10/10/2014 05:00 EDT | Updated 12/09/2014 05:59 EST


Robert Downey Jr. takes on family dysfunction and a murder charge in The Judge.

The courtroom family drama opens in theatres this weekend.

Downey stars as arrogant big-city lawyer Hank Palmer, who returns home for his mother's funeral, only to find himself defending his estranged father — a small-town judge played by Robert Duvall.

The film made enough of an impact on programmers at the Toronto International Film Festival that it was selected as the opening-night film.

So, what can audiences expect?

Hollywood heavyweights Duvall and Downey are clearly capable of delivering powerful performances, but in the hands of director, David Dobkin, "we have a story with all the subtlety of an episode of Law & Order," says CBC film critic Eli Glasner, who declares the filmmaker "guilty of the crime of condescending cinema."

Watch Eli's full review in the attached video.

The Judge is in theatres now.