Review: SAINT JUDY Is A Relevant And Compelling Courtroom Drama


Saint Judy offers an interesting and relevant perspective on the courtroom drama, made even stronger by a phenomenal performance from Michelle Monaghan.
Technical Merit

Saint Judy is a new biopic directed by Sean Hanish and starring Michelle Monaghan, Common, and Alfred Molina. The film tells the true story of Judy Wood, an immigration lawyer who single-handedly changed the law of asylum in the United States when she took on a case of a Middle Eastern immigrant who was persecuted for starting a school for girls.

The story of the movie is definitely very strong. Legal drama is typically an interesting genre, and this film provides a new perspective on that, as immigration court is one that is not typically depicted in movie. This perspective is even more refreshing because of the large amount of relevance it has to today’s political climate.

The film contains messages of inclusivity that it communicates without preaching. Obviously, there is the message that goes along with understanding and protecting refugees, but there is also a feminist message that is associated with Wood’s success. This (rightfully) takes a backseat to the more important message about immigration, but it is admirable that it is present.

saint judy duo

In terms of pacing, the movie was quite strong. The film moves at a relatively quick pace, but, for the most part, does not feel rushed. Only towards the end, in some of the courtroom scenes, does it seem like the script could have spared to spend a bit more time exploring. Additionally, the balance between the main plot and the subplots is great.

Another significant strength of the movie is its character development. Judy is made to be a sympathetic and likable protagonist over the course of the film. For one, we like her because her motivations are good. However, the movie also makes a point to emphasize the story of her family, particularly how much she cares for her son. This makes her even more likable.

saint judy office

The supporting character Asefa is also extremely well-written. Although at times it does seem like she is going to become slightly archetypal, the script does avoid going down that road. Her story is powerful and captivating and a significant part of why the film works so well. Had a different case been chosen as the focus of the movie, it wouldn’t have been as affecting.

The actors all do a great job in their roles too. Michelle Monaghan is great as the protagonist. She does a great job of capturing the personality of the character, especially during the courtroom scenes and her more tender scenes with her son or Asefa. She is complemented by a great supporting cast including Leem Lubany, Common, and Alfred Molina.

Overall, Saint Judy was a surprisingly good film. Driven by a great performance, strong character development, and a positive message, the movie is an interesting and meaningful watch.

Saint Judy opens in theaters March 1.


Millie Bobby Brown Reads Enola Holmes | Netflix

When Enola Holmes—Sherlock’s teen sister��discovers her mother missing, she sets off to find her, becoming a super-sleuth in her own right as she outwits her famous brother and unravels a dangerous conspiracy around a mysterious young Lord. Starring Millie Bobby Brown, Sam Claflin, with Henry Cavill and Helena Bonham-Carter. Directed by Harry Bradbeer (Fleabag). Millie…

Charlie Gillespie Teaches You to Play “Bright” | Julie and the Phantoms | Netflix

Charlie Gillespie teaches you how to play the song "Bright" from Julie and the Phantoms! Watch Julie and the Phantoms, Only on Netflix: SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide…

Emily in Paris | Official Trailer | Netflix

Say oui to new possibilities! Emily in Paris, a new series from Creator of Sex and the City, Darren Star, premieres October 2. Only on Netflix. SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across…

Lovecraft Country Radio: Strange Case | Episode 5 | HBO

In this episode of Lovecraft Country Radio, hosts Ashley C. Ford and Shannon Houston discuss Episode 5: "Strange Case." Eric Eddings, host of The Nod Show and For Colored Nerds, joins the conversation to discuss how black male anger is portrayed in the episode. The hosts also discuss the different forms that code-switching can take…

Star Trek: Lower Decks – When Talking It Out Fails (Ep. 6, “Terminal Provocations”)

Captain Freeman (Dawnn Lewis) and the rest of the U.S.S. Cerritos bridge crew aren't exactly successful at reasoning with an antagonist. Space debris is weaponized. Stream all-new episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks on Thursdays, exclusively in the U.S. on CBS All Access. Subscribe To "CBS All Access" Channel HERE: For more content from…

The New York Times Presents | Season 1 Ep. 4: Hurricane of Fire Preview | FX

Perhaps a fitting start to 2020, Australia rang in the New Year with much of the country engulfed in flames. A few people decided to confront the blaze. Watch them stand face to face with one of the most ferocious infernos in history. Subscribe now for more The New York Times Presents clips: The…

Star Trek: Discovery – The Vulcan Hello (Sneak Peek 1)

In the series premiere, while patrolling Federation space, the U.S.S. Shenzhou encounters an object of unknown origin, putting First Officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) to her greatest test yet.

One Story Away | Netflix

Every story is a journey. And the more you watch, the more you'll see, we're only one story away. Begin your journey: Learn more: SUBSCRIBE: About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across…
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here