True Believer

Watch True Believer

"Someone got away with murder...until now."
  • R
  • 1989
  • 1 hr 48 min
  • 6.7  (5,325)
  • 64

True Believer is a 1989 crime drama directed by Joseph Ruben, starring James Woods, Robert Downey Jr., and Margaret Colin. It is a story about an idealistic young lawyer, fresh out of law school, who teams up with a seasoned attorney to take on a case that will challenge their beliefs and force them to confront the harsh realities of the criminal justice system.

The movie starts with Eddie Dodd (James Woods), a once-promising defense attorney now running a small-time law practice in New York City. He gets a call from a former student, Roger Baron (Robert Downey Jr.), who wants his help in freeing a Korean-American man named Shu Kai Kim (Yuji Okumoto) who was wrongly convicted of a 1975 double murder.

Dodd, initially reluctant to take the case, is eventually convinced by Baron's conviction and decides to take it on. As they start investigating the case, they uncover a web of lies, corruption, and cover-ups that tie into the city's powerful law enforcement community. Along the way, they face numerous obstacles, including a resentful prosecutor (Kurtwood Smith) and the Korean-American community's reluctance to speak out against their own.

As the case progresses, Dodd and Baron's friendship and professional relationship are put to the test, as both men must grapple with the consequences of their actions and the harsh realities of the criminal justice system. The movie delves deep into the complexities and ambiguities of the legal profession, exploring questions of justice, ethics, and morality.

The movie's most significant strength is its performances. James Woods delivers a robust and nuanced portrayal of Eddie Dodd, an idealistic lawyer battling his own demons while fighting for justice. Robert Downey Jr., in his early career, gives a standout performance as the eager and optimistic Roger Baron, who is forced to confront the harsh realities of the profession he's chosen.

Meanwhile, Margaret Colin delivers a quiet and restrained performance as Dodd's love interest, a district attorney who must grapple with her own sense of morality and the pressures of the legal system. The supporting cast, including Kurtwood Smith and Yuji Okumoto, are also excellent, bringing a depth and humanity to their roles.

The movie's direction and screenplay are also commendable. Joseph Ruben creates a moody and atmospheric visual tone, using the city's gritty streets and neon lights to create a sense of foreboding. The screenplay, written by Wesley Strick, is sharp, intelligent, and nuanced, exploring complex themes and ideas without ever feeling heavy-handed.

Ultimately, what makes True Believer such an engrossing and compelling film is its willingness to tackle difficult questions and leave them open-ended. The movie doesn't shy away from the cruel realities of the justice system but also recognizes the small victories along the way. It is a powerful reminder that the pursuit of justice is often a long and arduous journey, but one that is always worth undertaking.

In conclusion, True Believer is a compelling and thought-provoking movie that explores complex themes and ideas, with excellent performances, direction, and screenplay. It is a story that lingers, long after the credits roll, compelling us to confront our own sense of morality and the harsh realities of the legal profession.

True Believer is a 1989 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 48 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7 and a MetaScore of 64.

True Believer
Where to Watch True Believer
True Believer is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent True Believer for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 48 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (5,325)
  • Metascore