TRIAL BY JURY examines what could occur when an innocent juror is forced by the Mafia to throw a murder/racketeering trial for a crime kingpin. With adequate performances by all, this movie still does not rise above the banal. The characters are disappointingly two-dimensional, and the message promotes taking the law into one's own hands.
TRIAL BY JURY is the story of one woman’s realization that the American judicial system is not enough to depend upon when she is called to serve on a jury for a Mafia kingpin. Approached by the underworld and asked to throw the trial, Valerie is forced to relay on her own resources to protect herself and her son. Continually terrorized by Mafiosi Vecey and Peron (including a visit by Peron to her home during which he rapes her), Valerie is forced to find a way, outside the legal systems, to protect herself.
Starring William Hurt and Joanne Whalley-Kilmer, TRIAL BY JURY is not as taught a thriller as could be possible with this genre. There is the usual smattering of foul language and some graphic violence, but the real problem is that the characters are disappointingly two-dimensional. The only character that goes through some change is the heroine, as the case should be in any heroic tale, but, the qualities she finds inside herself to overcome the situation make up a darker side which exhibits previously untapped deception, manipulation and ruthlessness. The final lesson learned is that “you don’t think about right or wrong, all you think about is survival.” As a result, her final solution is neither biblical nor legal.
(H, LL, VVV, S, NN, A/D, M) Humanism; 13 obscenities, 2 profanities, 1 vulgarity, & 1 derogatory term for homosexuality; 11 graphic deaths by gunshot or stabbing & implied rape; 1 character impersonates a prostitute, photos imply homosexual encounter & implied promiscuity; seduction scene with woman in lingerie, several photos of nude murder victims & brief female nudity in shower; alcohol use & cigar smoking; and, kidnapping, blackmail & theme of taking the law into one's own hands.