A group of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq struggle to integrate back into family and civilian life, while living with the memory of a war that threatens to destroy them long after they've left the battlefield.
In 1940, Thurgood Marshall is a young lawyer for the NAACP who criss-crosses the country defending innocent African-Americans from unjust indictments in court. His latest case is in Bridgeport, Connecticut where an African-American chauffeur is accused of rape of a wealthy white society woman. To admit Marshall into the local Bar, insurance lawyer Sam Friedman is picked over his objections to do introductions in court. However, Friedman's commitment changes drastically when the racist judge forbids Marshall to speak in court, forcing Friedman to act as lead counsel. Now in an intolerable situation for the pair, Marshall must guide his new compatriot through this criminal trial even as Friedman endures not only this unfamiliar area of law, but also the bigoted pressure he now must share. However, the case proves more complex than either anticipates with unexpected twists and turns even as it becomes a vital one that would define two careers as well as the fight for justice in America.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
In the early 1940s, Marshall gives Friedman, whose experience is in civil law, books to get him up to speed on criminal law. However, none of the books focus on criminal law. The first, A Concise Restatement of Torts, Second Edition, about civil law, was published in 1965. The two volumes of Wigmore on Evidence are the McNaughton Revision, published in 1961. Evidentiary law discussed in Wigmore applies in both criminal and civil cases, so Friedman, a trial lawyer, would already be familiar with it. The fourth was Volume 308 of the United States Reports, which published all the US Supreme Court opinions for the 1939 October term. See more »
You would think it would be straight forward to come up with a provocative movie set in the US when segregation was in vogue. Not so! Roger Friedman is a decendant of Sam Friedman and a film critic who wrote an interesting article criticising the many inaccuracies in this film.
So, the director and writers have an easy topic to critique history. They had a great man like Thurgood Marshall and some backward social attitudes that are as backward as our attitudes toward domestic violence today. Instead, the authors fill the movie with false facts and make Marshall look like an arrogant, unrefined twit (which he was neither). The directors and writers play the race card in all the wrong ways* and throw in a few sex jibes to top off a good dose of revisionism, undermining what could have been a great movie.
As others have said, Josh Gad was the better principal actor in this movie. Sterling Brown as the accused was far more nuanced and capable than Chadwick Boseman as Marshall. Boseman is charming, but a totally wrong fit.
I still give it a 6/10, which is very generous given the director and writers who totally failed to capture the essence of the story. The revisionist history and significant number of factual errors cast a large shadow over what could have been a great movie.
Is the truth not interesting enough? The real Marshall is an amazing man - far better than Boseman's insulting copy.
* Hollywood needs to curb its political correctness. I've banned my children from watching new movies until I screen them. That's how bad Hollywood has become. I know quite a few parents who feel the same way.
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