To my mind, there is no better way to spend a Friday night than by getting the whole family together and watching a movie. Maybe you order a pizza, pop some popcorn, anything that puts you in that TGIF spirit. But there’s always an argument about what to watch. Mom wants to watch Beaches, Dad wants to watch Die Hard, Little Jimmy wants to watch Spider-Man: No Way Home. With so many options, what are you to do? Well, I am here to take all the hassle out of movie night with a simple suggestion: Watch The Pelican Brief.
Ya got Denzel Washington, ya got Julia Roberts, ya got an incredibly dashing Sam Shepard. They’re all mixed up in a conspiracy of corporate intrigue. You see, when two Supreme Court justices are assasinated (wow!), Darby Shaw (Roberts) writes a brief explaining why she thinks it happened. It has to do with environmental protections and the big oil companies looking to get some decisions overturned. But then they come after her, and the only person who can help her is a reporter named Gray Grantham (Washington).
Clocking in at two hours and 20 minutes, you might be tempted to call it The Pelican Long, but don’t let the runtime stop you from really taking in the message of the movie. What is that message? Well, art is subjective, so it’s really in the eye of the beholder. Some may find a movie about speaking the truth, even if it puts you in grave danger. Others may watch and realize there are ways other than voting or protesting to get what you want from the Supreme Court. Someone might even watch it and say, “Wow, Stanley Tucci had hair at one point!”
Whatever you think, there are some really big ideas in this movie. It’s adapted from a John Grisham book, so you know there will be some twists and turns. Overall, just a great movie, the kind of which they don’t really make anymore. This country used to be obsessed with stories about things going “all the way to the top,” somewhere along the way we’ve lost our passion for an old-fashioned flick about holding power to task whichever way you see fit.