7.7/10
131,025
243 user 83 critic

Primal Fear (1996)

Trailer
2:28 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

ON DISC
An altar boy is accused of murdering a priest, and the truth is buried several layers deep.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
1,101 ( 26)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Game (1997)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Nicholas Van Orton is a very wealthy San Francisco banker, but he is an absolute loner, even spending his birthday alone. In the year of his 48th birthday (the age his father committed ... See full summary »

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Michael Douglas, Deborah Kara Unger, Sean Penn
Mystic River (2003)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

With a childhood tragedy that overshadowed their lives, three men are reunited by circumstance when one has a family tragedy.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon
Rounders (1998)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A young man is a reformed gambler who must return to playing big stakes poker to help a friend pay off loan sharks.

Director: John Dahl
Stars: Matt Damon, Edward Norton, Gretchen Mol
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In turn-of-the-century Vienna, a magician uses his abilities to secure the love of a woman far above his social standing.

Director: Neil Burger
Stars: Edward Norton, Jessica Biel, Paul Giamatti
Red Dragon (2002)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A retired FBI agent with psychological gifts is assigned to help track down "The Tooth Fairy", a mysterious serial killer; aiding him is imprisoned criminal genius Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter.

Director: Brett Ratner
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes
Insomnia (2002)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to a northern town where the sun doesn't set to investigate the methodical murder of a local teen.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank
Fracture (2007)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An attorney, intent on climbing the career ladder toward success, finds an unlikely opponent in a manipulative criminal he is trying to prosecute.

Director: Gregory Hoblit
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two Boston area detectives investigate a little girl's kidnapping, which ultimately turns into a crisis both professionally and personally.

Director: Ben Affleck
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Casey Affleck
The Score (2001)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An aging thief hopes to retire and live off his ill-gotten wealth when a young kid convinces him into doing one last heist.

Director: Frank Oz
Stars: Robert De Niro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando
Zodiac (2007)
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac killer.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo
25th Hour (2002)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Cornered by the DEA, convicted New York drug dealer Montgomery Brogan reevaluates his life in the 24 remaining hours before facing a seven-year jail term.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Edward Norton, Barry Pepper, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Identity (2003)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Stranded at a desolate Nevada motel during a nasty rain-storm, ten strangers become acquainted with each other when they realize that they're being killed off one by one.

Director: James Mangold
Stars: John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Dr. Molly Arrington
...
...
Bud Yancy
...
Tommy Goodman
...
Joey Pinero
...
Abel Stenner
...
Martinez
...
Archbishop Rushman
...
Naomi Chance
...
Alex
...
Jack Connerman
Edit

Storyline

Courtroom thriller about a slick, hotshot lawyer who takes the seemingly unwinnable case of a young altar boy accused of murdering an eminent catholic priest. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sooner or later a man who wears two faces forgets which one is real. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief grisly violence, pervasive strong language and a sex scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

3 April 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Iskonski strah  »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$293,515 (USA) (26 July 1996)

Gross:

$56,059,267 (USA) (16 August 1996)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the Blu-ray behind-the-scenes information, the original rough cut of the film ran for three hours and fifteen minutes, including more detailed exposition of Aaron's small-town country life and discussions with his former junior high school teacher. The scenes were cut partly for running time and partly to avoid the producers "tipping their hand" and alerting the audience to the ultimate ending. See more »

Goofs

When Vail is in the bar drinking shots and talking to the reporter, the level of fluid in the glass changes from shot to shot. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Martin Vail: On my first day of law school, my professor says two things. First was; "From this day forward, when your mother tells you she loves you, get a second opinion."
Jack Connerman: [chuckles] And?
Martin Vail: "If you want justice, go to a whorehouse. If you wanna get fucked, go to court."
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Big Wolf on Campus: The Pleasantville Strangler (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Incidental Source Music
by J. Peter Robinson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Edward norton does an excellent job
9 November 2004 | by (new york,new york) – See all my reviews

I had just gotten done seeing the movie Fight Club when a relative of mine said " If you like that movie, you'll like Primal Fear." I didn't believe him, because I had believed that Fight Club was the best movie on the face of the planet. Well, he just so happened to have a copy of Primal Fear with him. I watched it and was amazed. I was speechless.The movie has so many twists! I was convinced that it was one of the best movies I had ever seen. Gere's performance is average. I say this because it seems that in many movies he plays the same cocky character. Linney's monologue in the courtroom is mesmerizing . It was just great. And Norton? Well this may be one of his best performances ever. The fact that this was made during the starting of his acting career was unbelievable. It was a great film and Edward norton does an excellent job


150 of 190 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Plot hole??? ladyvengeancemusik
Sick and sad message oregondanne
Did they ever find Linda's body? cylindroid
And the oscar goes to.... phi413
Who was the 'real' Aaron? ddb540
Meaning of the title...? mattdavefenton
Discuss Primal Fear (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?