Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town’s judge (Robert Duvall) is suspected of murder. He sets out to discover the truth and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before.
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The dysfunctional family formula takes a body blow in this movie. Two movie heavyweights, Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Junior, play estranged father and son who both happen to be judges. Returning to the family home after his mother dies, Hank Palmer (Downey) has to confront his father whom he hasn't spoken to for a number of years. Things don't go well and as Hank boards the plane to return home he receives a phone call telling him his father has been accused of murder. The wise cracking son returns to defend his father and begins to uncover the truth about the incident and also begins to reconnect with his two brothers as well as his father. I don't know which category this film falls into. Comedy. Drama. Thriller. It has it all in spades. Downey Junior is superb as the wise cracking prodigal son whilst Duvall gives an understated performance as the patriarch. Questions are asked. Did the judge kill an ex-con? Was it an accident or was he drunk at the wheel or is there something else behind this? Reminds me a lot of the lunchtime court room whodunits like Perry Mason and Petrocelli. Well worth a look.
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