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THE FIRM (1993)

Mitch is a promising young lawyer who's fresh out of law school and recently hired by the prestigious company known simply as "The Firm."  Offered a salary he can't refuse, Mitch and his wife quickly relocate to Memphis where he begins work with a company without once suspecting "The Firm's" ulterior motives.  After two associates are murdered, however, The FBI get involved, contacting Mitch and compromising his safety by asking Mitch to help take down his own company. Turning back is not an option, and Mitch does his best to play both sides and stay alive while the FBI and "The Firm" go to heads, troubling Mitch's personal life in the mix.

The film benefits from great casting including: Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Holly Hunter, Hal Holbrook, and David Strathairn.

With THE FIRM, producer and director Sydney Pollack has delivered a tight, action filled yet thoughtful dramatic thriller.

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Promotional Line: "Power can be murder to resist."


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Producer/director Sydney Pollack, with THE FIRM, has delivered a tight, action filled yet thoughtful dramatic thriller.

The basic story involves Mitch McDeere (Cruise), a bright young lawyer who joins a prestigious Memphis law firm, because of their most generous offer, an offer that seems almost too good to be true. They offer a huge salary, a house, car, plus other benefits. Soon, revelations of corruption and murder, at the firm, put Cruise's life as he knows it in danger; he faces the possibility of jail, or death or forever being in a witness protection program. He finds himself in a difficult situation, caught between his crooked, murderous law firm and being owned by the FBI. To complicate matters, Mitch's incarcerated brother is also in danger, because Mitch used the brother's ex cell mate, a gutsy private eye (Gary Busey), to do some private investigating of Mitch's crooked law firm, which gets this private investigator killed. How can he ever get his life back, and save his brother as well?

Cruise is totally credible as the young lawyer with chutzpah, in hot water over his head. While finding himself jumping from frying pan to frying pan, trying to stay one step ahead of the FBI and the firm, he has to orchestrate his complicated solution, that needs a lot of pieces to come together in order to work. This is one of his best performances, rivaled only by his "Rainman" performance.

Jeanne Tripplehorn plays Mitch's wife, and does a great job portraying a character caught in a lot of personal turmoil, as well as the serious problems of Mitch.

Tripplehorn and Cruise have great chemistry on screen, as they struggle through not only this complicated mess, but also Mitch's one instance of infidelity on company time, that could sink their marriage.

Holly Hunter does a great job as the frightened secretary of the dead investigator, that helps Mitch with his daring plan on several fronts.

Ed Harris portrays the FBI agent assigned to try to get Mitch to hand over evidence they need to prosecute the firm, but that would also in the process get Mitch disbarred and in hot water with the mob. His performance, which was forceful, realistic and honest, is most entertaining and really adds a lot to the story, as he finds himself frustratingly always one step behind Mitch, until the end.

Gene Hackman does a fabulous job as the firm lawyer assigned to be a mentor to Mitch. He starts off being corrupt and quite a skirt chaser, totally whipped by the firm, but is changed at the end as a result of an encounter with Jeanne Tripplehorn, showing that the firm hadn't completely ruined him.

One favorite scene takes place between Gene Hackman and Jeanne Tripplehorn. Hackman has been drinking and comes on to Tripplehorn. Tripplehorn must use her wits to extricate herself from the situation.

THE FIRM is one of Pollack's most exciting thrillers in years. It brings to mind Pollack's action hit "Three Days of the Condor" from 1975. Pollack won the Best Director for "Out of Africa."

If you enjoyed THE FIRM, you may like THE CLIENT, THE CHAMBER, PELICAN BRIEF, ENEMY OF THE STATE, and/or ERASER.