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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Standing up for what you believe in, defending others who can't defend themselves. Criticizing corruption. These themes are all set against a backdrop of abuses of power and a flawed legal system.
Positive Role Models
Arthur is courageous and compassionate, but often shows contempt for authority figures and due process. Other institutional figures -- such as police officers and judges -- openly disregard problems with their own due process and those who are wronged by the legal system.
The main cast is predominantly White and male, with some ethnic and gender diversity among the supporting cast. A transgender character appears in a supporting role. An older character's mental and cognitive health is shown to be declining. Further discussions around mental health, include characters breaking down and feeling suicidal. Character has a violent outburst when suffering a period of intense mental distress, which plays on stereotypes.
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Violence & Scariness
Sexual violence discussed in relation to a legal case. Minor scuffles and violent outbursts. References to punches being thrown. A gun is fired to quieten a courtroom dispute. References to murder and other reported violence, including sexual violence. Bloody injuries and bruises shown. Intentional property damage and intimidation. Shots fired in a standoff. Sexual harassment.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Innuendo. Kissing. Reference to having sex. Couple shown in bed together, partly under covers. One appears shirtless. Character emerges from swimming pool in shorts. Woman shown fully nude in photos of a sex party, other characters shown in fetish wear.
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Language used includes "s--t," "goddamn," "son of a bitch," "douche bag," and "f--k." Also use of the "N" word. Non-inclusive language directed toward a transgender character. Some swearing is played for comedic effect.
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Products & Purchases
Several wealthy characters, including one who takes others for a ride in their own helicopter.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking and smoking. Character appears drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that ...And Justice for All is a 1979 courtroom drama with strong language and adult themes. The movie tackles ethical and moral issues -- as well as the abuse of power -- with renegade defense attorney Arthur Kirkland (Al Pacino) made to represent the arrogant and dismissive Judge Fleming (John Forsythe), who stands accused of rape. Sexual violence is discussed in relation to the case. There are also scuffles and the firing of a gun inside a courtroom. While there is little diversity among the main cast, there is some in the supporting roles. Arthur's fellow lawyer, Gail (Christine Lahti), is a credible love interest who is treated with respect for being good at her job. Arthur also helps a transgender suspect, Ralph (Robert Christian), who receives no sympathy or support from others. While the language is sporadic, it does include the "N" word, used by Ralph, when talking about how police officers view Black men. Ralph is also on the receiving end of non-inclusive language. Sex is implied both directly and through innuendo. A couple are seen lying in bed together and photos from a sex party show a woman naked and others in fetish wear. Characters drink alcohol and, in one scene, Arthur's colleague, Jay (Jeffrey Tambor), appears drunk, in response to a stressful incident at work. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This slightly chaotic judicial drama might lack the neatness of other movies in the genre or the realism of other movies from the same era. But …And Justice for All remains an ambitious attempt to show how authority figures both struggle against and manipulate a flawed legal system. Pacino does a dependable job as courageous everyman Kirkland, revisiting the kind of role he was able to explore with greater nuance in Serpico. He's also able to raise the roof and the volume in the movie's more combustible moments without wildly overacting, which is where several of his co-stars come unstuck.
The "main" plot line revolving around Kirkland being forced to defend the monstrous Judge Fleming (John Forsythe) gets slightly buried in the melee, but does fuel the fire of Kirkland's discontent. This drives ...And Justice for All toward a final act that makes no attempt to hide the irony of its title. While undercut slightly by some misjudged comedic scenes along the way, this is still one for Pacino completists to tick off their watch lists.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.