The Pelican Brief

Watch The Pelican Brief

"Two Supreme Court Justices have been assassinated. One lone law student has stumbled upon the truth. An investigative journalist wants her story. Everybody else wants her dead."
  • PG-13
  • 1993
  • 2 hr 21 min
  • 6.6  (95,161)
  • 50

The Pelican Brief is an engaging political thriller movie from 1993, directed by Alan J. Pakula and based on the novel by John Grisham. The movie follows the story of two unlikely heroes, Darby Shaw, played by Julia Roberts, and Gray Grantham, played by Denzel Washington, as they try to uncover a conspiracy that could lead to the murders of two supreme court justices.

The movie starts with the assassination of two supreme court justices, Rosenberg and Jensen, who have been appointed by the current President of the United States. Soon after the murders, law student Darby Shaw becomes fascinated by the case and starts investigating on her own. She finds out that the two justices had something in common: they had both shown support for environmental issues.

Darby's investigation leads her to an oil tycoon named Victor Mattiece, played by Sam Shepard. Victor owns a company that is drilling for oil in Louisiana, which is having an adverse effect on the environment. Darby becomes convinced that Victor's company is behind the murders of the two justices and she writes a brief, which she calls "The Pelican Brief", detailing her findings.

Gray Grantham, a journalist for The Washington Post, meets Darby and becomes interested in her brief. Gray agrees to help Darby prove her theory and together they start investigating the case. Gray is initially skeptical about Darby’s claims, but soon uncovers evidence that corroborates her story.

As the duo get closer to the truth, they find themselves being pursued by a group of people who are trying to silence them. In the face of danger, Darby and Gray realize that their only hope of survival is to expose the conspiracy to the world.

The movie is full of tension and suspense as the audience is taken on a thrilling ride to uncover the conspiracy that motivated the murders of the supreme court justices. The lead actors, Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington, deliver captivating performances that keep the viewers engaged throughout the movie.

Roberts' portrayal of Darby Shaw is impressive as she effectively portrays the character's intelligence and resilience. Washington, on the other hand, plays the role of Gray Grantham with finesse and delivers some of the movie's most memorable lines.

The Pelican Brief also features an excellent supporting cast that includes Sam Shepard as the villainous Victor Mattiece, as well as John Heard, Tony Goldwyn, and James B. Sikking.

The movie's setting is also worth noting as it captures the essence of Louisiana's natural beauty and the precarious balance between economic growth and environmental preservation.

In conclusion, The Pelican Brief is an enthralling political thriller that does justice to John Grisham's source material. With great performances from its lead actors and a well-crafted plot, this movie is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys political dramas or suspense thrillers.

The Pelican Brief is a 1993 thriller with a runtime of 2 hours and 21 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6 and a MetaScore of 50.

The Pelican Brief
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The Pelican Brief is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Pelican Brief for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 21 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (95,161)
  • Metascore