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20 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

I knew the real life killer that the movie is based on.

Author: cacoffinjr from United States
30 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I went to high school with him and sat next to him in several classes our senior year due to the fact that our last names were close alphabetically. I felt the movie did a good job telling the story. Only a few major changes were made from the real story (Names were changed.) The real life killer was a much better dresser. He took a lot of pride in his appearance and was always dressed in a button-down shirt not the t-shirts of the movie. The entire town of Ozark, Alabama was socked when the murders happened in the summer of 1988. We were in between high school and college that summer. The real life killer was the member of a popular trio of brothers. I think that he was jealous of their success. He had shot part of his foot off hunting many years before and was never the athlete or ladies man like his brothers. It never occurred to me that he was capable of such a diabolical murder. However, thinking back I now see some clues. He had an anger problem. I remember that he told me once how he beat up another car driver in a case of road rage on the way back from Auburn, Alabama to the point of unconsciousness. I can still remember the morning after the murder. The entire town was shocked and believed that the mafia had to be involved. I went to see him that day but he was sedated. It took many years before the authorities were able to pin the murder on him. I think the final confession to his other brother is fairly accurate from what I read in the papers. I think that he has a sentence of life imprisonment. His wife and child will never see him outside of prison. It has been a long time since I have seen the movie but I want to write the facts of the murders. He came home from his girlfriends's house late that night. His family was asleep. He had left the back sliding door unlocked. He came in and took one of the phones off the hook. He picked up one of his shotguns and loaded it. He went into the room belonging to his brother who was home from Troy State University. He shot him in the head while sleeping. His father heard the noise and came down the hallway. He shot his father in the hallway. His mother was looking from the bedroom and tried to shut the door. As she was shutting the door, he shot her hand. She locked the door and tried to use the phone in the bedroom to call for help. He had taken the phone off the hook so it was hopeless. He shot his own mother in cold blood. I have heard that she was holding a bible with her one good hand. I'm not sure if that is true. He cleaned his shotgun and put it back in the case. He picked up the empty shells. He missed one that landed between the headboard and wall in his brother's room. That eventually was his downfall. He went back to his girlfriend's house and went back to sleep without her parents knowing that he was gone. She lived toward Auburn so that he slept on the couch at her parents place when they had a date. They married not too long after the murders. A wife does not have to testify against her husband! People in Ozark began to get suspicious when he refused to take a lie detector machine. I think it took 3 or 4 years before he confessed to his brother. I know that the FBI did have snipers trained on him in case he found out that his brother was wired. One of the worst tragedies to ever hit my home town. I believe that I read his family members got $250,000 for the rights to the story.

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17 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

One of the best of its genre

10/10
Author: vaneyck from Old Lyme, CT
26 May 2002

TV churns out dozens of true-crime movies every year. You can see 3 or 4 every Saturday on Lifetime, and Court TV can be relied on for a few every weekend. So I started watching The Morrison Murders thinking I knew very well what to expect: a more or less competent retelling of a real-life family murder. What I got was a subtle, beautifully acted drama that engrossed me from start to finish.

Both the brothers were totally convincing, and Jonathan Scarfe was perfect in the challenging role of Luke. The look and feel of Georgia was in almost every frame. If I had any complaint, it was Gordon Clapp as the sheriff. He just doesn't look or act like a small-town Southern lawman named Byron Calhoun. He looks and sounds like Medavoy, and Medavoy is not right for this part.

But this is a minor quibble: The Morrison Murders is well worth watching, and not just on a rainy Saturday afternoon. If you're going out, tape it. You won't regret it.

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14 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Very Well Done for a TV Murder Movie

10/10
Author: LaFmeCIE from Dension, TX
9 January 2000

I don't usually like this sort of movie but was working at home and wanted something to halfway watch while I did. I got so engrossed I gave up working to just sit and finish watching the last half hour uninterrupted. And I sure don't usually shed tears over this sort of show, but I was crying at the end. A lot of emotional nuance. Great acting, and good southern feel. John Corbett is one of the most talented actors out there, and the guy who played Luke was really good too. Highly recommend.

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13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

*** out of ****

Author: JasonM from Seventh Dimension
27 January 1999

I saw this movie the other night on USA and I must admit, I was impressed. TV movies are normally boring and dull, but I am gonna say that I thought this movie was entertaining and suspenseful.

The ending is shocking, twisted, and wonderfully played out. It surprised me and scared me at the same time.

The script was all that strong all the time and some of the acting was a little different. However, when this movie is on TV watch it. You are not gonna be disappointed.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

good TV movie

6/10
Author: Scout_one from United States
7 November 2005

Very good for a TV movie! Good acting & directing. Walker's wife was particularly good (thought she was Charlize Theron). The story was told with some subtlety and portrayed the anguish when one's sibling turns out to be VERY troubled.... and the conflict between justice and mercy in trying to get closure. We've seen so many depictions of cruel, autocratic bible-belt fathers and the damage they can do to their families, but this was a sensitive and subtle version of a much-repeated story.

(When you're having a rough day, and all you have energy for is watching TV movies, it's a lucky break to find one this well done. Of course, I am biased. Can't help but feel a bit favorable toward anything with the delightful "Chris Stevens" in it)!

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

One of the best of it's kind. Very well done t.v. effort.

8/10
Author: insomniac_rod from Noctropolis
6 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I caught this on local Mexican television at 2:00 a.m. and I decided to give it a chance since it's based on a real life case that deals with the murder of the typical All American family (a dad, a mom, and a young son).

On the beginning the hints point to Walker to be the murderer as he had strong differences with his father. Shortly after, when Walker and Luke are taken to the Sheriff's dept. to being examined by the lies detection machine, things turn out to be very different...

Also, when Walker and Luke attend to an appointment with their father's lawyer, they learn that Luke would receive $200,000 and Walker is out of the heresy. Luke immediately buys a convertible.

Anyways, this is an excellent mystery movie that deals with betrayal, ambition, feelings, and cold , very cold blood.

I know the real names were changed but still the experience is the same. Give this movie a try. I know there are HUNDREDS of "based on real murders" or events of the like, but this one is truly worthy. Pure quality on acting, direction, and plot.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Engrossing made-for-TV film

8/10
Author: Woodyanders (Woodyanders@aol.com) from The Last New Jersey Drive-In on the Left
3 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Truck driver Walker Morrison (an excellent and engaging performance by John Corbett) suspects that his younger brother Luke (a fine portrayal by Jonathan Scarfe) was responsible for the shotgun murders of his father, mother, and other younger brother. Director Chris Thomson, working from a compelling script by Keith Ross Leckie, relates the absorbing story at a steady pace, wisely avoids lurid sensationalism, offers a flavorful evocation of the small Southern town setting, and treats the subject matter in an admirably straightforward and unsentimental manner. The strong chemistry between the two leads gives the picture credibility and holds everything together; they receive sturdy support from Maya McLaughlin as Walker's sweet, but suspicious wife Patti, Tonya Allen as Luke's cheerful girlfriend Kimberly Granger, and Gordon Clapp as the hard-nosed Sheriff Bryon Calhoun. The ending packs a devastating emotional punch to the gut. Robert Saad's sharp cinematography makes neat occasional use of a hand-held camera. The twangy score by Micky Erbe and Maribeth Solomon hits the harmonic spot. Worth a watch.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Does anyone know the "true story?"

8/10
Author: cynkat from United States
5 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I thought the movie was good, but I like to read the real story behind the "based on a true story" movies. Does anyone know the names and locations of the real characters the movie is based on? I have done a complete internet search and cannot find any information on this case. All I get is the movie information and the fact that it is based on a "true story." I find it hard to believe that a judge would change his sentence rendered immediately in the courtroom, even after such a heartfelt speech by the brother (gorgeous John Corbett), but overall the story was very gripping. Anyway, if anyone knows the real "real story", I would appreciate you sharing it!

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A Sad Story

7/10
Author: Lechuguilla from Dallas, Texas
21 May 2012

Three members of a wealthy family are found dead in their home, victims of gunshots. Real-life names, including the family surname, have been changed for this movie. Though the story is set in Georgia, the actual crime took place in Alabama, in September of 1988. Also unlike the movie, the actual crime went cold for four years. And the real-life killer was arrested in Oklahoma City.

The film is a pretty good reenactment of events after the killings, with a plot that is straightforward and easy to follow. The script downplays the whodunit element in favor of a crime/character drama. As a result, mystery is rather minimal. The killer comes across as conspicuously stupid. Toward the end, law enforcement sets a trap for the killer. And the unpredictability of the trap's outcome ups the suspense.

Background music is a bit generic, consistent with the film's TV production. Overall casting and acting are acceptable, though the actor who plays the sheriff seems a little out of place in the South. The camera is fairly static. There are lots of close-ups as we would expect for a character drama. Sets and costumes are mediocre.

The story's significance is reduced in the minds of some viewers because the story is described in the form of a made-for-TV film. And that's my main criticism. But it is a sad story, and no less real for all those who were in any way connected to it.

"The Morrison Murders" is worth watching for anyone interested in true crime. Despite the overall sadness of events, there's a slight twist at the very end, one that takes a little bit of the sting out of what one normally would expect, given the circumstances.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The Ultimate Movie Review!

6/10
Author: Tss5078 from United States
24 December 2011

Morrison Murders was a made for TV movie, based on an actual case in Georgia. It was your pretty standard made for TV movie, with one exception, the cast. Usually these things are pretty poorly written, predictable, and a little slow. This movie was far from slow, however a lot of the lines were cheesy and I figured out who did it within the first ten minutes. Sex & The City's John Corbett was very solid as was NYPD Blue's Gordon Clapp. It's nice to see people we associate with one character, stand out and be something completely different in another role. It's pretty much your standard, low budget, made for TV movie. The acting was a little better and the story moved along well, but it was toned down for the small screen and far too predictable for me.

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