• Primal Fear (1996)

Primal Fear

Release Date: April 3rd, 1996

DVD Release Date: October 21st, 1998

R |2 hr 9 min

Plot Summary

Defense attorney Martin Vail takes on jobs for money and prestige rather than any sense of the greater good. His latest case involves an altar boy, accused of brutally murdering the archbishop of Chicago. Vail finds himself up against his ex-pupil and ex-lover, but as the case progresses and the Church's dark secrets are revealed, Vail finds that what appeared a simple case takes on a darker, more dangerous aspect.

Cast: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Ed Norton, John Mahoney, Alfre Woodard, Frances McDormand, Terry O'Quinn, Andre Braugher

Director: Gregory Hoblit

Genres: Thriller , Crime drama

Production Co: Paramount Pictures

Distributors: Paramount Pictures

Keywords: Fall , Prison , Gripping , Deception , Investigation , Murder , Revenge , Suspenseful , Mystery , 1990s

Ratings & Reviews

  • 75
    San Francisco Examiner

    This is the sort of movie that doesn't become irritating even when it's predictable. show more

  • 100
    Peter StackSan Francisco Chronicle

    Riveting. show more

  • 88
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    The plot is as good as crime procedurals get, but the movie is really better than its plot because of the three-dimensional characters. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Winner Best Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Nominated Actor in a Supporting Role
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1997)
Nominated Actor in a Supporting Role