"Oscar" is written all over this film, particularly for Robert Duvall for two reasons: he's great in this role and he's old.
Robert Downey, Jr. is one of my favorite actors - he has a really appealing presence on screen and is perfect in the role of the hotshot lawyer who has to deal with family issues - a family he's estranged from. I hope there will be an Oscar nod for him as well.
From the trailer The Judge looks like a courtroom drama, and that's part of what this film is about but it's mostly a relationship story; father/son at the heart of it, but brother/brother, old girlfriend, wife, daughter...you name it, it's in this film.
I could nitpick and mention the not so subtle metaphoric scenes - like the tornado that has the whole dysfunctional family in the basement confronting their own storms, and the cliched lost high school girlfriend relationship...but I only thought about those things afterward. While I was watching it everything worked perfectly. So maybe it's not a perfect film but the performances (by everyone) more than make up for any flaws in the script.
Five out of five stars for The Judge.