Movie Review: The Firm

Director Sydney Pollack’s film adaptation of John Grisham’s bestseller The Firm (B-) is a rather tepid thriller that nearly misses its mark with lazy pacing, boring piano music (it sounds like the opposite of “page turner”) and empty-suit acting by Tom Cruise. Luckily the pacing picks up, and it can at least be characterized as a template for the “man joins firm and finds himself over his head in scandal” type movie. Coming off the mega-flop Havana, it is clear Pollack isn’t taking too many risks here, and fortunately he casts Gene Hackman as diabolical head of the law firm and the zany Gary Busey as a private investigator. There are few films Hackman doesn’t improve. Cruise is joined on the domestic front by the equally bland Jeanne Tripplehorn. When his character learns his law firm isn’t all he was promised, it’s a race to the finish to get to the closing credits.