ATF (TV Movie 1999) Poster

(1999 TV Movie)

User Reviews

Add a Review
8 Reviews
Sort by:
Really really bad and unrealistic, except...
Free Agent27 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is a really bad movie. It starts off with a scene where an ATF agent puts on a bomb suit and disarms a bomb. This scene is totally unrealistic and factually incorrect...ATF agents don't disarm bombs, they investigate bombings.

On the other hand, the very next scene almost redeems the movie. It is set in bar. Some twenty or so ATF agents (some of them still wearing jackets with the ATF logo on back!!!)are shown partying down and drinking heavily . The scene ends with the lead ATF character staggering off to have sex in the back of a government car with a coworker.

So, at least they got that part right.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Boring and unrealistic plot
psu01061 January 2007
This movie would have been a bad project for any artist. The plot was predictable, but so unrealistic on so many levels until even hard core fans of Amy Brenneman and Kathy Baker could find little to enjoy about this movie. Time and time again good police procedure and common sense were abandoned to make way for this uneven tale. Even with the support of veteran actors Keith David and John Beasley this film still has little about it that can be redeemed.

Amy Brennenman, the main character is creditable as a very troubled ATF agent perhaps to the point of entertaining a death wish after participating in the ill-fated Branch Davidians raid at Waco, TX, and watching her sibling, a fellow-agent die in her arms of gunshot wounds sustained in the raid.

Kathy Baker is solid as the ATF Director, but instead of insisting on some type of administrative leave and counseling for Amy, she allows her to become a deep undercover in an attempt by the ATF to infiltrate yet another Branch Davidian-like sect who are suspected of dealing in deadly assault weapons, and domestic terrorist activity. Amy is deep inside the sect with no backup, and no line of communication to the outside so there is considerable concern for her safety, and pressure from a very ambitious FBI Director (Keith) to raid the compound while Baker is doing all she can to prevent another bloodbath like the one seen at Waco.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Sub-par, even for a Lifetime-esqueTV movie.
nalders22 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Low budget, technically inaccurate TV movie of uneven tone and imperfect plotting. The stereotypes are overplayed, and it's difficult to tell whether the "Psalm-shouting, gun crazy militiamen" or the "Ruthless, ambitious yet inept FBI director" is the real villain. Frankly, I think it's the director. Of the movie, that is.

Amy Brenneman is attractive as usual, though this is hardly a noteworthy performance for her.

Political bias would be fairly hefty, anti-gun and with the feminist overtones one expects from Lifetime-style movies. Naturally, the woman are the heroes and the men are bumbling idiots. I say "would be" because it's overshadowed by the personal problems of the characters in what is supposed to be the movie's real "drama".

All in all, I'm rather glad this little catastrophe has disappeared, save for late night playings on minor cable channels. You've already wasted more time than it's worth by reading this review. Don't compound your error by actually watching the movie.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
starbby4E8 September 2005
(I gave it a 7 for made for TV movies..not movies in general) I thought the movie was interesting. Amy Brennaman's character is NOT always screwing up as the last reviewer says...she merely makes BETTER judgments which aren't advised....and in doing so she saves a baby's life as well as her own in one case and her own in another...she's not the best actress when it comes to tearful/emotional things especially on Judging Amy...but in this movie she did pretty was a good made for TV movie and i'd get it on DVD...I like cop stuff's always interested me...even though this is of course a Drama...but it was my opinion. Hope this helps :)
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
shameful gun control propaganda
otto-burgess-713-2011043 October 2014
it only gets a rating of 2 because the production value is OK. directing and editing are just poor. the sound could be better also. there is little real drama, even for a lifetime TV production. but what really concerns me is the gun control propaganda. for example serial numbers would not be put on ghost guns, but they appear here. i suppose those who support gun control will appreciate the movie and focus on what little human relationship drama there is in the plot. oh, and the main cast is better than this. i am surprised that their agents were not able to shelve this title. all the players have done much better work.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Patricia Cornwell comes to TV! Woo.
dolls6 September 1999
This was supposed to be a TV pilot originally, and it would've been pretty damn cool as a series. As a movie, though, it works, though you get rather absorbed in finding out what happens to the character after this. Kathy Baker's cool in an obvious Scarpetta ripoff character, and Amy Brennaman is cool. It's full of the usual Cornwell angst: sex in a car, dead people who meant a lot to the leads, dangerous missions to catch the bad guy, relatively happy endings. All in all, an 8 on the ratings scale; I hope that PC's next project involves bringing Dr. Scarpetta to the big screen.
3 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Damien V.20 November 2003
This made for TV ( and boy is it ever ) movie reminded me of Gomer Pyle but without the canned laughter. Amy Brenneman is Gomer and Kathy Baker is Sargeant Carter. Amy (Gomer) is always screwing up while Sargeant Carter (Baker) always has to scream at her for screwing up.

The "rogue cop who always proves the chief wrong" angle is sooooooo played out. Too much pathos, too little craftiness, too much predictability, too little ingenuity.

pass on this one

4 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
sometimes ...
Sherparsa12 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
i ought to say i really liked this movie despite it being overly unrealistic on top of being too realistic!

weird statement? it's OK ... weird movie too! ;-)

it's also pro-government and ATF, pro FBI even (which is bashed reasonably well in both script as well as acting and everything ...)

only, i don't know if it was my overactive imagination with a strong tendency toward hallucination, which made me find the head of ATF so close in looks, appearance AND attitude to Hillary Clinton, or is it really there too?

nah! it's surely me following the unreal so much! Hillary is real! so is this movie! and the government! and the ATF and the FBI and ...

and the ISIS, a creation of Hillary et al ...
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews