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A Slight Case of Murder
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Reviews & Ratings for
A Slight Case of Murder (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Prepare to shelve your critical faculties and emit a loud, bipartisan "wheeeeee!".

Author: Dave Locke from Pownal, Vermont
26 September 1999

Co-scripted by William H. Macy from, arguably, Donald E. Westlake's best and hardest to find novel, "A Travesty". *Very* faithful to the story, the movie stars Macy as a hapless man who gets in way too far over his head after attempting to cover up an accidental death. Costars Adam Arkin and James Cromwell in good supporting roles. The strength of the movie is in the intricate twist-after-twist storyline and in the acting, particularly by Macy who routinely and delightfully breaks through the 4th wall here and gets away with it every time. A good storyline with much dark humor, this one engaged me enough that I've watched it three times in the week since it came out. Prepare to shelve your critical faculties and emit a loud, bipartisan "wheeeeee!".

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A nifty little postmodern anti-Columbo

Author: Ian Abrams ( from Philadelphia
19 September 1999

Okay, I love Bill Macy, who's invariably fun to watch, with those pouchy eyes and that "please don't kick me again" expression-- or maybe it's "please don't kick me again so hard." And I love Donald Westlake, one of the best writers of light capers on the scene today. Westlake wrote the novel on which this is based, which I seem to recall reading as "Enough," not "A Travesty," which is what it says in the credits. The combination of these two guys is inspired, all the better in that Macy co-wrote the adaptation and tailored the lead precisely to his acting strengths. Macy just looks like a typical Westlake hero-- only, as one of the other characters points out, he really can't be the hero if he's killed his girlfriend, even accidentally. And he's not really the hero, I guess, although you do sort of root for him. Macy plays Jerry Thorpe, a not-very-nice TV film critic, whose attempts to evade the consequences of committing an accidental murder get more and more involved as the plot thickens. It's an anti-Columbo, where we follow the criminal, not the cop, and wonder when and how he's going to blow it. Macy's stayed true to the book, adding a lot of character touches and a couple of nifty flourishes. He even includes a funny reference to one of his own previous pictures, "Searching for Bobby Fischer." I guess, for me, the fun was just watching Macy have so much fun in a leading role-- like Steve Buscemi, he's a terrific character actor who rarely gets the chance to carry a film. He carries this one, and I hope to see him carry more.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful, comic murder mystery!

Author: Dave Van Houwelingen ( from Waterloo, Ontario
4 October 2000

"A Slight Case of Murder" is an excellent TV movie, which is defiantly worth the price of a rental. William H. Macy is great as a movie critic who accidentally kills his mistress, and then has to try to conceal the crime. Although that may sound dark, the film is actually quite light hearted and funny, with many memorable lines ("Acting is harder than I thought- you ever see BODY HEAT? I think I owe Bill Hurt an apology" and my personal favourite "For next week answer these two questions about film noir, What do these people do during the day? and Why is it always raining?). The film has a great supporting cast including Macy's real life wife Felcity Huffman, James Cromwell and Adam Arkin. A must see for Macy fans!

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I feel guilty!

Author: Chris Sniezek (CSniezek) from Somerville, MA
19 September 1999

This was a riveting film, one that really drew me in. I'm a big fan of William H. Macy, and he puts in a wonderful performance. His great likeability, coupled with the way his character breaks the fourth wall, really gave me a sense of complicity in his actions. I found myself waiting tensely for the whole house of cards to come collapsing down around him (and by extension myself, as his confidante and silent witness). It took several minutes for me to relax once the film had ended, I was so wrapped up in it.

Good performances all around, too, not just with Macy. Arkin was quite good, as was Cromwell (he was surprisingly fierce). In short, I highly recommend this film to any fans of Macy and/or the murder mystery. But you may want to prepare to feel a little guilty.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Fresh, clever, funny

Author: Proph from USA
26 September 1999

William H. Macy is brilliant as Everyman caught in a desperate situation. Starts off with a bang and never lets up. Twists and surprises are fresh, unpredictable. Use of film noir clips and frequent quotes and references to 30's and 40's flicks makes this a delightful "must" for movie buffs.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A terrific dark comedy that grabs you from the start!

Author: nathan peterson from Boston, MA
19 September 1999

William H. Macy is terrific in this Alfred Hitchcock-esque film. Macy stars as a film critic who accidentally kills one of his girlfriends. The characters that ensue are hilarious. James Cromwell gives a terrific performance as a blackmailing private detective. As always, Macy is incredibly funny and gives a phenomenal performance. See this movie whenever it is on t.v. and check your video stores because this is one you don't want to miss.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A fresh, creative, tight tale of mischief, misdeed, & misadventure

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

"A Simple Case of Murder" is a tight and clever little noirish caper comedy-drama made for commercial tv. William H. Macy, that "Fargo" guy, is at the center as a film critic who has an argument with a lady friend who slips, hits her head and dies. What follows is a slow, one step forward and two back unraveling of Macy's cover up scheme which leads to extortion, robbery, murder and lots of tongue-in-cheek humor while Macy narrates from both sides of the camera. A fun little "sleeper" on video.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Delicious contemporary film noir

Author: Peter Canepa ( from Los Angeles
6 September 1999

William Macy is perfect in this unique contemporary film noir. The look is 40's although its not really a period piece. The interaction of Adam Arkin and Macy is electric, with multiple cat and mouse games being played.

This movie raises the bar in TV movies, and is an intelligent entertainment with an unguessable ending.

Loved it.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Another forgotten tv movie

Author: valyruiz007 ( from México, land of caos
21 December 2003

when I realized that the main character in this movie is the same man (William H. Macy) who provocate all the deaths in FARGO. I said "man, you are a real maniatic". the story has his own way to tell the story.

also the camera takes are fantastic. the first take "going up the building" are awsome, very clever.

I trully recommend this picture, not only because the story, is a great movie if you're a "Movie Classics Lover".

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Lightly amusing--pretty good for a TNT original

Author: ALauff
15 February 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

William H. Macy is a film critic caught in a spider web of deceit in this TNT original, co-written by Macy, a self-referential noir in which Macy speaks directly into the camera to us, letting us know he's not such a bad guy even as he accidentally kills his mistress, brains his blackmailer, robs a bank and screws the head investigator's wife. Macy is so likable he makes any number of lame situations work, and the disjunction between his relationship with us and with the characters on-screen is pretty amusing. There is even some pretty amusing subtext about the critical constipation and impotency of critics, but it never drills very much beneath the ironically detached veneer to be more than lightly satisfying.

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