By Keilah Chambers
Staff reporter

“The Judge” is a one-time watch movie. The first time you watch will be the last time you watch it. There is no character progression; not one person changes at the end of the movie. The humanity of Judge Joseph Palmer is clearly seen as the murder trial progresses through the movie.

“The Judge” is directed by David Dobkin. The main actors are Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farnigo, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Billy Bob Thorton. The actors did an excellent job portraying their parts.

This movie is about Hank Palmer returning home to Carlinsville, Indiana to attend his mother’s funeral. Without the protection of his mother the family members were forced to deal with each other about things that happened 20 years ago.

In the midst of the chaos the judge is accused of murdering Mark Blackwell. Mark Blackwell is a man who the judge gave a light sentence to for threatening his girlfriend; after a short jail time he then killed his girlfriend. A prosecutor named Dwight Dickham played by Billy Bob Thorton purposely takes the case against the judge to get revenge for something Hank had done in a past court case.

Judge Joseph Palmer has been the primary judge for 42 years and hated by most of the people who lived in town. Hank or Henry Palmer is a high-paid lawyer living in Chicago who claimed that innocent people could not afford him. Glen Palmer is the older brother whose baseball career ended due to a car accident 20 years ago. Dale Palmer is the youngest brother who has special needs and is obsessed with using an old camera all the time.

“You and you alone are responsible for your actions”, stated the judge when Hank first arrives to the family home. Although by the end of the movie you realize the words were just words; he did not live by them. The audience sees that while judges are supposed to be moral and objective they are still human.

Keilah Chambers is a junior majoring in communication. You can email her at