Rainmaker, The
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: -1

Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon) is an idealistic young lawyer. Unlike many of his fellow graduates, Matt's parents didn't have the wealth or power to get him into a law firm. Despite his desire to become wealthy and successful, the only job he can find is chasing ambulances for a Memphis lowlife named "Bruiser." In his new job, he meets Deck Shifflet (Danny DeVito), Bruiser's self-described "paralawyer" who introduces Rudy to the ugly underbelly of the legal profession, a place where lawyers and insurance companies wrestle each other. A place where ethics gives way to money. One of Rudy's potential clients is Kelly Riker (Claire Danes), a beautiful young woman hospitalized by her husband's abusive behavior. Rudy decides to get personally involved and tries to help her escape her marriage, which could end in an early death. Deck and Rudy also latch onto an insurance fraud case that will shake the foundations of both the legal and the health insurance worlds. THE RAINMAKER lacks any real suspense, and the plot comes out random and disjointed. But DeVito's comic relief and the need created to see corrupt insurance companies fall to the ground will draw healthy crowds at the box-office.

In the end, Rudy learns that wealth and power mean nothing if you can't live with the decisions you make. And abused Kelly eventually finds the courage to leave her husband. However, these redeeming themes can't hide the foul language which mars this script. Nineteen crude words and one obscenity find their way into the dialogue, and the Lord's name is taken in vain five times. One moderately violent sequence involves Rudy protecting Kelly from her husband. The scene ends when Rudy hits the husband with the same bat he beats his wife with. As the husband lies on the ground nearly unconscious, Kelly convinces Rudy to leave. As he departs, the beating death of the husband at Kelly's hands is implied. The movie lacks any sexual material, but it does tend to portray insurance companies as corrupt. Although it lacks many of the gratuitous elements of many films today, this Grisham novel-turned-screenplay is marred by too much foul language.

Preview Reviewer: Jason Shepherd
Distributor: Paramount Communications, Inc., 1515 Broadway, New York, NY 10036

Crude Language: Many (19) times - Mild 9, Moderate 10
Obscene Language: Once - s-word
Profanity: Several (5) times - Regular (GD 3, God 1) Exclamatory 1
Violence: Few times - Moderate (abusive husband treats wife roughly with beating implied; man fights abusive husband; gun threat; implied death by beating)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Many times (smoking, social drinking)
Other: Insurance companies and lawyers portrayed as corrupt
Running Time: 128 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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