Just Cause (1995)

Just Cause Poster

A Harvard professor is lured back into the courtroom after twenty-five years to take the case of a young black man condemned to death for the horrific murder of a child.

Film Overview
"Just Cause" is a 1995 American crime thriller film directed by Arne Glimcher, based on the unique by John Katzenbach. The movie boasts a star-studded cast, led by Sean Connery, Laurence Fishburne, Blair Underwood, and Ed Harris. The movie focuses on styles of injustice, wrongful conviction, and the fight for fact in the middle of a complex web of suspicion and deceptiveness.

The Plot
Sean Connery stars as Harvard law teacher Paul Armstrong who, enticed by his strong commitment to justice, puts his academia career on hold to use up an appeal case of Bobby Earl Ferguson (played by Blair Underwood). Bobby, a young African-American, is on a death row in Florida for the harsh rape and murder of a girl, Joanie Shriver. Bobby maintains his innocence, declaring to have actually been persuaded into a false confession through physical violence by 2 corrupt cops led by Detective Tanny Brown (Laurence Fishburne).

Upon digging into the case, Armstrong uncovers the real perpetrator, Blair Sullivan (Ed Harris), a serial killer serving time in prison. When Armstrong fulfills Sullivan, he admits to the murder of Joanie Shriver and numerous others. Believing he has conclusive evidence of Bobby Earl's innocence, Armstrong convinces the court to release him.

Twist in the Tale
However, upon Bobby's release, he kidnaps Armstrong's better half and child. Armstrong understands that he has actually made a terrible error; Bobby was undoubtedly guilty, and his claim of innocence was simply a cover-up. The confession from Sullivan was part of an intricate ploy cooked up by Bobby from behind bars, exploiting the teacher's staunch belief in justice and his reputation as an opponent of the capital punishment. It's revealed that Sullivan, who will be performed, consented to falsely confess to complimentary Bobby, who would then look for revenge on Brown, the detective who had initially caught him.

Resolution and Conclusion
Armstrong and Detective Brown team up to conserve Armstrong's household from Bobby. They find Bobby to the swamps, where a showdown ensues, leading to Bobby's death. Armstrong conserves his family, but not before he inadvertently causes the fatal shooting of Detective Brown. In the end, Armstrong is left considering the effects of his optimistic pursuit of justice.

Critical Reception and Themes
"Just Cause" is a thriller movie that explores the great line between assuming innocence and negating guilt, set against the controversial background of the American death sentence and justice system. The movie handles intense and extensive themes such as wrongful conviction, authorities cruelty, systemic bigotry, and the moral uncertainties surrounding capital punishment.

Despite its intense performances, especially by Connery and Fishburne, the movie got combined reviews. Some critics applauded the film's captivating plot twists and dramatic stress, while others slammed it for utilizing a lot of category clich├ęs and failing to completely explore the complicated issues it broached.

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