October 13, 2017

R: October 13th, 2017 | R: 118 minutes | R: PG-13

When Joseph Spell (played by Sterling K. Brown) is thrown in jail and put on trial for the acquisition of rapping Eleanor Strubing (played by Kate Hudson), all lawyers avoid the case. Especially insurance claim lawyer Sam Friedman (played by Josh Gad). But Mr. Friedman is later forced by professional African American lawyer Thurgood Marshall (played by Chadwick Boseman) to pursue the case. Marshall’s one and only goal is to help anyone who is falsely accused of a crime strictly because of their race.

This courtroom drama was directed by Reginald Hudlin (who previously directed “House Party” and “Boomerang”) and was written by the Koskoff brothers (who previously wrote “Macbeth” starring Michael Fassbender). I enjoyed this film. It was not the smoothest, but it had good performances by Chadwick Boseman (previously seen in “Captain America: Civil War” and “Get on Up”) and Josh Gad (previously seen in “Love & Other Drugs” and “Beauty and The Beast” [2017]). Boseman did a very good job playing the smart, cocky and witty character of the title character. It took a while to get past the arrogance, but once I did his character became a very interesting character. You could just feel the hatred in him over such racism. Josh Gad took a little while for me to understand his character, but once I did, I immediately understood his perspective and really enjoyed his performance. The duo also had a great amount of humor and it worked out well, giving a light hearted breather to all the intense courtroom scenes. I also really enjoyed the performances of the supporting actors. The cast as a whole did a great job.

What really surprised me was the set design. Especially for a $12 million budget. It felt just like we were in the 40’s or 50’s. And the music was perfect for the era as well...super classy. I also really enjoyed the intense courtroom scenes. They really got me engaged in the film. And like I mentioned earlier, the humor was great. But it took a little while to get into because of its silliness. But what I sadly thought lacked in this film was the cinematography. It was quite noticeably bland and was very dry to look at.

Overall I enjoyed Marshall. While it does have its flaws, the pros out way them by far. It is not the best courtroom drama, but if you are interested...I would definitely recommend checking it out. It is a bit forgettable, and honestly will not be remembered in ten years, but it is a good watch while we are all waiting for those oscar nominees and holiday season blockbusters.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Cabell Cabell (Contributor) is a filmmaker from Tampa, Florida. He will watch just about any film but when he's not reviewing the latest hits he spends time directing films of his own.
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