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True Believer Reviews

Idealistic recent law school graduate Roger Baron (Robert Downey, Jr.) journeys to New York to work as a clerk for his idol, Edward Dodd (James Woods), whose inventive tactics in civil rights cases in 1960s and 70s made him one of the country's most respected attorneys. Sadly, Dodd is now a dope-smoking shyster who plies his trade in the service of sleazy drug dealers, but when Roger manages to get him to take the case of an unjustly imprisoned Korean (Yuji Okumoto), Dodd uncovers a conspiracy and redeems himself as a committed "true believer." Though its plot is thoroughly implausible, TRUE BELIEVER is still an intriguing and entertaining mystery, thanks to the performance of Woods and the direction of Joseph Ruben, who revitalizes the tired premise (crusading lawyer frees innocent man) by providing exhilarating pace and inventive action. Woods clearly relishes his chance to display a wide range of emotions within his patented maverick persona, and Downey also acquits himself well in a much less challenging role.