Custody Catalina Sandino Moreno Jaden Michael

Human lives are messy! That appears to be the blindingly obvious message of Custody, a soapy courtroom drama in which the lives of three very different women converge in a New York family court. Viola Davis plays the firm but fair judge, an empty nester reeling from an unexpected bombshell in her marriage; Catalina Sandino Moreno is the struggling single mother with anger management issues who faces losing her children after a domestic accident; and Hayden Panettiere is her callow young lawyer, a trust-fund kid with family problems of her own. Will the law prove too rigid for a happy outcome? It’s all wildly contrived, but the classy and committed cast somehow make it work.

Certificate 12A. Runtime 104 mins. Director James Lapine

Available on DVD & Digital from Universal Pictures.