When big city defense attorney Hank Palmer’s (Robert Downey Jr) mother dies he returns to his childhood home of Carliville Indiana where his father Joseph Palmer (Robert Duvall) is the local judge. Hank is greeted by his two brothers when he arrives at his mothers’ wake. His younger brother Dale (Jeremy Strong) who has a mental impairment and often hides behind his video camera and his older brother Glen (Vincent D’Onofrio) who owns a local store near home.
Being home only rehashes bad memories with Hank and his father who haven’t spoken in almost a decade making Hank more than ready to leave just a few days after his mothers’ funeral. On the day of Hank’s flight home he has a unfortunate discovery of his father’s beat up car in the garage. Joseph is then linked to a hit-and-run in which a man he had sentenced to prison decades ago was killed.
Joseph is now on the other side of the court room of which he has been in rule of for over 40 years, in what has become a murder trial. Hank is in an awkward position of defending his father against a crafty, out-of-town prosecutor, Dwight Dickman (Billy Bob Thorton). With much evidence against Joseph, Hank has his job cut out for him, especially since his father is being of no help saying “Imagine a faraway place where people value your opinion and go there.” With many ups and downs throughout the trial, including the discovery that his father is terminally I'll, Hpank and Joseph manage to rekindle what had been lost many years ago.
The cinematography along with the outstanding cast makes for one of the best movies of the year. This is by far one of Robert Downey Jr’s best performances, alongside Robert Duvall. This movie makes you laugh, makes you cry, and makes you want to see it again. You are glued to the screen from beginning to end with the riveting performance from the entire cast. I definitely give it three and a half paws out of four by Lexi Lapp.