Watch Now: THE STAR CHAMBER
American director, cinematographer and screenwriter Peter Hyams, known for films such as the 1978 thriller Capricorn One and the 1981 SF Outland, directed and co-wrote (with Roderick Taylor) the 1983 crime thriller The Star Chamber, starring Michael Douglas. Hyams’ intriguing movie follows judge Steven Hardin who finds himself having to let several criminals go on account of legal loopholes. An older judge, perfectly played by Hal Holbrook, invites him to join the Star Chamber, a group of judges that meets with the intention of bringing justice to those who managed to get off on a technicality. And how exactly do they do that? By hiring hitmen to eliminate the criminals the judges want off the streets.
But Hardin will soon have to face the harsh reality that accompanies his decisions. In The Star Chamber, Hyams utilizes all the ingredients that make for an exciting crime film—from the classic shoot-out and chases to the protagonist racing against time in order to do the right thing. And even though the film’s plot has been criticized for being melodramatic at times, The Star Chamber still manages to be a highly suspenseful thriller, thanks to its stellar cast, as well as its gritty atmosphere and stylish camera work, courtesy of cinematographer Richard Hannah.