Another gritty urban drama from Sydney Lumet, the rich, entertaining courtroom thriller The Verdict combines the director's typically realistic, brooding atmosphere with a stunning lead performance from Paul Newman. Written by David Mamet, the picture follows a fairly standard legal movie premise -- a downtrodden lawyer finds redemption fighting the good fight -- but Lumet gives the proceedings a starkly solemn air, focussing the audience's attention on Newman's subtle performance. It's some of his best work of the actor's career; he's supported by the similarly stellar James Mason, in one of his last noteworthy performances. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
by Brendon Hanley review