The Rainmaker

Francis Ford Coppola wrote and directed this watchable adaptation of the John Grisham courtroom novel, about a hapless young lawyer (Matt Damon) persuaded to take on a huge insurance company, and it’s fairly enjoyable if simpleminded stuff. There’s a subplot about the hero becoming interested in a battered wife (Claire Danes) that isn’t fully integrated with the main story, but the secondary cast is full of flavor (with particularly high marks to Mickey Rourke, Danny DeVito, Danny Glover, Mary Kay Place, Teresa Wright, and Jon Voight), and Coppola was wise to get Michael Herr to write the hero’s offscreen narrationsomething he’d also done for Coppola in the late 70s on Apocalypse Now. (JR)

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