A solid cast with great performances, namely from Edward Norton who was pretty much the only reason I watched it. Unfortunately some assclown completely blew the ending for me years ago and I was never able to forget it. If it wasn't for that I probably would've completely loved this.
What a great performance by Norton! The pacing, plot reveals, and character interactions were all great and moved the plot along amazingly. Never dull despite its over 2 hour run time. The puzzle of the trial itself is never confusing and the ending will blow you away and make you look back and question everything you just watched. The romance between the leads it a bit dull and slightly unbelievable. Loved it.
"Jesus Christ, Marty. If that's what you think, I am disappointed in you, I don't mind telling you. There never was an Aaron... counselor! Come on, Marty, I thought you had it figured, there at the end. The way you put me on the stand like that? That was fucking brilliant, Marty! And that whole thing like "act-like-a-man"? Jesus, I knew exactly what you wanted from me. It was like we were dancing, Marty!"
Excellent acted court-room drama-thriller that put Edward Norton on the map and give Richard Gere a good leading part for a change. It has an excellent supporting cast too. The story has become more and more believable after all the scandals that has been in the Catholic Church. It do take it time so it can grow on you. The production has a TV-movie feel and could have needed more inventive direction though.
Manned by a capable cast with Edward Norton as a pleasant revelation, it is a pity that the film focuses on its weakest kink, Richard Gere. Besides, despite its more or less compelling conclusion, the film meanders for too long through unnecessary subplots that fill the gaps of this over-long courtroom drama. Possibly too ambitious and pretentious at the time, the film ends up being just competent enough.