Blu-ray Review: THE PELICAN BRIEF

Warner Home Video
Theatrical release: December 17, 1993
Blu-ray release: February 10, 2009
MSRP: $28.99

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Sam Shepard, John Heard, Tony Goldwyn

Two Supreme Court Justices with almost nothing in common are assassinated. Tulane law student Darby Shaw (Roberts) writes a brief theorizing who’s responsible, and her professor/lover Thomas Callahan (Shepard) shows it to a friend at the FBI, shortly after which Callahan is killed by a car bomb.

Finding an ally in Washington Herald reporter Gray Grantham (Washington), whom Callahan admired, Darby must survive long enough to corroborate publish her theory.

While it received less acclaim than The Firm, in Pakula’s capable hands The Pelican Brief is a well-paced chase that rings with authenticity from its New Orleans and Washington DC location shoots, to its plot resembling All The President’s Men, to its standout supporting cast (including John Lithgow, James B. Sikking, and Robert Culp).

The one extra on the Blu-ray release is the film’s theatrical trailer, but considering the original DVD required flipping to watch the film in its entirety, the Blu-ray is a good buy for patient fans of the film or its stars.

Order the Blu-ray of The Pelican Brief from Amazon.

Gerald So
For more of Gerald’s thoughts and observations, check out his blog: If you want to know about my Life…
For more reviews from Gerald, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.