Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  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
    80
    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. There's great pleasure in watching a movie in which the director has thought out everything beforehand.
  7. 75
    The result is an entertaining and sporadically engrossing two hours.
  8. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    70
    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. Reviewed by: David Sterritt
    63
    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
    60
    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
    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.
  16. Reviewed by: Joshua Klein
    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. 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.
  18. 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]

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