There are a lot of lawyers and aspiring lawyers that are doing their best to be at the top of their chosen field. In The Firm, Mitch McDeere (Tom Cruise) is one of those people. Right as he's finishing up law school, he becomes a hot commodity for law firms wanting to attract the best young talents out there. He gets the usual offers from the firms in the big cities around the country, but he also gets one from a firm in Memphis, Tennessee. He decides to take the Memphis job after they stunningly offer him more money than anyone else does. He goes on about his business and never questions how such a small firm can pay him like this.
After he and his wife Abby (Jeanne Tripplehorn) get comfortable in their new home that's been furnished by his new employer, he sets off on his first day of work and meets Avery Tolar (Gene Hackman), a lawyer at the firm who takes Mitch under his wing. They get along well and things couldn't be going better for Mitch, but his wife doesn't feel so good about the situation. It's when you add accidental deaths and a couple of FBI agents snooping around that Mitch finally starts to get suspicious himself. It's not long before he realizes that he not only have to worry about a new job, but he may also have to worry about his life.
The plot in The Firm becomes very clear early on and it doesn't usually go off track. After a while, you're only left wondering who is behind everything that's going on. It plays off like a drama at first and begins to pick up once the questions start forming for McDeere. Once you find out who's involved, the intrigue swiftly shifts to how he's going to escape this nightmare that he's trapped in. Throughout the movie, you'll see these kinds of seamless transitions in other areas and they'll be clearly explained if you pay attention.
Despite the plot being spelled out like this, the movie maintains its strength primarily because of its actors. This is particularly true for Tom Cruise and Ed Harris. These two embodied their roles the most and were very believable as they put on quality performances like the rest of the cast. Outside of Cruise, everyone else seems to only have bit parts in a way. It would have been nice to see them use some of the actors (especially Harris) a little more for the simple fact that some of the people they portrayed were really interesting and added to the movie.
When you're talking about The Firm, nothing in the story really jumps out at you, but it has enough twists and turns to keep you interested in the suspense that it wants to deliver. It's a smooth ride that features very few rough edges and that has to be credited to the director. The Firm is a good thriller all the way around that features drama, suspense and quality acting. It's definitely a movie that's worth taking a look at.
Director: Sydney Pollack
Film Length: 154 minutes
Release Date: June 30, 1993
Distributor: Paramount Pictures