Based on a book by George Dawes Green, The Juror follows Demi Moore’s Annie as she wins a spot on the jury of a mafia boss’ murder trial and is subsequently harassed and threatened by a sinister figure known only as Teacher (Alec Baldwin). It’s an irresistibly salacious premise that’s employed to hit-and-miss effect by Brian Gibson, as the filmmaker delivers an erratic narrative that’s often as tedious as it is engrossing – with the lack of focus within Ted Tally’s busy screenplay certainly exacerbating the picture’s various problems (ie this is, after all, a story that somehow winds up in Guatemala). The film’s uneven atmosphere is especially disappointing given the irresistible, seemingly foolproof premise and effectiveness of the stars’ performances, as, in terms of the latter, both Moore and Baldwin step into the shoes of their respective characters with a predictable ease (and Baldwin certainly does an effective job of exuding menace and smarm). It’s ultimately the slickness with which Gibson has infused the proceedings that The Juror manages to just barely earn its positive recommendation, although, given the setup and the talent in front of the camera, there’s little doubt one can’t help but walk away from the movie feeling that a serious opportunity has been missed.
**1/2 out of ****