Norton's breakthrough performance @ #44.
Primal Fear tells the story of a seemingly harmless altar boy who is accused of murdering Chicago's most beloved archbishop. Big shot lawyer Martin Vail takes the case to prove his client's innocence, and ends up digging up clues that prove the archbishop wasn't so great. He also discovers that due to his client's repressed personality, he has developed a second, more brutal personality. Now the lawyer wants the insanity plea, and to prove that the archbishop brought on his own murder. This is an intense courtroom drama, and a very well made film that makes you think.This movie is one of the best courtroom dramas/thrillers out there. It is well made with a chilling plot and great dialogue. The style in which the film is made reminds me of the classic mystery/courtroom films, except with a darker, more modern twist. The movie is dark and violent, but it never goes too far over the top to push people away. It's a movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat until the final shocking scene.
The acting is great. Richard Gere is as good as always as the big shot lawyer. This is Edward Norton's first film, and you can tell straight away that he was going somewhere. He is amazingly talented.Overall, this is a chilling film, and I recommend it to anyone who likes a good thriller, a good courtroom drama, or a plain old good movie.