Trial by Jury (1994)    0 Stars

“To protect her child from the Mob, she did what any mother would have done. Lie. Deceive. Manipulate.”


Trial by Jury (1994)
Trial by Jury (1994)


Director: Heywood Gould

Cast:  Joanne Whalley-Kilmer, Armand Assante, Gabriel Byrne

Synopsis: Valerie Alston is placed on the jury for the criminal case of mob boss Rusty Pirone, and it’s not long before she is threatened by Pirone’s right-hand man.





A good cast and entertaining plot find themselves foiled by a pedestrian script and ludicrous conclusion Trial by Jury, a rather old-fashioned pot-boiler directed (and co-written) by Heywood Gould. Joanne Whalley-Kilmer (44 Inch Chest) looks ravishing as the whiter-than-white single mum who, upon being called to jury duty, finds herself terrorised by the henchmen of the mobster defendant. Armand Assante (1492: Conquest of Paradise) plays the blacker-than-black gangster – a slick, sharply-dressed caricature if ever there was one – but manages to add some sparks of individuality to the role. Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects, Ghost Ship) is the fiery-tempered, driven state prosecutor who is largely ineffectual throughout the picture (character, not actor) – think about it: he achieves nothing he sets out to do. Only William Hurt (Broadcast News) really makes a mark as Assante’s ex-cop henchman assigned to put the frighteners on Whalley-Kilmer. Plagued by a nagging conscience, and a major case of the hots for JW-K, his is the only interesting character in Trial by Jury. Mind you, William Hurt makes every role he plays interesting. Although the plot is entertaining it is also filled with huge holes and some really silly twists that require a superhuman suspension of disbelief on the part of the viewer. If you can manage it, though, you may find some enjoyment in this hokey thriller.

(Reviewed 13th May 2002)

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