The Rainmaker (1997) / Drama-Thriller
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for a strong beating and elements of domestic abuse
Running Time: 135 min.
Cast: Matt Damon, Danny DeVito, Claire Danes, Jon Voight, Mickey Rourke, Mary Kay Place
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Screenplay: Francis Ford Coppola (based on the novel by John Grisham)
Review published December 10, 1998
A young lawyer (Damon, Courage Under Fire) goes to work for a crooked ambulance-chasing firm, and tries not to drown in his first case against a highly successful insurance company and their formidable team of lawyers. The company refused to pay for a bone marrow transplant even though the operation was needed or their client would die. The lawyer also finds love, when trying to protect a battered woman (Danes, U Turn) from an overly abusive husband.
Matt Damon proves here he's an actor to watch with a terrific performance as the ambitious and upright young lawyer, with a supporting cast that's every bit as good as well. Coppola (The Godfather, Part II) directs in a straight-forward style that is effective in many scenes and too subdued in others. Immensely enjoyable, but the ending lacked the punch it needed to send it over the top.
©1997 Vince Leo