Tobin Bell, the actor behind one of horror’s most iconic villains, Jigsaw from Saw, hunts Tom Cruise in the suspenseful thriller The Firm, which is now streaming on Netflix.
In the early ’90s, the legal thriller genre was at its peak, and amidst the gripping tales of courtroom battles and moral dilemmas, one film still stands the test of time because it starred two of Hollywood’s most iconic actors. The Firm, directed by Sydney Pollack and featuring a star-studded cast led by Tom Cruise and Tobin Bell, is an adaptation of John Grisham’s best-selling novel that delivered a thrilling plot, memorable performances, and a box office triumph.
Tobin Bell, Jigsaw from the Saw franchise, is a mob goon hunting down Tom Cruise in the legal thriller The Firm.
Released on June 30, 1993, The Firm tells the story of Mitch McDeere (Tom Cruise), a brilliant Harvard Law School graduate who lands a dream job at the prestigious law firm Bendini, Lambert & Locke in Memphis, Tennessee. With promises of a lavish lifestyle, including a new house, a Mercedes-Benz, and student loan repayment, Mitch and his wife Abby (Jeanne Tripplehorn) relocate to Memphis.
However, the firm’s seemingly perfect facade hides a sinister secret. Under the guidance of senior partner Avery Tolar (Gene Hackman), Mitch discovers that the firm specializes in helping wealthy clients hide money through offshore shell corporations and other dubious tax-avoidance schemes. As Mitch digs deeper, he stumbles upon incriminating evidence and realizes that the firm’s Chicago associates meet gruesome fates when they attempt to leave.
Things take a dark turn when the firm’s security chief, Bill DeVasher (Wilford Brimley), attempts to blackmail Mitch with compromising photos. Desperate to escape the firm’s clutches, Mitch cooperates with the FBI, revealing the firm’s connection to the Morolto crime family and their involvement in illegal activities. The FBI offers Mitch a deal, and he agrees to assist them in exchange for financial compensation and his brother Ray’s (David Strathairn) release from prison.
As Mitch races against time to gather evidence and evades a hitman played by Tobin Bell, his marriage with Abby strains under the pressure. With suspense building, The Firm takes audiences on a rollercoaster ride filled with betrayal, danger, and the relentless pursuit of justice.
A television series sequel to The Firm launched in 2012 but was canceled after one season.
The Firm was not just a critical success; it was a box office juggernaut. With a production budget of $42 million, the film grossed an astounding $270.2 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film ever adapted from a John Grisham novel. It also held the distinction of being the highest-grossing R-rated film of 1993.
The critical reception of The Firm was largely positive, with particular praise directed toward the performances of Tom Cruise and Holly Hunter. Cruise’s portrayal of Mitch McDeere showcased his versatility as an actor, while Hunter’s role as Tammy Hemphill, Eddie’s chain-smoking secretary and lover, earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. More than just a suspenseful thriller, audiences loved the movie’s intense atmosphere, intricate plot, and well-developed characters.
Tom Cruise led the cast of The Firm with his charismatic and compelling performance as Mitch McDeere, a promising legal talent caught in a web of deceit. Jeanne Tripplehorn portrayed Abby McDeere, Mitch’s wife, whose loyalty is tested as they navigate the dangerous waters of Mitch’s new job. Gene Hackman, Holly Hunter, Ed Harris, Hal Holbrook, David Strathairn, and Gary Busey also contributed their talents to the movie.
In addition to playing a villain in Saw and The Firm, Tobin Bell was also Savitar in The CW’s The Flash.
The Firm’s critically acclaimed plot and acting set a new standard for legal thrillers. Its success led to a television sequel in 2012, picking up the story of Mitch and his family a decade after the events of the film and novel with Josh Lucas (Sweet Home Alabama) playing Mitch instead of Cruise. The series had a short run and was canceled after its 22-episode first season.
If you’re a fan of Tom Cruise and legal thrillers and the idea of both elements in one movie seems like a better combination than peanut butter and jelly, then The Firm is the next movie you need to add to your watch list. Tom Cruise’s portrayal of Mitch McDeere remains iconic, and the film’s legacy endures through adaptations and discussions of its unique take on a beloved novel. Whether you’re a legal thriller enthusiast or a fan of gripping suspense, The Firm is a cinematic gem that continues to deliver thrills and excitement, making it a timeless classic in the genre.