6.7/10
4,113
29 user 18 critic

True Believer (1989)

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0:31 | Trailer
A cynical former civil liberties attorney now reduced to "specializing" in defending drug dealers becomes transformed by an eight-year-old murder case.

Director:

Joseph Ruben

Writer:

Wesley Strick
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Woods ... Eddie Dodd
Robert Downey Jr. ... Roger Baron
Margaret Colin ... Kitty Greer
Yuji Okumoto ... Shu Kai Kim
Kurtwood Smith ... Robert Reynard
Tom Bower ... Cecil Skell
Miguel Fernandes ... Art Esparza
Charles Hallahan ... Vincent Dennehy
Sully Diaz Sully Diaz ... Maraquilla Esparza
Misan Kim Misan Kim ... Mrs. Kim
John Snyder ... Chuckie Loeder
Luis Guzmán ... Ortega (as Luis Guzman)
Graham Beckel ... Sklaroff
Tony Haney Tony Haney ... Montell
Joel Polis ... Dean Rabin
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Storyline

Eddie Dodd is a burnt out former civil rights lawyer who now specializes in defending drug dealers. Roger Baron, newly graduated from law school, has followed Eddie's great cases and now wants to learn at his feet. With Roger's idealistic prodding, Eddie reluctantly takes on a case of a young Korean man who, according to his mom, has been in jail for eight years for a murder he did not commit. Written by <Vertigus@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When evidence leads to murder, sometimes it takes a dangerous man to free an innocent one. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 February 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das dreckige Spiel See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,009,692, 20 February 1989

Gross USA:

$8,742,750

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,742,750
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character Shu Kai Kim is based on Korean-American Chol Soo Lee, who was imprisoned for nearly ten years after a wrongful conviction for a murder he did not commit. See more »

Goofs

Beneath his mugshot, Chucky Loeder's name is spelled with a "y", however, in the credits it is spelled "ie". See more »

Quotes

Eddie Dodd: [cornering Reynard on the stand] This case has been over for years... Art Esparza is DEAD! Can't my client go free now?
See more »


Soundtracks

Freedom Rider
Written by Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi
Performed by Traffic
Courtesy of Island Records
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User Reviews

 
Just the way a thriller should be
9 August 2009 | by tha_mongooseSee all my reviews

Edward Dodd (James Woods) is a run-down lawyer who no longer shines the way he did 10 years ago. Back then he was writing history, saving the Black Panthers and stuff of the like. Now he protects drug pushers and street peddlers. Nevermind what excuses he finds for this gradual decay of affairs, for a skilled speaker and lawyer Dodd never ceases to be - this can be seen even as he defends crooks. Roger Baron (Robert Downey Jr) arrives to clerk for him and realizes the idea he had of Dodd no longer suits the reality of the man. Thus he proceeds to ask him to take a prisoner case.

This courtroom thriller has all that kind of movie should have; we see a well-crafted pace that keeps you tied to your seat, the kind of acting from James Woods that is hard to find nowadays, Robert Downey Jr also dons the recently-graduated idealistic law student to a tee. The film is reminiscent of a John Grisham novel. Margaret Colin as Kitty Greer is also great. In fact, every actor in this flick does a better-than-average role. Lacking in cheesiness, having the proper pace, the kind of twists that make it just a little less than predictable, and good acting plus a nice mix of occasional black-and-white flashbacks with the present and an original score by Brad Fiedel (Terminator, Terminator: 2) that fits the pace perfectly make for a movie that is clearly lacking in recognition.

Highly recommended thriller, 8/10.


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