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Runaway Jury

Runaway Jury

Posted - Oct. 17, 2003 at 12:00 a.m.



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From master storyteller John Grisham ("The Firm," "The Pelican Brief") comes RUNAWAY JURY, a suspense-thriller about a high-priced and ruthless jury "consultant" (Gene Hackman) who will stop at nothing to secure a verdict on an explosive trial. With lives and millions of dollars at stake, the fixer wages a deadly battle with a jury member (John Cusack), a mysterious woman (Rachel Weisz) and an honest lawyer (Dustin Hoffman). The film marks the first pairing of screen legends Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman. When a young widow in New Orleans brings a civil suit against the powerful corporate consortium she holds responsible for her husband's murder, she sets in motion a multi-million dollar case. But it's a suit that may be won even before it begins - based solely on the selection, manipulation and, ultimately, the attempted "theft" of the jury. Representing the widow is Wendall Rohr (Hoffman), a courtly Southern lawyer with a moral center and a heartfelt passion for the case he's presenting. His opponent is ostensibly the attorney representing the corporation. But in reality, defense counsel is only the front man for Rankin Fitch (Hackman), a brilliant and ruthless jury consultant. At a high tech command center set up in an old French Quarter warehouse, Fitch and his team work on the surveillance and assessment of potential jurors. He will know everything about their lives, and strategically manipulate the jury selection process. The only acceptable result is the perfect jury to vote in favor of his client. Fitch and Rohr soon realize they're not the only ones out to win the jury. One of the jurors, Nick Easter (Cusack), seems to have his own plan for swaying the panel. And a mysterious woman known only as Marlee (Weisz) contacts both Rohr and Fitch telling them the jury's for sale to either of them - and that the verdict won't come cheap. While the case is argued in court, a dangerous cat and mouse game begins to play out in New Orleans' French Quarter. Rohr's morality put to the test, and Fitch is poised to cross the line from selecting a jury to stealing it - no matter who gets hurt in the process.

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