Rolling Stone - 02/19/1998
"...Hypnotic....A Grisham thriller has rarely been this sexy or this much fun..."
USA Today - 01/23/1998
"...A neo-noir thriller that unwinds with off-kilter promise..."
New York Times - 01/23/1998
"...Altman plays a John Grisham mystery in a seductive new key with THE GINGERBREAD MAN....[The film illustrates] the delicacy of Mr. Altman's brooding, richly atmospheric style..."
Box Office - 02/01/1998
"...[Altman] does fine work, both with his camera and with his troupe..."
Premiere - 02/01/1998
"...[Altman] proves that age hasn't mellowed his temperament or his talent....[The filmmakers] create a dark, eerie canvas for this tale of spiraling chaos..."
Los Angeles Times - 01/23/1998
"...THE GINGERBREAD MAN is beautifully photographed....Altman had a fine time composing difficult shots..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 02/20/1998
"...Grisham has a sure sense of time and place, and Altman and his actors invest the material with a kind of lurid sincerity..."
Robert Altman throws his chips into the film noir ring with this stylish, moody thriller that features a spot-on performance by Kenneth Branagh as Rick Magruder, a successful Savannah, Georgia lawyer. After a party celebrating a major victory, he offers Mallory Doss (Embeth Davidtz), a shy waitress whose car has been stolen, a lift home. Their relationship develops quickly and it isn't long before he sleeps with her. Soon after, however, Rick learns that Mallory's cat has been killed, which she attributes to her religious fanatic father, Dixon Doss (Robert Duvall). As Rick attempts to track Dixon down and protect Mallory from him, a new chain of events is unleashed which threatens to ruin his career and endanger the lives of his two children. Meanwhile, a hurricane looms in the distance, adding even greater tension to Rick's quickly deteriorating situation. As is typical with all of Altman's films, a high-profile cast converges to deliver solid individual performances. Standouts include--in addition to Branagh's hedonistic lawyer--Duvall, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Berenger, Daryl Hannah, and Davidtz. The first John Grisham-inspired film that wasn't adapted from one of the author's novels, THE GINGERBREAD MAN is more film noir than courtroom drama and is rendered suspensefully by maverick director Altman.
A lecherous Georgian defense attorney (Kenneth Branagh) falls "hook, line, and sinker" for a fragile woman (Embeth Davidtz) who claims her religious zealot father (Robert Duvall) and his followers are stalking and harassing her. After having her father committed, the lawyer finds himself drawn into a web of family intrigue and deception. Altman's rich and typically atmospheric direction lends weight to novelist John Grisham's story.
Family Interaction |
Law / Lawyers |
THE GINGERBREAD MAN is the first John Grisham story adapted to film that wasn't taken from a previously published novel.
Robert Altman almost sued producer Polygram when it threatened to take the film away from him and re-edit it. The version that remains is Altman's final cut.