Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18

Where To Watch

Buy On

Critic Reviews

  1. Branagh, chewing on a plummy Georgia accent, makes the divorced, boozing, and womanizing Magruder a smug yet touchingly vulnerable legal player.
  2. With unexpected success, Robert Altman plays a John Grisham mystery in a seductive new key.
  3. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    A fascinatingly strange and chaotic ballet set to familiar noir motifs.
  4. The most stylish and original John Grisham story on film.
  5. 75
    It's all atmospheric, quirky and entertaining: the kind of neo-noir in which old-fashioned characters have updated problems.
  6. 75
    The result is an entertaining and sporadically engrossing two hours.
  7. There's great pleasure in watching a movie in which the director has thought out everything beforehand.
  8. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    Best of all, Robert Downey Jr., as Rick's seedy private eye provides a little comic relief at his own expense.
  9. 70
    Branagh is appealing here in the way we remember from movie heroes of the '30s: cynical, wisecracking and wised-up.
  10. One of those movies that's great fun to watch, even if it decomposes more totally in your mind with each step out of the auditorium.
  11. 70
    The trouble is that the picture is far from over when suddenly we find ourselves watching another movie -- a punishing, overly complex melodrama in which the Gingerbread Man receives his comeuppance.
  12. The acting is also solid, starting with Branagh's believable Georgia accent.
  13. And, in a pointless riffing on the title, there are ginger kitties galore -- this flick has enough cats to launch a Broadway musical.
  14. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    There is a trumped-up quality to the action climaxes that is disappointingly perfunctory, and the story's final revelation is simultaneously far-fetched and unsurprising.
  15. 50
    The lesson of this barely stylish crime thriller is that a dull story is not improved by withholding information about characters' motives from the audience as long as possible.
  16. 50
    All accusatory fingers should be pointed at director Robert Altman, who further drains his reputation surplus with this unoriginal and uninteresting piece of exploitation.
  17. Between Magruder's oily schmoozing and the camera-ready combo of Spanish moss and constant rain, he and cinematographer Changwei Gu whip up some amazing atmosphere.
  18. The New Republic
    Reviewed by: Stanley Kauffmann
    Built on one of those particularly ludicrous plots in which, just before the end, we are meant to believe that a long succession of coincidences was really a diabolical scheme. [23 Feb 1998, p. 24]

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. TheLivesofGilbertMulroneycakes
    Jan 29, 2006
    Robert Altman? Robert ALTMAN? Doing John Grisham? File alongside "Johnen Vasquez creating a series for Nickelodeon" under Things That Are Robert Altman? Robert ALTMAN? Doing John Grisham? File alongside "Johnen Vasquez creating a series for Nickelodeon" under Things That Are Impossible. Good film, this, if completely disposable. The plot's built on cloud, candyfloss and air, but it's engaging while you're there. The committed performances of Branagh, Davidtz and co help, as does Altman's predispostition for stories with lots of people doing different things at once. Worth a look. Full Review »