The Pelican Brief
This movie is proof that if you write something, bad things could happen. Darby Shaw (Julia Roberts) writes a brief about why she thinks two Supreme Court Judges may have been murdered. This is just a fly-by-night theory that perhaps a big oil person ordered the executions so the current president could appoint judges who are not so environmental friendly because they have a big environmental case which is going to reach the courts in four or five years. Turns out for our story, the brief is very close to the truth. It gets taken up by the head of the FBI who is going to investigate the allegations, until the president asks him not to.
Everything is bad for the oil tycoon and his lawyers, as well as for the president. What makes things worse is all of Darby's friends and contacts begin to get murdered. She is next.
This is a very tense movie. John Grisham has a way with telling a story, and the movie is very good at keeping that tension. However, the book is better. My major complaint about the movie is it doesn’t explain well how Darby realizes she is next, and she needs protection. Her protection, or the person she trusts in the end is reporter Gray Grantham (Denzel Washington).
Shaw is so troubled and traumatized during this movie, I love the way it ends, with a Julia Roberts smile.