This film — starring two superior actors — was, unfortunately, much too slow, long, and boring. Therefore, my review will be short in order to “balance the scales.”
Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) is a top-notch Chicago criminal defense attorney. His father Joseph (Robert Duvall), from whom he is estranged, is a Judge presiding in a rural Indiana district, where Hank grew up. Hank’s mother dies, so he returns to his home town for her funeral. Also still living there are Hank’s two brothers and his former high school sweet-heart, Samantha (Vera Faramiga), who he heartlessly dumped before he left town for good. Shortly after Hank’s arrival, Joseph is accused of a hit-and-run murder, so Hank remains to defend him.
The film is primarily about Hank and Joseph’s relationship, but each scene replays the same conflict, which is not that interesting in the first place! The Samantha/Hank story is a diversion but doesn’t have much going for it either. They have about as much chemistry together as a lamp and a tomato.
If you still care what happens in Joseph’s murder trial, you will need to see the film. I’d avoid renting it, however, unless you are a big fan of at least one of the actors.