Critic Reviews



Based on 26 critic reviews provided by
Intelligent, complex and enthralling, Presumed Innocent is one of those rare films where all the players seem to be in a state of grace, where the working of the machinery never shows and after it's over, one runs and reruns its intricacies with a profound sense of satisfaction.
Presumed Innocent has at its core one of the most fundamental fears of civilized man: the fear of being found guilty of a crime one did not commit. That fear is at the heart of more than half of Hitchcock's films, and it is one reason they work for all kinds of audiences. Everybody knows that fear.
A well-rigged whodunit based on the bestseller by Scott Turrow, that pretends to investigate the various political manipulations that haunt your average district attorney’s office but is in truth about the wages of sin.
Alan J. Pakula has directed an intense, enveloping, gratifyingly thorough screen adaptation of Mr. Turow's story. Mr. Pakula, who also co-wrote the film with Frank Pierson, is well suited to the job of conveying both the story's suspense and its underlying sobriety.
Honed to a riveting intensity by director Alan Pakula and featuring the tightest script imaginable, Presumed Innocent is a demanding, disturbing javelin of a courtroom murder mystery.
Even readers with reservations about the ways the film fails to measure up to the book should appreciate a smart, passionate, steadily engrossing thriller in a summer of mindless zap.
Slant Magazine
Pakula plays to Ford’s strengths, allowing the actor to use his face more than his words to convey the doubt, shame, and self-loathing Rusty experiences. The film may be more outright gripping during the courtroom scenes, but the quieter scenes between Ford and Scacchi leave more lasting impressions.
If they gave an Oscar for the year's most claustrophobic film, Presumed Innocent could have won it in a walk. Everything about this film is as cramped, clenched, and constricted as Harrison Ford's face, which looks like a tightly balled-up fist here.
Time Out London
In a welcome return to suspense, Pakula effectively conveys the claustrophobia of domesticity and courtroom procedure.
The convolutions of Turow’s plot remain absorbing, and Presumed Innocent is certainly as watchable as a lot of other courtoom-investigative thrillers. Yet almost everything in the picture feels sterile and posed. Pakula is good at laying out an intricate, almost mathematical series of events (his best film remains All the President’s Men), but he’s not big on atmosphere. The movie could have used some of the bowels-of-the-city grit Sidney Lumet brought to Q & A.

More Critic Reviews

See all external reviews for Presumed Innocent (1990) »

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Reviews | User Ratings | External Reviews

Recently Viewed