In 1959 Brighton, disgraced cop turned private detective Tony Aaron works largely on falsifying adulteries for use as evidence in divorce cases. He involves his wife as the fictional ... See full summary »
Laura San Giacomo,
When teenage son Jacob is being accused of murdering his girlfriend, the well-respected and close-knit Ryan family is in turmoil. Jacob flees, father Ben destroys possible evidence, the village community turns hostile and mother Carolyn is forced to temporarily close her doctor's practice. Then Jacob gets arrested and soon finds himself and his family entangled in a web of truth, trust and lies, all on his way to court. Written by
Swie Tio <email@example.com>
In the scene where Meryl Streep enters a court room to appear in front of the grand jury in the front row (in the middle of the frame) sits a young Paul Giamatti as an extra his head turned around to have a look at her. See more »
When Ben and Jacob pull to the side of the road and get out of the car to talk, the right blinker is on. When they get back in, the blinker is off. See more »
I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. I had put off watching it for a long time because I thought it would fall on standard clichés in the telling of its murder mystery. But there's a lot to like here. For starters, the performances by the lead actors are first rate. Streep and Neeson come across as real people tackling a real problem. I should also add that Alfred Molina also gives a solid performance as the defense attorney. (Though the fact he looks like idiot movie critic Michael Medved gave me a few chuckles at times.)
The script gives most of its characters a fair shake. The parents are sympathetic at times, but sometimes they make decisions we disapprove of. The townspeople and police are not one-note characters, showing off more than one side.
The movie unfolds at a pace that keeps us interested and informed. It's directed with an appropriate bleak look that suits the subject matter.
There is one flaw with the movie, however. I thought that Edward Furlong's character was repulsive, stupid, and hateful. I don't blame Furlong for this, but his direction and his parts of the screenplay. I think a better way the movie could have gone would be to give him a mixed view, neither overly sympathetic or hateful. This would make the viewer think long and hard about him, and wonder if his fate at the end of the movie is correct or not.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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