Verdict: 3 / 5
Good courtroom dramas like ‘The Trials of Cate McCall’ are lacking these days. Here writer & director Karen Moncrieff used all the clichés of a good drama to create a compelling story starring the superb Kate Beckinsale.
Cate McCall (Beckinsale) is a recovering alcoholic that is fighting for custody of her five-year-old daughter Augie who lives with her father, Cate’s ex. Her relationship with her daughter and career hit rock bottom due to her alcohol abuse. In an attempt to turn her life around, while on probation Cate takes on a pro bono case of a woman, Lacey Stubbs (Anna Anissimova), who claims that she was wrongfully convicted for murder in the State of California.
The film follows a gripping courtroom drama case as Cate defends Lacey, who admits that she is innocent and that the case was fabricated against her by the police who raped her. It’s clear that Cates trials stretch far beyond the four walls of the courtroom as her personal life is closing down on her. Can Cate recapture her life as she one knew it as a respected lawyer and loving mother?
The sub-plots in the film keep it interesting and the characters are well developed. Bridges (Nick Nolte) is a unique character that supports Cate though her recovery. His performance is somehow comforting in this film. Overall, The Trials of Cate McCall is enjoyable and is thought-provoking as you put the all constraining evidence together.