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Netflix Daily Pick: Holding Court ‘The Verdict’ (1982)

Today's pick is a one of the best courtroom dramas ever made.

The Verdict is a 1982 courtroom thriller a lawyer who sees the chance to salvage his career and self-respect by taking a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settling.

Today’s Netflix Pick is a classic drama that is sure to get your justice blood running. It stars the incomparable Paul Newman in a film that was nominated for 5 Oscars, including Best Actor. Written by the legendary David Mamet (GlenGarry Glen Ross), it’s a tense and supremely well-acted movie that has gotten better as the years pass. It’s The Verdict and it’s what you’re watching tonight. Here’s why.

THEY STORY: Directed by Sidney Lumet, it follows Frank Galvin (Newman), a once bigtime Boston lawyer who wrecked his career by not playing ball, looking to expose his film’s corrupt practices, ending up getting framed for jury tampering in the process. Now divorced and abusing alcohol, he’s on the ropes when a friend named Mickey (Jack Warden) sends him a medical malpractice case, one that looks to be settled quickly for a large amount of money, but Frank, seeing an opportunity to redeem himself, does the unthinkable.

The Verdict
The Verdict, 1982 © Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

WHY YOU NEED TO WATCH: It’s hard not to appreciate the amazing Paul Newman, one of the most charismatic actors in cinema history, and here he holds command of nearly every scene. There’s this great sense of leadership about him where we feel safe following no matter where he leads, something that has always been his signature. Frank is a troubled and vulnerable character for whom we have great expectations and his performance is truly compelling. Look for a satisfying relationship Frank has with Laura (Charlotte Rampling) as well as some terrific direction from Lumet. It’s no wonder this has been cited as one of the greatest movies of all time and certainly one of the best courtroom dramas ever made. Well worth a watch, it’s streaming on Netflix right now.

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