Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

The Burial is a stream worthy David Vs. Goliath courtroom drama

Maggie Betts directs Oscar winners Jamie Foxx and Tommy Lee Jones for her third feature in The Burial from Prime Video. Maggie Betts and Doug Wright pen the screenplay, an adaptation of The New Yorker article by Jonathan Harr, inspired by actual events.

When a handshake deal goes sour, funeral homeowner Jeremiah O’Keefe ( Tommy Lee Jones) enlists charismatic, smooth-talking attorney Willie E. Gary (Jamie Foxx) to save his family business. Tempers flare, and laughter ensues as the unlikely pair bond, exposing corporate corruption and racial injustice in this inspirational, triumphant story.

Set in the mid-1990s, The Burial introduces us to Willie, showcasing his gift of gab in church and later in court. We soon meet a struggling Jeremiah and his longtime lawyer on a trip to meet with shady CEO Ray Loewen (played by Bill Camp). Being old-school gentlemen, Ray and Jeremiah shake hands on a deal instead of using paperwork. However, months go by, and the contract remains unsigned, raising the suspicion of young attorney Hal (Mamoudou Athie), who has just graduated from law school.

As Hal and Jeremiah continue discussing their legal options, Willie Gray steps in to offer assistance. Together, they decide to file a lawsuit against Ray in a predominantly Black County, believing their chances of success will be higher there. However, Lowen is not one to be outmaneuvered easily. He hires a highly respected Black attorney named Mame Downes (Jurnee Smollett), known for her legal expertise and winning track record.

As the trial finally begins, tensions and the stakes are even higher. The courtroom is packed with supporters of both sides, eager to see justice served. The legal teams battle it out through compelling arguments and dramatic revelations in a classic crowd-pleasing legal drama that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the end.

The Burial is a movie that truly deserved a theatrical release, and I was lucky enough to catch it in a cinema with a decent sized audience who shared my enthusiasm. It’s the kind of film that would have definitely received an awards push if it had been released ten years ago. Jamie Foxx’s portrayal of the lawyer is remarkable, and his use of wit and charm brings the character to life in a truly unforgettable way. Tommy Lee Jones is equally impressive in his heartfelt and sincere portrayal of Jeremiah. Jurnee Smollett also gives a standout performance, holding her own against the likes of Oscar winners. Her role in the movie could very well be a career-defining one.

All in all, The Burial is a film that deserves to be seen this weekend when it arrives on Prime Video. The incredible cast delivers performances that are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Final Grade : A

The Burial is available to stream tomorrow on Prime Video.

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