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The Pelican Brief

HD   14A Closed Captioning

Alan J. Pakula

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About the Movie

(Academy Award-winner Julia Roberts - "Ocean's Eleven," "Erin Brockovich") who finds herself embroiled in a terrifying web of intrigue extending to the highest levels of government after she writes a speculative legal brief exposing the illegal activities of a powerful oil magnate. When those close to her are killed by assassins, the young woman embarks on a desperate flight with a Washington, D.C., investigative reporter (Academy Award and Golden Globe-winner Denzel Washington -- "Training Day," "Malcolm X") her only confidant and ally. Co-starring Academy Award-nominee Sam Shepard ("The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," "The Right Stuff") and Tony Goldwyn ("The Last Samurai," "Ghost"). With Emmy and Golden Globe-winner John Lithgow ("The World According to Garp," TV's "3rd Rock from the Sun"). Directed by Alan J. Pakula ("Sophie's Choice," "All the President's Men"). "Superb! Fantastic suspense! A major thriller! Fast and exciting" (WNBC-TV). "An exhilarating, breathless, first-class thriller" (CBS-TV). "Perfect casting and stellar work by writer-producer-director Alan Pakula" (Variety).

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

52%
  • Reviews Counted: 48
  • Fresh: 25
  • Rotten: 23
  • Average Rating: 5.5/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: As the film piles on shovelfuls of further exposition, Mr. Washington and Ms. Roberts are left to look terrific and recite perfunctory lines. – Janet Maslin, New York Times, Mar 30, 2009

Fresh: Pakula has improved on Grisham's book by excising much of the detritus, crafting a taut, intelligent thriller that succeeds on almost every level. – Brian Lowry, Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Rotten: A brightly wrapped, ketchup-drenched mush-burger, it slides down the Zeitgeist esophagus like a slippery McPelican. You pay, you swallow, you drive home. You're left with nothing except, possibly, heartburn. – Desson Thomson, Washington Post, Sep 5, 2002

Fresh: A clever device to take your mind off your problems for 141 minutes. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, Jul 7, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes
The Pelican Brief
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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Released: 1994

Customer Ratings