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Overall Rating

Awesome: 21.67%
Worth A Look51.67%
Just Average: 13.33%
Pretty Crappy: 5%
Sucks: 8.33%

3 reviews, 42 user ratings

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Primal Fear
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by Ophelia13

"And I thought Edward Norton was great before..."
4 stars

Alright, I admit it. I watched Primal Fear because of Edward Norton. The thought of an unknown, outright lying to get a part, and getting away with it, that puts me in awe. And it's obvious why he got the part.

Let's face the facts. This movie isn't very good. Richard Gere's ego, both in the character and his very being, is so huge that his head almost doesn't fit on the screen. And Laura Linney. Can the woman EVER make a character sincere and likeable? I have seen a few of her performances, and never liked one.
The first hour is drawn out and often irrelevant, and leaves you wondering why. Not why anything. Just why. But then it sort of picks up. Notice the 'sort of', because the entire movie is centered on a lawyer who I know I'm supposed to like, but I just can't bring myself to do it.
Now that's I've told you what I don't like about this movie, I'll tell you why you should watch it. You probably already guessed, but it's Edward Norton. I have never seen a performance of his that I didn't like, and this is no exception. In fact, it's quite nearly as good as his performance in American History X, which I don't think I'll ever quite recover from.
Aaron Stampler is an alter boy. He has a stutter, and suffers from frequent blackouts. He is one of the most pitiful people you will ever see, and it's endearing. He is present during the murder of the Archbishop who gave him sanctuary, and is arrested after giving chase to the police. This, of course, pegs him as the prime suspect (I don't know, but if I woke up covered in blood near a mutilated body, I'd probably run, too.) Martin Vail is a greedy lawyer, and he decides to take the case "Pro Bono" out of the goodness of his heart, and not the high profile news coverage (of course).
Then it get's interesting, as the trial begins and the nature of the killing comes to the surface.

Primal Fear contains alot of holes, and some very irritating characters, but on the whole it's very worth watching.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=542&reviewer=130
originally posted: 11/29/99 00:53:41
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User Comments

1/04/19 Anne worth watching 4 stars
9/16/17 morris campbell well acted with a good twist 4 stars
7/30/10 Simon Mediocre movie, but 'worth a look' only scratches the surface of Norton's brilliant debut 4 stars
12/12/07 jOSEPHINE c. eSTRELLA for me the film is very nice,suspense 4 stars
3/30/07 fools♫gold Why play with money, when you can play with people's lives? 5 stars
12/21/06 Dillon Well written and intriguing. The performances are great. 5 stars
8/03/06 William AARON, TAKE HER FROM BEHIND! The funniest line in the movie. 2 stars
9/20/05 Indrid Cold Great acting, decent story = above average movie. 4 stars
7/03/05 Vic LOVED it...ending blew me away despite what some ppl say..norton and gere just superb... 5 stars
6/08/04 John surprisingly effective thriller 4 stars
3/05/04 LIAM JACKSON that archbishop was a evil pervert who prayed on kids. i'm glad he got killed! 5 stars
1/19/04 jeremy Acting sucks, plot sucks, characters are one-dimensional...a cinematic piece of shit. 1 stars
10/20/03 sylvie excellent intelligent movie, if u like primal fear check out fightclub! 5 stars
3/02/03 Jack Sommersby A mediocre adaptation of a brilliant novel. Suspenseless and boring. 2 stars
10/21/02 Jim Good acting all around, though most of the twists weren't very twisty. 4 stars
9/30/02 Lauren great acting from Norton AND Gere! 5 stars
9/28/02 Peter Sherlock Same old same old 1 stars
5/20/02 Charles Tatum What planet are these characters from??? 1 stars
3/14/02 Iris Dementia Praecox Does not prove multiple personality case is faked; just pretends to. 1 stars
2/24/02 Geebo If you see this movie for one reason, see it for Norton 4 stars
2/23/02 R.W. Welch Unlikely but interesting plot line with fine Jeykll-Hyde work by Norton. 4 stars
1/19/02 Betty IT SUCKS 1 stars
1/01/02 Katre Edward,Edward,Edward,what more is there to say?It was all good. 4 stars
9/08/01 Butterbean Gere takes a backseat to Norton. The best ending in celluloid history!!! 4 stars
3/24/01 Monster W. Kung Norton rules, as usual. The guy is great. On the other end, Gere blows donkeys as usual. 4 stars
3/21/01 Jesee Armerding This movie isn'r awesome, but you have to see it for edward Norton. 4 stars
2/16/01 lisa the book was better. the title lies. 3 stars
2/15/01 Jake pretty taut 5 stars
2/18/00 Neil Austin If Norton hadn't been there it would have been Shite 4 stars
12/01/99 Allen Konigsberg Not bad, needs more Maura Tierney, Maura Tierney, Maura Tierney, Maura Tierney, Maura ..... 4 stars
11/30/99 The Bomb 69 Gere couldn't hold Norton's jock strap, totally amazing 5 stars
11/29/99 Mic Far too much swearing and dragged for a while, but still worth the look if only for Norton 4 stars
11/01/99 Bozo norton & the story are great; mcdormand & woodard wasted; gere almost ruined it for me 4 stars
10/01/99 ralph excellent 5 stars
8/10/99 adjovi enjoyable and clever plot, but the movie's real strength is Norton's prodigious debut perfo 5 stars
7/16/99 soccer_mum Great film. Draws you right in and sucker punches you at the end...See it!! 5 stars
4/18/99 Daria Who cares about Gere? Norton is the reason this film rocks. 5 stars
1/24/99 Chloe Marie Ernestine (clatter@hotmail.com) I like it. Very re-watchable. Great, fun to watch performance by Norton. Movie does drag. 4 stars
9/26/98 Johny Norton is best part of the film, a decent lawyer flick too 4 stars
9/15/98 f*r*o*s*t*y This film rocked the freakin' house. Wow. Wow. Wow. 5 stars
8/29/98 Mister Whoopee Richard Gere is shite. Great cast otherwise. 2 stars
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  03-Apr-1996 (R)



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