A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Standing up to people who abuse their power. Helping those in need.
Positive Role Models
Rudy is kind, hardworking, and diligent. He tries his best to help his clients in the face of overwhelming odds and people who attempt to intimidate and bully him. He occasionally bends some rules, but does so with good intentions. Deck is less scrupulous but also loyal and hardworking. Leo and his colleagues are cold and motivated by corporate greed, but they are shown in a negative light throughout.
Very little diversity among the main cast, which is predominantly White and male. Some diversity among the supporting cast. The most prominent woman in the movie is portrayed as needing saving by a man.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Bloody nosebleed, as a result of a medical condition. Various injuries shown, such as bandaged limbs and bloody but dressed wounds. One character shows marks that are the result of domestic violence. Assault with a baseball bat. Characters have angry outbursts, display physically threatening behavior. Fight with punches thrown and property damage. On-screen, non-graphic death. Reference to pedophilia and sexual assault. Female character details sexism and bullying in the workplace.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing. Groping. Topless nudity seen from behind. Undressing. Reference to prostitution.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Language used includes "piss," "bastards," "hell," "a--hole," "son of a bitch," and "damn." The term "hooker" is used for a sex worker.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
A lawyer is tasked with encouraging victims of accidents and injuries to pursue legal cases, so that they can profit from them. A character attempts to give their life savings to a TV evangelist who it is implied is greedy and materialistic. A paralegal is heavily motivated by money, but as they aren't rich they excuse their behavior as a means to survive. Discussions of money, savings, and inheritances. Some family members care more about the prospect of inheriting wealth than they do the relatives whom they stand to inherit money from. An insurance company is accused of acting in bad faith in order to avoid financial losses.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes and cigars socially. A kid is discouraged from smoking. Reference to alcohol addiction.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Rainmaker is a legal drama that, despite a fairly gentle overall tone, deals with some tough subject matter in places. Rudy (Matt Damon) is a rookie attorney who alongside paralegal Deck (Danny DeVito) initially approach injured parties in hospital and try to convince them they need their legal representation. But Rudy then starts working tirelessly to use the law to protect people and bring those who break it to account. This includes taking on an insurance firm accused of malpractice. The character Kelly (Claire Danes) is a victim of domestic abuse and the violence she receives from her husband is both shown and discussed. There is also one fight scene, an on-screen (non-graphic) death, and brief references to sexual assault. There is some swearing, such as "bastards" and "son of a bitch," but it is rare. Many characters are motivated by wealth and greed. Rudy in contrast is more concerned with doing the right thing -- the money he pursues is tied to wanting the insurance carrier to be found guilty of wrongdoing. Drinking and smoking feature occasionally, but always in moderation. In one scene a kid is discouraged from smoking. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
With its A-list cast directed by The Godfather maestro Francis Ford Coppola, this legal drama was one of several that Hollywood adapted from the bestselling novels of John Grisham during the 1990s. Anyone familiar with Grisham's work will know what to expect with The Rainmaker: an underdog protagonist gets involved in a case that exposes the corruption and inequality that lurks around corners in the legal system. Damon is perfectly cast in his first lead role, as the bright and idealistic Rudy, while Jon Voight and Danny DeVito reliably deliver their turns as his down-to-earth but ruthless opponent and his hustling sidekick, respectively.
Rudy's determined internal monologue serves as a voiceover that bears the hallmarks of a literary adaptation. Yet what The Rainmaker lacks in nuance or originality it makes up for by serving as cinematic comfort food. It would be interesting to see how a more modern adaptation would likely increase its diversity and the role of its female characters, not least Kelly -- Claire Danes is wasted as a meek love interest. But there's enough thoughtfulness elsewhere to avoid the movie ageing poorly altogether. Its unflinching look at the disparity in the healthcare available even in wealthy countries is sadly as relevant now as it was when the movie was made.
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.