The Confession

  • 1999
  • Movie
  • R

An exemplar of the Johnny Cochran School of Advocacy, ambitious lawyer Roy Bleakie (Alec Baldwin) stoops to blackmail to get clients off. When Roy's equally crass mentor Cass O' Donnell (Richard Jenkins) touts Roy's tactics to mogul Jack Renoble (Jay O. Sanders), the latter offers Roy carte blanche support for the upcoming District Attorney race, on one...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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An exemplar of the Johnny Cochran School of Advocacy, ambitious lawyer Roy Bleakie (Alec Baldwin) stoops to blackmail to get clients off. When Roy's equally crass mentor Cass O' Donnell (Richard Jenkins) touts Roy's tactics to mogul Jack Renoble (Jay O. Sanders), the latter offers Roy carte blanche support for the upcoming District Attorney race, on one condition: Roy must defend Renoble's accountant Harry Fertig (Ben Kingsley). (Because his son died due to inferior medical treatment, Harry has gunned down the emergency room clerk, nurse, and doctor.) To uphold his own agenda, Renoble pressures Roy to get grief-stricken Harry off with an insanity plea. Will Roy persuade Harry to forget about Old Testament culpability and take the easy way out? Will Roy's affair with Harry's vulnerable wife Sarah (Amy Irving) color his judgment? Assured of victory with a diminished capacity defense, will Roy find the integrity to delve into philanthropist Renoble's real motives? Films dealing with the redemption of lawyers come in all shapes and sizes, from star vehicles like THE VERDICT to glossy thrillers like THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE. Unlike those more prestigious items, this modest production deserves credit for its message and censure for its stodgy execution. Possibly the chattiest film since MY DINNER WITH ANDRE, the screenplay telegraphs Roy's change of heart yet doesn't explicate that shift of values persuasively. With so much dead space at the beginning and end of scenes, one feels that the filmmakers have confused slowness with seriousness of intent.

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  • Released: 1999
  • Rating: R
  • Review: An exemplar of the Johnny Cochran School of Advocacy, ambitious lawyer Roy Bleakie (Alec Baldwin) stoops to blackmail to get clients off. When Roy's equally crass mentor Cass O' Donnell (Richard Jenkins) touts Roy's tactics to mogul Jack Renoble (Jay O. Sa… (more)

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