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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Silencing Mary Is Very True To Life

10/10
Author: S. Daniel Carter (sdcarter@usit.net) from Knoxville, TN
10 February 1999

In my work with the only nationwide non-profit organization, Security On Campus, Inc. dedicated exclusively to the issue of college campus crime prevention and student awareness I see all too often the type of campus violence and `cover-up' through secret campus courts portrayed in the movie `Silencing Mary.' In fact we receive numerous calls and requests for information every month from campus reporters such as `Mary' who are facing similar situations.

Its depiction of a campus rape and the subsequent crusade by `Mary,' the victim's roommate and a student journalist played exceedingly well by Melissa Joan Hart, for justice was very well done and accurately researched.

This was the first television movie that I have ever seen that I felt truly reflected and encompassed all of the various complex issues associated with how rape and other violent crimes are dealt with on our nation's college and university campuses. Although it would not be possible to address all of these issues in depth in 2 hours, this movie comes closer than any others I've seen.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A natural vehicle for Melissa Joan Hart

7/10
Author: Dennis Littrell from United States
18 July 1999

Not only is this an excellent vehicle for Melissa Joan Hart, the precocious little darling of the pre-teen sit-com, "Clarissa Explains It All," and lately of ABC's "Sabrina, the Teenaged Witch," but is a fine little MOW in its own right. The script is tidy, the direction steady and the story nonsensational, but uncompromised. The big-time college football culture is captured well.

Hart plays campus newspaper reporter Mary Stuartson who pursues the story of an attempted cover-up by "Cornwell University" of the date rape of her roommate by star quarterback Clay Roberts. Hart is modestly heroic as she works to nail Roberts, played with testosterone cockiness and an edge of psychopathology by, I believe, Lochlyn Munro.

This movie works especially well for Hart because as a reporter she gets to talk a lot, asking questions, and she is a great talker; and when talking her face becomes expressive and natural and very winning. If she is forced to just mug a lot, as she does on Sabrina, she tends to fall back on a repertoire of expressions that soon begins to repeat.

I realized while watching this that Melissa Joan Hart is at her best as a fighter. She's not just plunky, but she's strong, and that's really no surprise because, if you've been pursuing a career as an actress since you were a little kid, you'd be tough too.

Clarissa fans will be happy to see that Hart gets to model six or seven different hair-dos and a number of cute outfits, and there are several Clarissa-style close-ups of her with minimal makeup so that her freckles show and her big blue eyes, like marbles in well water, are shown to advantage.

Notable is the fine performance by Lisa Dean Ryan as Mary's friend who was raped.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

above average

7/10
Author: mbg411 from United States
25 June 2007

I liked this movie. Many people refer to it as "Sabrina the Teenage Feminist". They do that with a lot of movies that Melissa Joan Hart is in. Still, she really surprised me in this movie because she was great in the part of Mary, who fights for justice when her roommate is raped. You could tell that Hart was extremely determined in this movie and it showed. I also liked Lisa Dean Ryan as Mary's roommate. She was very effective in making me feel sorry for her character after she was raped. Josh Hopkins was good as the cocky and egotistical rapist. Lochlyn Munro convincingly played his character. The acting in this movie is better than in most TV movies, in my opinion.

The movie was pretty predictable though. Also, I expected more from the ending, it was too abrupt. The delivery could have been better. But the performances and overall plot make up for these problems.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Like a tape or record at wrong speed

7/10
Author: caa821 from Tulsa OK
29 January 2007

I actually flipped to Lifetime channel by mistake, just as this movie was beginning, and ended-up watching it.

It certainly deals with a serious issue, probably more prevalent than we realize, in terms of this type of attack of a young woman by an ego-maniacal fellow-student, who feels he's above the system, and, unfortunately, often is.

The cast here was believable, and the performances credible. A lot of these Canadian/Lifetime flicks are decidedly "over-the-top." However, this is one I might label as "under-the-top."

While appreciating the fact that it wasn't presented in an overblown fashion, this film somehow seemed like a record being played at a slower speed than proper, the 96 minutes seemed like many more, and it had the effect of looking like a shorter film, looped over-and-over, seemingly going on and on and on and ON - before reaching its inevitable and predictable conclusion.

Yet the engaging characters and performances made it better than the average film of this type, despite these criticisms.

And while these pictures often "milk" the climax, this one could have given it a bit more detail and length.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A staid, plodding production with a predictable ending.

5/10
Author: Eva Ionesco from Sydney, Australia
23 December 1999

I viewed this film because I admire Melissa Joan Hart as an actress, and she's certainly good in this one. The problem is not her, but the film itself. It plods its way through unimaginative storyline to a predictable conclusion. Just when you think the movie is going to have an interesting twist, it doesn't. It never shifts out of its "nail the bad guy" rut.

Melissa, who is great in the TV series "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" plays a student named Mary who is a reporter for the college newspaper. Her room-mate Holly gets thoroughly drunk at a party, and the college football hero takes advantage of her.

Holly cries rape, but no-one takes it too seriously. The college tries to sweep it under the carpet because they don't want to look as if they have an unsafe campus, and because the football hero is the key player in the team who will win them the premiership and get the college an extra million dollars of funding.

Even Holly doesn't want to go to the police because she is too upset, and she is just trying to cope, trying to hang on, trying to forget it ever happened, and besides, she feels it was probably her own fault for getting drunk, and for acting sexy and leading him on.

Three other actors give the film a lift whenever they're on-screen. Teryl Rothery, as Detective Brubaker, has a small part. Rothery is very famous for her voice work in Japanese anime, as well as being famous for her brilliant acting in just about every second or third TV series you could name. So why was she given such a small role in this one?

The second is Melissa's brilliant little sister Emily, who played in several episodes of "Sabrina", as the spoilt brat whom Sabrina had to babysit. She's only on for a few lines, so it's another case of wasting a great actress. I predict she'll be an even bigger star than Melissa, so keep an eye on her.

There's also Peter MacNicol, famous for his role as "The Biscuit" (John Cage) in the Ally McBeal TV series. His role is no bigger than Rothery's.

I'm not saying you shouldn't see the film. It's not a total loss. Any film with the Hart sisters in it is worth seeing, just for them. And Rothery makes it essential viewing too. I'm just saying that they could have made a much, much better film if they had used more of the great acting talent they had available, and had re-written the script with entertainment in mind, rather than aiming at heavily labouring the point that there's no excuse for rape, and that it must be fought against, not swept under the carpet.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Kept me guled to the seat

9/10
Author: Vikas Idnani (vikas911@hotmail.com) from Sudbury, Canada
2 July 2001

This movie definitely shows something and sheds light on what happens in most institutions today, and shows how one gurl just with the help of her newspaper manages to get things done, her editor has complete faith in her and doesn't publish something important, because it would harm her friend... and when it was the right time she took the necessary action.

The movie overall got a rating of 9 from me , because its got everything, i mean it keeps you entertained, and moreover, they have acted really well, for a TV movie, its really high quality acting that deserves alot of credit.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not so bad

Author: gbby21 from Miami, Florida
29 August 2003

While the movie itself wasn't bad to watch since considering that rape is no laughing matter, what disappointed me was Melissa Joan Hart and her little sister Emily were in it since I really don't like them as actresses. And another point that disappointed me was that Teryl Rothery's character, Detective Brubaker, didn't get a lot of air time. She is such a great actress!

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Security - Campus & Police

Author: melvin-1 from Virginia, USA
13 December 2003

This movie does show a lot for security both Campus & Police that shows that it has shown how Campus crimes were once hidden from Police and is getting to a point that more and more they can't hide it any more. Law is getting to a point where one of these days we can't hide crime like we used too. CourtTV has run it as some other channels have for the same reason. Too bad Melissa Joan Hart hasn't made anything off it or any many other movie's she's done.

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0 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

slow paced thriller

Author: Ferdinand (punk_1975) from Manila, Philippines
15 March 2000

A very slow paced but aggressive investigation by a campus journalist played by Melissa Joan Hart leads to the apprehension of an identified rapist who happened to be one of the outstanding football player of their campus. For Mary, there's no such thing as backing out for what she have started as she was really motivated to pursue the justice that her friend "Molly" deserves even if its the reputation of the whole campus administration which is at stake. As for the very poor intensity mood of playing the role of Mary, so is the way the movie evolves into a lousy concept of a thriller film w/c doesn't even earned a climax. The only accelerating factor was that it was topped by a very energetic, strong appealing "Melissa Joan Hart" who for the very first place should not supposed accepted the role because she have her self credited with great sitcom's such as her adoring "Clarissa" and "Sabrina" and what would be a possible feedback was that this film would be a stumbling block to her flourishing career. For what I know...she's the only cream of this CRAP.

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