Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
  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. Reviewed by: Anna Smith
    80
    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.
  4. A taut, escapist legal thriller.
  5. 80
    Efficient, precise, carefully calibrated and terrifically entertaining.
  6. This bracing courtroom thriller is the most entertaining and satisfying John Grisham adaptation I've seen.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Brisk pacing and a remarkable cast achieve the sleight-of-hand effect of making you forgive some implausible twists and a sanitized ending.
  10. 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.
  11. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    The closest cinematic approximation to a beach novel that money and skill can buy.
  12. 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.
  13. The spirit of the law will be upheld (this being Hollywood), but only after everyone has had plenty of nasty fun (this being Hollywood).
  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. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    70
    Adds up to a nice little gotcha! courtroom melodrama.
  16. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  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. Reviewed by: Paul West
    67
    The irony is that when the movie plays it safe, it succeeds admirably; when it attempts to be about something, it rings false.
  21. 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.
  22. 63
    Delivers one of those classic movie moments in which two screen legends go toe to toe, both barrels metaphorically blazing.
  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
    The film has its share of high points, but the flaws are frustratingly obvious and impossible to overlook.
  25. Does not disappoint expectations: This is not a case of dumbing down literature; it's mediocrity aimed for and successfully achieved.
  26. Entertaining and preposterous in nearly equal amounts.
  27. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    60
    It's a clever legal thriller, one that thankfully doesn't twist itself into a knots trying to keep audiences off guard.
  28. Reviewed by: Rory L. Aronsky
    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
    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.
  30. After arousing high expectations, Runaway Jury turns out to be a trial to sit through.
  31. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    50
    Only slightly more slick and slightly less edgy than past John Grisham adaptations.
  32. Reviewed by: Sara Brady
    50
    Irritatingly, Fleder's flair for broadcasting plot twists treats the audience with the same patronizing indulgence as Hackman does his potential jurors.
  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. The inevitable showdown between these two paragons is something of a fizzle; there's too much over/under-acting going on.
  35. 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.
  36. 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.
  37. 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.)
  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
5.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 80 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 51
  2. Negative: 25 out of 51
  1. May 26, 2014
    6
    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 »
  2. Mar 20, 2014
    7
    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 »
  3. Nov 12, 2013
    4
    I wanted to Runaway from this jury.
    A very dry lackluster script that had unlimited potential for excitement. Really every character is
    I wanted to Runaway from this jury.
    A very dry lackluster script that had unlimited potential for excitement. Really every character is unassuming and unlikeable and the actors seem to become lost within their stick like roles as random lines are tossed at them.
    Full Review »