Saint Judy needs a miracle to get a good review. Monaghan plays a plucky activist public defender who switches jobs and moves to Los Angeles for some unknown reason. She has ten years as an outstanding criminal defense attorney in New Mexico and on a whim goes to represent detained immigrants in California. Her boss (Alfred Molina) recruits her for her top notch trial skills and likes her aggressive representation fo clients. Her impressive skills she used against prosecutors resulted in a 36% conviction rate. We don't even know why she wants to switch practices and represent immigrants, but hey, she does it. Because Judy is such a great fighter against the soulless government, Molina assigns her loser cases and instructs her to get clients to surrender and voluntarily return home. This is so she can "make friends" at a migrant detention center. In other nonsense, we learn Judy wanted to come to LA so her son can be closer to his father, whom we assume she divorced because he was a workhorse who did not spend much time as a dad. Throughout the film, Judy tries to prove her ex-husband that she can raise the child all by herself. She independently raises her son while constantly asking her ex-husband for help and blaming him for souring his personality. Does the premise so far confuse you? Good, because the contradictions twist further in the main plot. Judy resists her boss's insistence on leaving an Afghani client to voluntarily depart and forget her case. She is horrified to discover she is catatonic from drugs and has a shot at asylum. Without any knowledge of immigration law, she fumbles a few times and makes mistakes while trying to help her client out. Molina finds out about Judy's amateur lawyering at the detention center and does not like her rebellious work. He starts to ponder his mistake of hiring someone known for fiercely opposing the government. Judy is fired, but she trucks along with her own firm. She then takes on 267 asylum seekers and hires a multilingual unemployed rich boy to help her out. After a stupid montage of Judy abusing her clients to do free labor for her, Judy releases the Afghani client and applies for asylum. A fight with her family, then we get to the big day: the asylum hearing. Judy obviously sucks at her work and makes several errors during the hearing. The judge and Common the DHS Lawyer ridicule her for being such a newbie. Nonetheless, they congratulate her hard work and after a long, emotional speech, the judge denies asylum. Judy files an appeal and suddenly gains the support and upmost respect from her boss and her ex-husband. They skip the BIA entirely and go straight to the 9th Circuit (note, I am an immigration lawyer, this movie got too many things wrong to list). On appeal oral argument day, Judy is accompanied by her boss, her ex-husband, her son, and a 100 of her clients' cheers. Judy shows the Circuit Judges who's wrong and the film cuts to an abrupt halt in the middle of her argument. "Judy Wood is a hero, yada yada whatever" text rolls. Post-credits has a montage of pro immigration stuff without even proving the people behind this mess understand immigration law at all. As you can see, this movie is a walking contradiction and feels like a blind Chinese man trying to find directions through French Sign Language. Save your money and donate to the ACLU so we can get this embarrassment banned by law.
Biography / Drama
Biography / Drama
The true story of immigration attorney Judy Wood, and how she single-handedly changed the U.S. law of asylum to save women's lives.
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June 8, 2019