Color of Justice (TV Movie 1997) Poster

(1997 TV Movie)

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You can't be serious! ( has a few spoilers)
rac1821 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I can not believe this movie has gotten these great rating & reviews. It is absolutely awful! As a black 20something female I can't believe they could make a movie like this where an innocent woman was trying to defend herself against some thugs who were trying to car jack her & killed her with no remorse from the person who actually did the killing throughout the entire movie. Then the one kid who had remorse gets killed at the end. They turned the whole movie into some type of racial profiling mumbo jumbo when it had absolutely nothing to do with the case at all. And Gregory Hines who is an awesome actor took a role in this movie as the biggest hypocritical idiot through the whole thing. I totally feel like i wasted an hour & a half of my life watching this bull.
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Brilliant and believable performances in a movie with substance
jesper-117 May 2002
If you enjoy intelligent political dramas as I do 'Color of Justice' is definitely not a movie to be missed.

Despite this being a movie made for TV it delivers in many ways where many movies for cinemas fail. It has a great story and all of the characters are well played and believable.

This movie has enough substance and raises questions for at least one more hour of playtime.

Who will benefit from the trail of 4 black juveniles accused of murdering a white woman? The New York D.A hoping to run for mayor? The rising star TV reporter and the network she is working for? Or maybe the black Reverend Walton (Gregory Hines) claiming the accused are victims of race?

Will justice be done? You will have to see for yourself. Enjoy.

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Some clichés but mostly very well made and provides no easy answers until a terribly clichéd ending
bob the moo28 August 2002
When a group of young black men run out of gas on a quiet road across from New York they get out to ask the motorist behind for help. However the woman motorist suspects the worst and one of the men tries to drag her out of the car to steal it. However the car phone allows the police to catch the 4 men and they are charged with the women's murder. The case seems relatively straightforward until activist Rev. Walton begins to turn to the media and makes the whole trial into a race issue, leaving the woman's husband and his lawyer frustrated by the direction of the media spin. But as one character says `This is America, it's all about race'.

When I approached this I assumed it would be a court room thriller TVM sort of thing with a good (if solid) cast. However after 20 minutes I was pleasantly surprised. It has all the trapping so a courtroom TV drama but it allows itself to be a lot more than that. In fact the actual case is really only the setting for a bigger picture. The film instead looks at race, justice and the media in America. It makes some very obvious and simple points (eg a newscaster is given the job because she is `of colour' and hence the network cannot be accused of bias) however it makes deeper better points as well.

The film's strength to me was the way it didn't give many answers but mostly raised issues without providing a way out – that was left for us to think about. We saw things on both sides of the arguments. This is best seen in the actual murder itself – the prosecution say it was an attack and the defence saying it was a misunderstanding that got out of control – we see it as an audience and it's difficult to tell who's right, it's a mix of both. This is the same throughout it's difficult to come down on either side of the fence.

The film does have weakness and it does use a bit too much character stereotyping to be great. The black men are a mix of the `gansgta type' and the `straight A student just trying to get outa da hood' type. Also the ending is, plain and simple, terrible. It is so bad and obvious that you can guess it now! It almost totally ruins the thoughtful debate that had gone before – it's like the makers couldn't end on a thoughtful note and just needed a normal thriller ending.

The solid cast are all very good (despite some stereotype and cliché) Abraham, Hines et al may not be great leading men but they hold this film up well and the support cast is full of well know faces that add to the idea of depth and quality.

Overall this is excellent. It may not be the best film ever made but lets not forget this is a TVM. It is thoughtful and never gives us easy answers – instead asking many questions. Only the occasional stereotype and a terrible, terrible ending spoil it by leaving a nasty taste in the mouth after a clever and well developed script had been well put on the screen.
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A good movie about the manipulation of a trial
jpmurga3 March 1999
It's a very good movie, not excellent but good. It reflects very well the 'media' trials. And how the media, and politics manipulate justice. It also, I think, mirrors the OJ trial. Very good movie but could have been better. P.S. I wonder why only 11 people have voted for this movie, and why IMDB users don't rate TV movies so much.
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Justice for all not justice for any one group
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU19 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Something is rotten in the kingdom of Denmark, and in the USA. When justice takes into account the race of the defendant or of the victim it is no longer justice but discrimination, positive for some and negative for the others, and this fake shape of so-called justice creates resentment and unbalance and more violence and crime. Justice cannot be played like a game of poker and use the media and the street to build up a case. The case must be built on real facts and on the basis of good police and prosecution work and all the necessary means must be provided to the defense to build up their side of the case. This film also deals with the problem of the age of the criminals, juvenile or not juvenile. The main mistake in this case is that the police work was not done the way it should have been done. The result is a messy case with Miranda looming high where it should not. The Miranda articles should provide the defendant with protection against bad police work, but also the prosecution with the guarantee that everything has been done properly. In this case justice did not have a chance to discriminate between the real killer, the one who killed the victim, and the others who did not assist him but witnessed his crime without being able to stop him or even say a word against him because he was overwhelming their moral sense or just plain good sense, and that lack of reaction might have been interpreted by him as encouragement. Justice is not the place where social cases are supposed to be solved. Justice is not the place where historical injustice can be solved. Justice should take into account all circumstances but the circumstances of a crime should not erase the crime, and a juvenile delinquent who has repeatedly had a criminal behavior should know his crimes are making him of age for adult justice. The only point is to know whether the repeated criminal attitude has to concern the same crime or type of crime or can concern any crime at all. In this particular case in the film the main delinquent was committing a blood crime for the first time. He could not be considered as a repeating criminal, except if robbery or street violence qualify the same as killing a person with armed violence. In other words this film shows perfectly well how a case is perverted by the prosecution from the very start: it becomes a political issue and no longer a judicial case. It becomes then, for the defense, a racial situation and no longer a judicial case. Then the case is rigged and a by-passing relative of the victim will have to commit a crime to try and get some justice but will fail to kill the real culprit because that kind of "a-tooth-for-a-tooth" justice is always blind. But the system sure is responsible for that situation. A few parameters have to be redefined when juvenile crime is becoming a bloody and daily activity, or should I say, entertainment or pastime? Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine & University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne
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