THE JUDGE Trailer: Robert Downey Jr. Goes Dramatic, Plus the Film’s First Poster

     June 19, 2014


Warner Bros. has released the first The Judge trailer for director David Dobkin’s (Wedding Crashers) upcoming thriller/family drama.  Robert Downey Jr. plays an attorney who returns home for his mother’s funeral only to learn that his estranged father (Robert Duvall), a judge who suffers from Alzheimer’s, has been accused of murder.  The trailer starts out with RDJ at his Starkiest, but takes a left turn away from the arrogant individualist to more of an everyman with daddy issues once the hook of the story comes in.  It’s got a touch of schmaltz to it, but it’s also refreshing to see Downey Jr. putting in work outside of the superhero/action-adventure franchises.

Hit the jump to check out the first The Judge trailer.  The film also stars Vera Farmiga, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Billy Bob Thornton, Dax Shepard, Leighton Meester, Ken Howard, David Krumholtz, Balthazar Getty, and Denis O’HareThe Judge opens in theaters on October 10th.

Downey Jr. himself debuted the trailer for The Judge today, so you may have seen it first either on his Twitter or Facebook accounts.  If not, check it out below:

You can find The Judge’s synopsis and more details in the following press release, followed by the film’s first poster:

From Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures comes “The Judge,” which pairs two-time Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr. (“Chaplin,” “Tropic Thunder”) and Oscar winner Robert Duvall (“Tender Mercies,” “Crazy Heart”), starring together for the first time on the big screen.  The film also stars Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air,” “The Conjuring”) and Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton (“Sling Blade,” “Friday Night Lights”), and is directed by David Dobkin (“Wedding Crashers”).

In “The Judge,” Downey stars as big city lawyer Hank Palmer, who returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town’s judge (Duvall), is suspected of murder.  He sets out to discover the truth and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before.

the-judge-robert-downey-jr-robert-duvallThe film also features a stellar supporting cast, including Vincent D’Onofrio (TV’s “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”), Jeremy Strong (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “Lincoln”), Dax Shepard (TV’s “Parenthood”), Oscar winner Melissa Leo (“The Fighter,” “Prisoners”), Leighton Meester (TV’s “Gossip Girl”), Ken Howard (“J. Edgar,” “Michael Clayton”), Emma Tremblay (“Elysium”), Balthazar Getty (TV’s “Brothers & Sisters”), David Krumholtz (“This Is the End”), Sarah Lancaster (TV’s “Chuck”), Grace Zabriskie (TV’s “Big Love”) and Denis O’Hare (TV’s “True Blood”).

“The Judge” is being produced by Susan Downey (the “Sherlock Holmes” films), David Dobkin, and David Gambino (“The Brave One”), with Herbert W. Gains, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Kleeman and Bruce Berman serving as executive producers.  The screenplay is by Nick Schenk (“Gran Torino”) and Bill Dubuque, story by Dobkin & Schenk.

Dobkin’s behind the scenes creative team includes Oscar-winning director of photography Janusz Kaminski (“Saving Private Ryan,” “Lincoln”), production designer Mark Ricker (“The Way Way Back,” “The Help”), editor Mark Livolsi (“The Blind Side”) and costume designer Marlene Stewart (“Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters,” “Tropic Thunder”).  The music is by 12-time Oscar nominee Thomas Newman (“Saving Mr. Banks”).

A Warner Bros. Pictures presentation, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, a Big Kid Pictures/Team Downey production, a film by David Dobkin, “The Judge” is scheduled for release on October 10, 2014, and will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.


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  • Nick

    maybe it’s just me but I thought that soundtrack was way too cheerful for a movie that seems to be pretty dark.there is nothing in the trailer that even hints there’s any comedic or light hearted moment. …they genuinely hate each other… I don’t know I just didn’t care that soundtrack for the movie looks pretty good

  • Schmaltzy

    A “TOUCH” of schmaltz? That was gigantic malt-o-schmaltz covered in whip cream and NUTS if they think I’d watch this.

  • Schmaltzy

    A “TOUCH” of schmaltz? That was gigantic malt-o-schmaltz covered in whip cream and NUTS if they think I’d watch this.

    • Jamie Teller

      My thoughts exactly.

      I don’t mind schmaltz when it’s done well, but this…I’m not feeling it. RDJ and Duvall look good, but this really doesn’t seem to know what it’s trying to be.

      • Wesley

        I agree, its somehow trying to be a mature drama but it all looks overly melodramatic with bits of humor in it. Skilled directors know how to combine drama and comedy, but this just looks heavy handed and immature.

  • 97point6

    Who the hell picked that high school football team gets an impossible second chance music? Change that up and you have something to justify the high caliber cast.

  • bidi

    what the hell was that? either this movie isn’t as dark as it seemed originally, or that trailer was totally fucked

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    robert downey jr “goes dramatic”? as if he’s never acted in a drama before? you guys do know he had a career before iron man, right?

    • aewr

      Being a drug addict?

  • Redjester

    The trailer wasn’t bad per say, but I thought it was going to be a whole hell of a lot better.

    The poster and the actors make it out to be Frost vs. Nixon, and instead we get Elizabethtown.

  • Jamesy

    That was an odd trailer…the beginning played like a comedy, then felt like a light family drama, then darkly dramatic. And that poster looks like it should be a HBO show about a father and son lawyer/judge duo, I thought this was gonna be a lot darker? Just the way it was cut and the music chosen seems an odd fit.

    • LEM

      It’s almost like the trailer showed you every act of the movie but that would be idiotic.

  • Person

    Definitely not what I expected.

  • The Flobbit

    That poster looks like it should come from a Godfather spin-off directed by Francis Ford Coppola. “Defend your honor”. That sounds like the tagline of a Gladiator rip-off starring Kit Harington…or perhaps a samurai action movie with Ken Watanabe.

  • Lenny

    Robert Downey, Jr. in the role of Robert Downey, Jr. A Lifetime movie. Pass.

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  • cineast4

    Hopefully its just the trailer working hard to make it look extremely sappy…

    • LEM

      Meaning it’s not some cliche ridden schmaltz fest? I doubt it.

  • Steven

    I think it looks terrific. Maybe change the overbearing song in the background and remove the always cringe-worthy Oscar winning cast list at the end and it would be fine.

    Why does everything have to be completely dark and without hope. This movie looks like its gonna be dark at times but sentimental at its heart. Nothing wrong with that.

    • LEM

      This shit is paint by numbers movie making at it’s best.

  • LEM

    Do you think he’ll get him off the hook and have a nice bonding moment too? Yuck.

  • Merlin235

    I must be the minority on these boards, but I thought that looked great. Maybe it was the line he said to his father, “I have memories of you. And then I don’t. Why?” I thought that was fantastic. But then again it closely mirrors the relationship I had with my own father, so maybe it’s just playing to my emotions.

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