New York Times - 12/17/1993
"...A celebration of liquid brown eyes and serious star quality....[Roberts and Washington] make the movie shine..."
Variety - 12/20/1993
"...A taut, intellectual thriller....Roberts is simply terrific....Washington also impresses..."
Entertainment Weekly - 12/24/1993
"...Roberts returns from her time off with a newly confident grace....She's as luminous as a dream of a movie star. As for Washington, it's doubtful whether there's a smarter leading man working today..."
Julia Roberts (ERIN BROCKOVICH) stars in THE PELICAN BRIEF as sharp law student Darby Shaw whose querying mind gets her into trouble. A faithful adaptation of John Grisham's (THE FIRM) best-selling novel, this taut thriller follows the travails that beset Shaw when her theory on the cause of the deaths of two Supreme Court Justices lands her name on the conspirators' hit list. When Shaw teams up with reporter Gray Grantham (Denzel Washington--THE HURRICANE) they find themselves dodging deadly assassins in a suspenseful story that weaves complex narrative strands. The well-cast film also features a cameo by playwright-actor Sam Shepard (TRUE WEST).
In Alan J. Pakula's (KLUTE) thriller THE PELICAN BRIEF Julia Roberts plays Tulane University law student Darby Shaw. After the consecutive murders of two Supreme Court Justices, she becomes intrigued with the case and assembles a brief on her theory of who committed the murders. However, things start to get tricky when those who've read her brief turn up as corpses, which prompts her to enlist help from Washington Herald reporter Gray Grantham (Denzel Washington). Their further gathering of evidence to prove her hypothesis only results in moving their names up on the hit-list. Replete with cameo roles by high-profile actors such as playwright Sam Shepard (TRUE WEST) as the law professor with whom Shaw has an affair, this box office hit closely follows popular novelist John Grisham's (THE FIRM) best-selling book. The film's themes are in line with late director Pakula's abiding interest in conspiracy drama, a topic explored in many of his best films such as ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN and THE PARALLAX VIEW.