Based on journalist Jonathan Harr's nonfiction book, this intelligent legal thriller is a true-life David vs. Goliath story. A lawyer, representing a group of grieving families, crusades against two corporations accused of contaminating their town's drinking water and causing the death of his clients' children. The talented ensemble rarely hits a false note, with Macy especially wonderful as a beleaguered member of the legal team.
At its center, Travolta delivers a powerful performance as an egotistical Boston attorney who undergoes a life-transforming experience, but it's Duvall who nearly steals the show as his crafty nemesis, a flamboyant trial litigator. It may be slow-going by Hollywood standards, but in bringing this complex, issue-oriented story to the screen, writer-director Zaillian (Searching for Bobby Fischer) deserves the highest praise.