you leaned forward in your chair with interest as it simultaneously shovels a unequivocally partisan message down your throat - "Runaway Jury" is a ceaselessly entertaining movie with a very sharp point to make. Full Review »
  2. May 26, 2014
    Runaway Jury is an ok movie. For about 3/4 of it, it is entirely lackluster and making you wonder if it will improve at all. Luckily, it does,Runaway Jury is an ok movie. For about 3/4 of it, it is entirely lackluster and making you wonder if it will improve at all. Luckily, it does, as the twist at the end of the film saves this one from being one that you could miss and turns it into one that is certainly worth a look. From the point of the twist being introduced, the film is incredibly engrossing and suspensful. Prior, it is implausible (after the twist is still implausible as well) and, honestly, rather silly. On top of this, I am not a huge fan of John Cusack in general and this one is no exception as his performance is sub-par, however, he is not the one to turn in the worst performance, rather that title goes to Dustin Hoffman. For Hoffman, this one feels entirely mailed in and his Louisiana accent is poor at best and feels very unnatural. Or, at least, I think he was trying for an accent. The only performance worth mentioning in terms of being good is Rachel Weisz' turn. She was really good in this and really was head and shoulders better than everyone else. Overall, this one is nothing more than ok. I guess I am just not a huge fan of Grisham. Full Review »
  3. Mar 20, 2014
    Runaway Jury isn't original; it apes "12 Angry Men" in every possible way. The movie isn't particularly well acted either. In addition, it canRunaway Jury isn't original; it apes "12 Angry Men" in every possible way. The movie isn't particularly well acted either. In addition, it can be tedious ta times. What does the movie have going for it? A great script and witty dialogue that save the movie from being a complete and utter disaster of a film. Full Review »