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The Guilty More at IMDbPro »

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22 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Not Bad For An Unknown Modern Noir

Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
28 May 2006

This was a sleeper, a no-name movie that might have gone straight-to-video and was pretty good. It's one of these crime movies that doesn't have a lot of action yet keeps your interest all the way through.

Like a true film noir, none of the characters nor their morality in this are really good but what WAS good was a few things at the end of this story you rarely see in a Hollywood film.

Bill Pullman, Devon Sawa, Gabrielle Anwar, Angela Featherstone and Joanne Whalley (Kilmer) make for a diverse cast of actors. This is worth a look if you can find it anywhere but not that good to go searching for it.

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16 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Deliciously twisty

Author: jrgirones from Arenys de Mar, Catalonia, Spain
14 May 2001

A very entertaining thriller. The screenplay is full of twists and coincidences which would appear shamefully incredible in other hands, but here the whole cobweb is managed cleverly and for moments we seem to be in front of a real Greek tragedy. Waller builds some great moments of tension that keep you in the edge of your sit.Bill Pullman is superb as the mean, tricky lawyer. Worth seeing.

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18 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant movie

Author: cryofry from Australia
22 February 2005

I was watching TV late one night when I stumbled across this movie. I missed the first 15 minutes or so, but continued to watch it. I'm glad that I did, as it's become one of my all-time favorite movies.

The story is about a sleazy, self-centered lawyer (played brilliantly by Bill "Independence Day" Pullman), who gets drunk and rapes his new secretary. She threatens to expose him for who he really is, so he hires someone to kill her. Unbeknown to him, he has actually hired his long lost son (Devon "Final Destination" Sawa). However, his son is actually a "good guy" and refuses to do it. He throws all the documents away, but his no-good criminal friend finds them and decides to kill her instead, as he needs the money to pay of a loan. The action and suspense is non-stop from here on.

This movie has brilliant acting, fantastic direction and awesome camera angles. I give this movie 11/10! A must see for anyone and everyone!

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17 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

A promising cast is betrayed by a stupid plot that is based on illogical and silly twists & turns that only succeed in sucking the life out of it, leaving a pretty worthless 'thriller'

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
19 July 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Freshly released from prison, young Nathan Corrigan discovers his father was not who his mother told him he was but is actually high-class lawyer Callum Crane. Crane is aiming to become a judge but is not above a bit of fun; but when a 'bit of fun' with secretary Sophie Lennon turns into rape, he has her fired to get rid of the reminder of what he did – days later he is offered the position of judge and he forgets all about it. However Sophie cannot stand that this man would sit in judgment over others and demands he turn the offer down or she will go to the papers and the police. Crane decides the only option is to have her killed and he thinks he has the solution when he bumps into Nathan in the city. However Nathan has also met Sophie and befriended her – making things very complex.

If my plot summary sounds like it is convoluted or confused then you need to believe me when I tell you that it is not all down to my inability to write coherently (well – not totally). Actually I do the film a good deed by trying to summarise this messy plot in a manner that can be read simply because in reality it is very twisted and makes very little sense – relying on all sorts of coincidence, misunderstanding or sheer lazy plot jumps to create a sort of thriller. The downside of this is that the film is such a mess that it never hangs together; one or two thin connections maybe could have survived but the fact that very little of the plot actually stands up to even passing thought means that the film becomes far too silly to ever be tense.

It's a shame because the names attached to the project were quite impressive but the writing is a mess. By the end of the film it was all over the place and I was waiting for the plug to be pulled – what little value the basic plot soon crumbles as the cracks in the plot all add up to a couple of big gaping holes that it is impossible to avoid. Pullman has done dark thrillers before and it is a shame that many viewers will be drawn to this on the back of his previous work. He is OK here and he tries to rise above the material even though he has nothing to really work with. Sawa is poor – his performance cannot save a rubbish character that is never believable. Anwar is gorgeous and I cannot understand why she has been in so many dogs over the past few years; here she looks good in short skirts but never convinces as a rape victim and the script pushes her character into some stupid form of blackmail that is just dumb. Featherstone and Whalley are both poor and the only other point of interest is a small role for Peter Kent, who is probably much better known for standing in for Arnie as stunt double than for his actual skills as an actor.

Overall, my message is don't be fooled by the cast; this is a messy thriller that is far too silly to stand up. It is based on so many coincidences and loose connections that the cracks start to show from the very start. By the end the cracks dominate the film and it can do nothing to actually build any thrills, tension or excitement. As the film ended I must admit to have given up on it already and just wasn't in the mood for any more silliness.

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

An underrated film that will please movie lovers who love mining nuggets from the flotsam of today's cinema.

Author: Poe-17 from usa
9 July 2001

This is a flawed film, not flawed creatively, but in its sidestepping of consumerism. We, collectively, have been taught to expect certain things from movies and those things are attributes that make box office. That isn't necessarily stuff that makes good stories. This movie deviates, I think, from formula in one pivotal and disturbing scene. It doesn't give us what we've come to expect, it gives us something else, much as the movie "The Pledge" did, which also trashed its chances at the box office. But if you don't demand the "norm" in your films, this is a complicated and delightfully twisting tale of indulgence and getting accidentally swept up in things we had no intention of messing with. Personally, I found what has been called weak performances as low keyed and powerful and I had fun letting Bill Pullman do something ... well, sinister. It isn't a great film, it's for buffs who like something oddball to carry in their knapsack of cinematic experiences. It ain't for everyone, but for those it's for, it's a treat. On its most basic level, it's about a powerful man who, in aggresive drunkeness, rapes a nearly willing secretary and wants her to forget about it because of his career. On the other level, it's about what goes around doing its thing. Newton's Law. And you know laws, we will abide by them.

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining twisty-turny escapist drama worth a look.

Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
20 October 2001

On the up side, "The Guilty" offers deceit, infidelity, romance, rape, murder, family matters, and characters ranging from powerful and wealthy to scumbags and thugs all supported by an excellent cast. On the downside, this Simon Birch knock-off heaps coincidence upon coincidence as it weaves its very improbable story with characters behaving as necessary to make the convoluted plot work. In the final analysis, "The Guilty" makes the suspension of disbelief easy by slowly sucking the audience into its complex web of intrigue. An above average little flick good for 100 minutes of escapism with nary a dull moment.

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12 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

GREAT SUSPENSE ... the story is just amazingly well thought out & the ending just blows you away.

Author: grimmmace ( from Toronto, Ontario
6 May 2001

At first, I didn't think this would be a really good movie at all because I've never heard of it before, I only found out about it from a friend. But when you start to watch it, you get right into the storyline & you don't want to turn away from it for a second. There's lots of plot twists & the actors are great. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who likes a good "thriller".

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Not Bad

Author: baybee from australia
5 June 2002

One rainy day while searching the video store my boyfriend and I came across this movie. Bill Pullman was on the cover so we hired it without reading the back of the cover and we were pleasantly surprised.

It was strange seeing Bill Pullman as the bad guy. He's certainly an underrated actor and this movie works only because of him.

Gabrielle Anwar was dull in her performance but Devon Sawa was great.

Bill Pullman plays a lawyer about to become a judge who tries to seduce his secretary, Gabrielle Anwar. She threatens to blackmail him and he hires Sawa to kill her but there are a few twists involved.

All in all this isn't a bad movie to watch and even though his performance was good, after being the nice guy for so long you have trouble believing Bill Pullman as a baddie.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Coincidences galore and characters who do not act realistically

Author: Claus Peters
25 July 2015

Outside of a soap opera, what are the odds of someone unknowingly hiring his own son (whose existence he didn't know) to kill a girl with whom, coincidentally and also unknowingly, the son is temporarily living? What are the odds that son will have a criminal record, and also will have a friend who is being persecuted by thugs and who would be ready to do the job the son refuses to do? There are more implausible coincidences in this hyper-convoluted and hyper-far-fetched plot, but these should prove the point.

Characters are not only extremely improbable, but they also do not behave in a rational, intelligent way. A senior lawyer is manipulated like a boob to fire a girl on the flimsiest of reasons (with no cause, in fact). As his only leverage, the son has an envelope with evidence to incriminate the father, but instead of hiding it he goes to sleep, so the father easily grabs the envelope. Mysteriously, this same father -to demonstrate that he is as idiotic as his son- does not destroy the incriminating envelope immediately. Later, being interrupted by his wife when he is finally going to burn it, he exits the house just leaving the envelope on a table (!). Not only that, but days pass without him even remembering about the envelope. So too late he learns that, in the middle of a marital crisis, the wife (apparently also unknowingly) had sent the envelope to the District Attorney.

The son goes to the girl's house to prevent her from being murdered, but he botches his speech to such a degree that she expels him from the apartment and he is unable to stop the killer. Generally speaking, characters seem unable to convey information in a clear way, even on essential matters; misinterpretations abound. Too much suspense is built around these confusions and these unnatural behaviors.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A nice change of the usual Hollywood overblown movies

Author: Nick Damian from Toronto, Ontario
31 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yes, it was a little bit unbelievable that the Judge's son would be the one he hired to kill the person he raped so that she won't blackmail him.

It was awesome though and kept me interested the entire movie.

It's a little gem - not a diamond by any means, but a gem - something like a copycat diamond. With enough sparkle to amuse and delight and please, but not something that is treasured for years to come.

I enjoyed the story, the performances and the fact that my home was once again used in the film.

I must have lived in the most awesome places on Earth, because they keep being used in movies.

Anyways, it's a cool little crafty number that delighted me.

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