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By Anthony Miele | November 24, 1997

Remember when the name Francis Ford Coppola made you think “greatness”? Well, until “The Rainmaker”, one would have to surmise that this “greatness” had found a home elsewhere… maybe in the body of such talents as Michæl Bay or even Simon West. Could Mr. Coppola actually recover from the disaster that was “Jack”? Shockingly, “The Rainmaker” is quite an endearing film.
The story is very “Grisham-esque”: Young lawyer WITH morals battles the big, bad firm WITHOUT morals to defy the odds and win the settlement or get the guy off or any other good guy vs. bad guy cliche that all Grisham films must contain. Very typical, but what is not typical is how well the characters are written.
Matt Damon is the young, upstart attorney who stumbles on a case that is bigger than anybody could have possibly foreseen. Danny Devito is the comic relief, and is very good. Devito is so good that an Academy Award Nomination looks to be just around the corner. Danny Glover is very reverential as the Judge and even Jon Voight is good as the Dream-Team-type defense lawyer.
These few, quick characterizations only begin to describe the depths to which the characters are revealed. Overall, not a great film, but definitely worth a viewing, especially to those who have seen any other Coppola film released this decade.

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