I read John Grisham's THE CLIENT not so long ago and loved it. The young hero, 11-year old Mark Sway, was easy to root for, Reggie was indisputably likable, and the plot moved quickly and just kept picking up speed. I purchased the film from eBay with high hopes.
The good news: the film met my expectations and is a great (though not perfect) adaptation of the book. The casting is spot-on.
The bad news: It's definatly NOT appropriate for kids under 12 or some very mature 11-year olds. Language is a HUGE issue, with frequent uses of "s**t", "a*s", "d**n", "b**ch", and "bas***d". Young Mark curses too,and one third of the cursing comes from him alone. He also gives a threatening mobster "the finger" and smokes. Violence is iffy. A drunk, suicidal man violently yanks Mark into his car and threatens him while telling him secrets. Later the man shoots himself in the head (offscreen), and Mark is threatened with knives and guns by mobsters. Reggie is almost killed by a mafia member.
Mark lies and steals and people we would normally look up too, like the FBI and police, cheat and break rules.
But the film is still immensly enjoyable. It is intriguing and holds your attention from start to finish, and Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones shine in roles that it seemes they were made for.