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Thomas Newman
Duvall v. Downey in 'The Judge' argues for acting excellence
Duvall v. Downey in 'The Judge' argues for acting excellence

Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. are not only the boldface names attached to "The Judge," but their powerful symbiotic acting is the key reason to see this film. Playing an unapologetically estranged father and son whose two-way contempt runs so deep they can barely look at each other, Duvall and Downey create a memorable mutual antipathy with echoes that go back as far as Raymond Massey squaring off against James Dean in "East of Eden." However, as directed by David Dobkin from a script by Nick Schenk and Bill Dubuque, this vivid and volatile core is often undercut by a weakness for middle-of-the-road sentiment and a desire to be all things to all people. Part...

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