Rotten Tomatoes
Cancel Movies Tv shows Shop News Showtimes

True Believer

R Released Feb 17, 1989 1h 43m Crime Drama List
96% Tomatometer 23 Reviews 63% Audience Score 2,500+ Ratings
Jaded lawyer Eddie Dodd (James Woods), a well-regarded activist in the 1960s whose moment has long passed, now smokes marijuana and defends drug dealers who pay in cash. Recent law graduate Roger Baron (Robert Downey Jr.) becomes Dodd's apprentice, hoping to learn from him. When an agitated mother walks in insisting her son is innocent of the murder he was jailed for eight years ago, idealistic Roger prods Eddie to take the case, and the pair uncovers a huge conspiracy that endangers them both. Read More Read Less
Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

Where to Watch

True Believer

Fandango at Home Prime Video Apple TV

Rent True Believer on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, Apple TV, or buy it on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, Apple TV.

True Believer

What to Know

Critics Consensus

A compelling mystery, social themes, and powerful performances from a pair of well-matched leads make True Believer a legal thriller that definitely passes the bar.

Read Critics Reviews

Critics Reviews

View All (23) Critics Reviews
Richard Schickel TIME Magazine Woods' angry energy is clarifying as well as terrifying, and when he unleashes it (usually without warning), the effect is to focus our attention where it belongs, not on a suspense story but on the mysteries of human behavior. Apr 16, 2009 Full Review Time Out A riveting legal drama. Jan 26, 2006 Full Review Hal Hinson Washington Post Ruben relies too heavily on Woods' whirring turbines to power his scenes. Jan 1, 2000 Full Review David Nusair Reel Film Reviews ...a fairly standard legal procedural that’s elevated by its raft of agreeable, engaging attributes... Rated: 3/4 Feb 23, 2023 Full Review Cole Smithey ColeSmithey.com Rated: 4/5 Jul 16, 2008 Full Review Film4 Woods, as ever, is wired for a fight -- in or outside the courtroom. It's all Downey Jr can do to hold him back. Feb 27, 2008 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (88) audience reviews
Carlos I It's a pretty standard legal drama, but it does satisfy of you're in the mood for a procedural, one that's heightened by an explosive Woods performance. My God that hair though... I know it's the 80s and all, but talk about distracting! Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/24/23 Full Review Audience Member Keeping well in mind the year of release in 1989, this cheesy acted at times crime thriller is pretty good overall and held its own in time stamping while watching last night for only my 2nd time. Robert Downey Jr was significantly better than Woods as Woods gave this film at times some yes, cheese, with some over the top moments. But quite enjoyable and a 7 out of 10. Not on any streaming services please know and note! Why many times dvd's and blu-ray are still superior!!! (May 18/22) Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/12/23 Full Review Audience Member It has been a long time since seeing the film true believer . James woods is a great actor and should get recognized more often. This film had me on edge watching it the whole time. Very worth the ⏲️. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review steve d It works for what it is but it has nothing new or interesting to say. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member An easy watch generic court room drama . I would say it doesn’t add anything new to the genre but it’s an older film so it’s been around longer than most films that set the precedent for me . It was nice seeing a young Robert Downey before he came into his persona that we know him by today . Overall I’d say it’s a 2.7/5, not a bad watch Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 03/22/20 Full Review Audience Member True Believer is a rather formulaic courtroom drama about a lawyer who never takes murder cases getting suckered into the biggest case of his career. It’s a familiar premise, and the film does little to elevate above the quality of a procedural TV show that would have the same story. James Woods is the star, and I think he’s miscast. He’s supposed to be a rather rebellious lawyer who doesn’t conform to the standards and expectations of a someone in his position. Instead he takes the sleaziest and worst clients he can find. It doesn’t fit, because Woods has an air of respectability that defies this reputation. Robert Downey, Jr. co-stars as the straight-laced lawyer fresh out of school who doesn’t agree with the principles and procedures of his mentor. It’s almost like these two personalities should be swapped because RDJ could crush that more sleazy, rebellious role. The whole film feels like a lot of wasted potential. There are certainly ways that they could have made this work better, and even used this as the jumping off point for a series of movies with the same lawyers. But the odd casting, and the by-the-numbers plot spoiled any chances of that. Even though True Believer is flawed, I can say at least it has a decent story. I tend to be a sucker for courtroom dramas, so I forgave a lot of the flaws and just enjoyed what the movie delivered. It’s one of those movies I’d say you could watch if you happen to catch it on TV, but don’t go out of your way for it. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 04/29/18 Full Review Read all reviews
True Believer

My Rating

Read More Read Less POST RATING WRITE A REVIEW EDIT REVIEW

Cast & Crew

Against All Odds 64% 46% Against All Odds Physical Evidence 22% 11% Physical Evidence Cop 83% 49% Cop Best Seller 69% 54% Best Seller Dolores Claiborne 85% 82% Dolores Claiborne Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

Movie Info

Synopsis Jaded lawyer Eddie Dodd (James Woods), a well-regarded activist in the 1960s whose moment has long passed, now smokes marijuana and defends drug dealers who pay in cash. Recent law graduate Roger Baron (Robert Downey Jr.) becomes Dodd's apprentice, hoping to learn from him. When an agitated mother walks in insisting her son is innocent of the murder he was jailed for eight years ago, idealistic Roger prods Eddie to take the case, and the pair uncovers a huge conspiracy that endangers them both.
Director
Joseph Ruben
Producer
Walter F. Parkes, Lawrence Lasker
Production Co
Columbia Pictures Corporation
Rating
R
Genre
Crime, Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Feb 17, 1989, Limited
Release Date (Streaming)
Apr 1, 2010
Box Office (Gross USA)
$8.7M
Runtime
1h 43m
Sound Mix
Surround
Most Popular at Home Now