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John Grisham's The Rainmaker

  PG-13 Closed Captioning

Francis Ford Coppola

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Plot Summary

Francis Ford Coppola is both scripter and director of this drama adapted from the John Grisham novel about broke, inexperienced Memphis law-school graduate Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon), ready to take any job he can find. Signing on with slimy Bruiser Stone (Mickey Rourke), he learns ambulance-chasing tactics from Bruiser's leg man Deck Schifflet (Danny DeVito) and meets battered teen Kelly Riker (Claire Danes), abused by her husband (Andrew Shue). Baylor has his own clients - friendly Miss Birdie (Teresa Wright), who has a large estate to dispose of, and desperate Dot Black (Mary Kay Place), whose son Donnie Ray (Johnny Whitworth) has terminal leukemia. Medical intervention could have spared his life, but the Great Benefit Insurance Company denied coverage, preventing Donnie Ray from getting a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Rudy finds a place to live in the apartment behind Miss Birdie's house. Deck and Rudy split from Bruiser to start their small firm. When they take on the Blacks' case, they go up against the insurance company's high-priced law firm and are continually thwarted by slick lawyer Leo F. Drummond (Jon Voight). Rudy's voiceover narration was scripted by Michael Herr. Filmed on location in Memphis.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

82%
  • Reviews Counted: 45
  • Fresh: 37
  • Rotten: 8
  • Average Rating: 6.9/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Despite Mr. Coppola's taste for moodier and more eclectic material, this mainstream opportunity pays off. – Janet Maslin, New York Times, Mar 1, 2010

Fresh: Voight proves again what a great character actor he's become by stealing the film as a country club-type defense lawyer with a julep tongue. – Mike Clark, USA Today, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Coppola has never been particularly known for his comic touch, but here he seems bent on leavening the melodrama with as many laughs as possible, and they are generally honest and well-earned. – Todd McCarthy, Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Gritty and hard hitting

If you've read the book, don't shy away from this film adaptation. Matt Damon delivers a wonderful performance as the naive-just-out-of-law school kid willing to do what it takes to make it as a lawyer; short of breaching his ethics. One of John's best work. Not to be missed.

luigi pippo

I don't understand, is Danny Devito just real short or is he a midget? In any event he is a giant as an actor, I can't think of anything i've seen him in where he did not turn in a great performance. I find it odd that he is not in the on screen credits. I give it this rating because I love court room dramas. In reality it's about a 3.5

Pretty darn awesome

They blend drama and humor so well in this movie... Just as personal opinion, it's my favorite courtroom drama after A Few Good Men.

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