Mitch McDeere is an honors graduate of Harvard Law School. Although actively recruited by several of the country's most prestigious law firms, he decides to go with Bendini, Lambert & Locke, tax specialists based in Memphis. They give Mitch an incredible salary, a leased Mercedes, a mortgage for a new home, and a promise to pay off his student loans. It seems like a dream come true for this over-achiever who grew up in poverty and whose brother — unbeknownst to the firm — is in prison.

Mitch eagerly jumps into a busy work schedule under the watchful eye of Avery Tolar, his assigned mentor. Meanwhile, his wife Abby is shocked to learn of the tight control the firm exercises over the lives of its employees — even intruding into personal matters such as when they have children.

Shortly after the death of two associates, Mitch's eyes are opened to the criminal operations of the firm. Two FBI agents tell him about money-laundering operations in the Cayman Islands. Mitch must decide whether to cooperate with the Feds and lose everything he's worked for or continue with the crooked firm, risking a prison sentence if the truth is revealed.

John Grisham's bestselling 1990 novel has been made into a pulse-racing thriller, ably directed by Sydney Pollack. Tom Cruise puts in an impressive performance as Mitch, an ambitious lawyer who finds himself doing some fancy footwork to keep his soul alive while being jerked around by both the FBI and the firm. Jeanne Tripplehorn is convincing as his sensitive and smart wife Abby, a woman whose moral fiber is severely tested as her marriage is put in jeopardy. Gene Hackman, as always, puts in a memorable performance as Mitch's mentor, a lawyer whose twisted values have turned him into a man with a death wish. The Firm is a stellar morality play with dramatic fireworks and a surprising finale.