Primal Fear
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A high-profile slaying becomes the case of an ambitious attorney's career in this legal thriller based on the novel by William Diehl. Richard Gere stars as Martin Vail, a famed defense lawyer who volunteers his services to Aaron Stampler (Edward Norton), a Kentucky teenager charged with the murder of a Chicago archbishop. Covered with blood, Aaron was captured after a foot chase broadcast live on TV, making a gleeful Vail certain that he could raise his profile by defending the obviously guilty suspect. Assigned to prosecute is Assistant District Attorney Janet Venable (Laura Linney), who… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"...a solid drama that's elevated on an all-too-consistent basis by Norton's impressively hypnotic work."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"its heroes only heroes because they believe in order and not because they're capable of order's championing or restoration."
‑ Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central
"Exhibits many of the genre's common weaknesses, but the fine acting of Edward Norton, Laura Linney and Richard Gere enables us to forgive them."
‑ Brian Webster, Apollo Guide
"Memorable for Edward Norton's chilling debut."
‑ Jeffrey Westhoff, Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
"O filme tem, no elenco, sua maior arma."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"Edward Norton became an instant star after making a splashy, Oscar-nominated performance in this well-executed horror thriller."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Helped greatly by excellent performances from both of the film's leads, as well as the rounded supporting cast."
‑ Ryan Cracknell, Movie Views
"Unfortunately, Primal Fear hasn't aged well; there are wrinkles and pockmarks all over its face."
‑ Gabe Leibowitz, Film and Felt
"Works quite well as a mystery and as a courtroom drama."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"an ambitious film, but also a somewhat muddled one"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"An unfolding mystery in which truth is elusive, and twists are the order of the Norton a career-making opportunity to strut his stuff. [Blu-ray]"
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"The plot is engaging, the cast is exceptional, and Hoblit moves things along in commendably straightforward fashion. Very entertaining."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"Ed Norton is out of this world in his break-out performance."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Bad movie, but Norton's performance makes it worth watching."
‑ Sarah Chauncey,
"Consistently entertaining, a fantastic cast, and, most importantly, the film debut of two-time Oscar nominee Edward Norton"
‑ Carlo Cavagna,
More reviews for Primal Fear on Rotten Tomatoes

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