Although its film noir plot turns prove somewhat unwieldy and its courtroom dramatics seem more than a little familiar, this early Joe Eszterhas effort works because of its well-drawn female protagonist, brought convincingly to life by the young Glenn Close. As principled former prosecutor Teddy Barnes, Close manages to embody her character's tangled professional, domestic, and romantic conflicts with the intelligence and warmth she brings to all but her most villainous roles. As for her co-stars, Jeff Bridges successfully treads the line between unctuous and appealing in his deliberately enigmatic role, while Peter Coyote plays the manipulative, amoral district attorney with convincing slickness. Robert Loggia gets stuck with a stock gumshoe character, but he has fun with it, as do the performers portraying the parade of low-lives and society types who grace the witness box. Some nice San Francisco scenery characterizes Matthew Leonetti's cinematography, while Richard Marquand's direction remains effective and unobtrusive. In short, Jagged Edge is a slick Hollywood product, its leading lady elevating what would otherwise be a standard-issue suspense exercise.