Movie Review: My Cousin Vinny (1992)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the comedy film starring Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei and Fred Gwynne.

Synopsis: An inexperienced New York attorney is asked to defend his cousin and his cousin’s friend after they are wrongfully accused of robbing a rural Alabama convenience store and killing the clerk. He immediately finds himself at a significant disadvantage, both because there are a number of witnesses that say they saw the two men commit the crime and because the judge is a stickler for court room etiquette and takes an immediate dislike to him.


Since today was payday, I spent a good chunk of my morning before work paying bills and balancing the checkbook. As a result, I was having a hard time paying attention to the movie I intended on watching and, instead, ended up putting on this film. Even though I’ve seen it plenty of times before, this still proved to be a good decision on my part because the movie was as enjoyable this morning as it was the first time I watched it.

I actually don’t watch too many movies that take place inside a courtroom. However, this is a film I do make an exception for on occasion because it is a very clever, very funny comedy. Pesci was a great choice as lead actor because he brings just the right mix of comedy and irritability. And, I love the way his character is able to pick away at what initially looks to be an iron clad case against the two defendants (Macchio and Whitfield).

Tomei won an Oscar for her supporting appearance as Vinny’s fiancée and deserved it. But, the actor that really stands out for me whenever I watch this is the late Gwynne as Judge Chamberlain Haller. He had a tough task because he had to show the audience he didn’t like or trust Vinny. But, at the same time, he still had to be a fair trial judge. If he didn’t perform that role just right, I honestly don’t think this movie would have been as entertaining as it was.

Final Opinion

As I mentioned before, I’ve seen this movie more times than I can count. However, whenever I do watch it, I do find myself enjoying it. It’s a film I recommend taking the time to watch if you haven’t seen it before or having watched in a long time, especially if you’re doing something stressful, like paying bills.

My Grade: A 

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Updated: 07/09/2015, StevenHelmer
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