why Cranky is in pain
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do     Contact    Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

Mad City

Starring Matt Damon, Claire Danes,
Jon Voight, Mary Kay Place and Danny DeVito
Based on the novel by John Grisham
Written and Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Website www.therainmaker.com

IN SHORT: John Grisham does comedy. Terrific

Inevitably, those of us who have read a couple of John Grisham's books see the same pattern: young, inexperienced Southern lawyer comes up against something Powerful (variations on racism and lynch mobs, Evil Corporations) and wins the fight for Truth, Justice and the American Way. Either you keep reading the books or you stop, as Cranky did. That makes the usual spiel about not making comparisons to Source Material all the more true.

That being out of the way, we move on to the Curse of Cranky, that being every Grisham adaptation I've hated has made major Dollars, and vice versa. If I were full of myself I'd say that writer/director Francis Ford Coppola loaded up The Rainmaker with more stars than you can shake a stick at, just to be safe. He needn't have, but the cameos by Roy Scheider, Randy Travis, and Dean Stockwell are all just icing on the cake.

What Coppola has done in his adaptation is the one thing we've never seen before. He kicked up the quirky quotient in all the supporting characters and layered warm comedy on top of all the expected Grisham elements. Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon) is the whitebread, first time lawyer. His lack of connections and need for a job throw him in cahoots with a slick lawyer named "Bruiser" (Mickey Rourke) and his ambulance chasing associate, Louie DePalma.

Sorry, Cranky suffered head injuries a while back and sometimes slips.

Danny DeVito's Deck Schifflet is much nicer than Louie, but it's a stock role for DeVito and he plays it to the hilt. Added to the quirk pile is Teresa Wright as Miss Birdie, Matt's landlord, a little old lady who wants to leave her millions to a TV evangelist because his jet is old. Matt's main client is a young man dying of leukemia whose insurance company won't pay his claim. The boy's dad lives in a car with a dozen cats and a small bottle of stuff to keep him warm.

Which brings us back to standard Grisham, Dot Black (Mary Kay Place) is the mother suing the big insurance company. Jon Voight is the evil big time lawyer repping said company. Dean Stockwell and Danny Glover are the judges who sit on the case, each of whom have their own agenda. And working the back burner all the while is Claire Danes as Matt's romantic interest, whose hubby is killing her with his love. And an aluminum baseball bat.

Considering that most adaptations leave tons of stuff out, it's amazing that so many stories are running side by side without getting in each other's way. Coppola's done marvelous piece of work.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Rainmaker, he would have paid...


John Grisham's The Rainmaker is funny, clever and incredibly fast paced for its 2 1/4 hour running time. A great date flick.

Click to buy films by Francis Ford Coppola
Click to buy films starring Matt Damon
Click to buy films starring Claire Danes

The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is Copyright © 1995  -  2016   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.