In this tension-filled thriller, Richard Gere plays Martin Vail, an egocentric, prominent Chicago criminal defense lawyer. After seeing a news report about the arrest of an altar boy on charges of murdering a beloved archbishop, Vail offers to represent him pro bono. His client is Aaron Stampler (Edward Norton) who is seen fleeing the crime scene and claims another person killed the archbishop after he blacked out. Secrets about the archbishop and his dealings with Stampler and with civic leaders complicate an ever-twisting plot with a surprise ending.
Trivia: Norton made his Hollywood film debut in this picture. Matt Damon auditioned for the same role.
See our August 2018 cover story: “The 25 Greatest Legal Movies.”
Attribution: Text by Kevin Davis; art by Sara Wadford and cinemamaterial.com; gallery by Andy Lefkowitz.