Darby Shaw (Julia Roberts) is a young law student at Tulane University having an affair with her professor Thomas Callahan (Sam Shephard). She develops a theory [The Pelican Brief] on the recent murders of two Supreme Court judges and tells Thomas about it. When Thomas mentions this theory to Gavin Verheek (John Heard), an FBI lawyer, it makes it's way to Fletcher Coal (Tony Goldwyn) in the White House who fears the president (Robert Culp) could be exposed and implemented.
When Thomas is found murdered, Darby fears she will be next and enlists the help of Gray Grantham (Denzel Washington), a White House investigative reporter. Darby confides her theory to him. Gray already has similar information and the two now fight to stay alive and bring the story to a head.
Warner Bros Pictures
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Writers: Alan J. Pakula, John Grisham
Producers: Pieter Jan Brugge, Alan J. Pakula