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This past Sunday was Father’s Day in the U.S.  A more appropriate recent movie to watch could not be found.   While the direction is spotty, more about that later, the Judge is simply about watching excellent actors on top of their game.

Robert Downey Jr. proves that he is so much more than Iron Man in this movie.  While his character has been seen in many movies, Downey is excellent as a know it all city lawyer.   Know one plays a smart ass better, and Downey’s timing with drama and comedy excellent.

However, Robert Duvall plays his estranged father with such force and passion that watching him is reason enough to like the film.   He is a stubborn and opinionated, both strong willed and fragile.   His interactions with his sons is outstanding.  Duvall just gives a master class on acting.

The direction is average at best.   The movie is about 20 mins too long, clocking in at almost two and a half hours.   If the editing and pacing were fixed, The Judge could have been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture.

Vincent D’Onofrio is the surprise.  He holds his own with Downey and Duvall, giving the film a much need third string actor for the leads to play off of as the movie goes along.

3 stars – a Hitting a Mark recommendation.