The Devil's Advocate: Synopsis

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Kevin Lomax (Reeves) is a success in the courtroom and out of it. He's a young Florida defense attorney who's never lost a case. No matter how repugnant the crime, no matter how guilty the defendant, Kevin Lomax has the power to mesmerize the jury into accepting his arguments, buying into his logic, being convinced by his charisma ­p; and freeing his clients.

Lomax enjoys a happy marriage with his sexy young wife, Mary Ann (CHARLIZE THERON), and even has a good relationship with his straitlaced, churchgoing mother (JUDITH IVEY), despite her pursed lips over his small-town-boy-makes-good lifestyle. In fact, things seem just about perfect for Kevin ­p; nearly Heaven on Earth.

But not exactly.

One day Lomax is in court defending an alleged child molester. In order to win his case he has to break down the victim's composure just enough to make the jury wonder if a teenage girl might have lied about her teacher's slimy advances. And win Lomax does ­p; despite his own awareness that his client is guilty as sin.

Soon after, Lomax receives a visitor ­p; an urbane New York attorney (RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON) who explains that his powerful law firm has become aware of the Florida hotshot's acquittal record and would like to meet with him personally ­p; at their very lavish expense.

Over the urgent objections of Lomax's mother, who asserts that New York City is the world's nexus of sin, Kevin and Mary Ann head for the Big Apple and a look at the astounding luxury that life in the big city can offer the fortunate.

And Kevin Lomax meets John Milton (Pacino), the man who has summoned him in this extraordinary fashion.

Milton, an earthy, brilliant and charismatic man, is the founder and head of Milton, Chadwick, Waters, a powerful, mysterious law firm with interests and clients all over the world. He's been watching Lomax and he wants him at the firm. He can make Kevin a very enticing offer, he says ­p; a home, a salary, a position in life that no one else can top.

Lomax, dazzled by the gorgeous apartment he's shown, the beautiful women and powerful men at Milton's parties, and the brilliant, accomplished partners in Milton's firm, grabs the brass ring. He and Mary Ann move into their elegant new home and begin a new life.

But as Lomax tastes the power of being a wealthy New York attorney, something in him changes. Winning is no longer just a goal ­p; it becomes an obsession. When Mary Ann starts telling her husband that the other partners' wives are not what they appear, that their life is not a good as it seems, that she's having frightening experiences she can't explain, he comforts her brusquely and ignores what she's saying.

And when Milton's interest in him seems inexplicably generous, Lomax decides not to question it. So by the time he finds himself defending a wealthy real-estate developer (CRAIG T. NELSON) who's accused of three brutal murders, Kevin Lomax is thrilled by the challenge, not frightened by his growing belief that his client is guilty of an even bigger crime.

Then Eddie Barzoon (JEFFREY JONES), the firm's managing partner, dies a sudden, horrible death. Mary Ann's terrified perceptions pull her away from sanity. Another law partner, the beautiful Christabella (CONNIE NIELSON), teases Lomax so seductively he can hardly think.

Kevin's mother comes to New York and warns him that the situation has gone too far and there are certain things he needs to know. And through it all, John Milton keeps reminding his protégé that life is rich with possibilities for those who are unafraid to sample them. But Kevin is beginning to be afraid.

Lomax's existence in Heaven on Earth has ended. Now he's stepping into Hell. And standing at the gates to welcome him is John Milton.

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