A pair of lawyers must balance their professional principles (such as they are) against family loyalties in this courtroom drama. Jedediah Ward (Gene Hackman) is a leftist lawyer who has based his career on helping people avoid being taken for a ride by the rich and powerful; he's pursued principle at the expense of profit, though he has a bad habit of not following up on his clients after their cases are settled. Jed's daughter, Maggie (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio), has had a bad relationship with her father ever since she discovered that he was cheating on her mother, and while she also has made a career in law, she has taken a very different professional route by working for a high-powered corporate law firm and has adopted a conservative political agenda. Jed is hired to help field a lawsuit against a major auto manufacturer whose station wagons have a dangerous propensity to explode on impact, but while his research indicates he has an all but airtight case against them, the case becomes more complicated for him when he discovers that Maggie is representing the firm he's suing. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
This movie is more about the relationship between Mastrantonio and Hackman than the legal aspect. While the legal references aren't entirely accurate, they're better than most. Great acting and good twist ending! Worth watching, particularly for Lawrence Fishburne, who was referred to as Larry in those days.
This was a moving and wonderful story. I cried several times during the movie. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot because the 'competition' between family members so often ruins family relationships and the overall story was really inspiring.
Two major stars are at the heart of this courtroom drama. Gene Hackman is his usual charismatic self and gives a powerful performance. However it is Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio who is electrifying in her heartfelt performance. The movie is worth seeing just for these two fine actors. The story of the product liability lawsuit plays out in such a way that it holds your interest throughout. This is a well crafted film.