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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Very good movie, fine performances by Ann Heche and company

Author: HenrySaltalamachea from Staten Island, NY
2 September 2002

I thought the movie was very good with fine performances from the cast. Ann Heche never a favorite of mine gives a haunting performance as the marine captain accused of murdering her lover aptly played by Sam Sheppard. Eric Stoltz gives his usual excellent performance as Ann Heche's defense attorney. I would watch this film again. What I would like to know is, what is the title of the song that is played at the end of the movie as the credits are rolling and who sings it.Any information would be deeply appreciated.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A terrific movie with great performances.

10/10
Author: k h from United States
18 June 2000

This movie reminded me of the live dramas of the 1950s- not like the recent "Failsafe", which seemed more of a stunt than anything else, but a TRUE moral drama that is both engaging and thought-provoking. Anne Heche is more than credible as the army officer having an affair with her superior, played by Sam Shepard, and Eric Stoltz is wonderful as her lawyer defending her against the military establishment. I found myself waiting for THEIR affair to begin, if only because they look so good together. This movie is apparently based on a true story, and it's a relief to be asked to think about real issues for a change.

Directed by Christopher Menaul, who also did The Passion of Ayn Rand (with Stolz) and the Prime Suspect series, this is a movie with panache and style and is absolutely worth seeing.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Better than the usual made for TV-movies.

7/10
Author: Roth van Turnhout
8 October 2013

A divorced female marine officer (Anne Heche) with two small children is charged for killing an senior officer. As the characters begin dealing with the matter of trial, the facts behind the case unfold piecemeal via flashback.

"One Kills" offers excellent performances. Anne Heche natural acting works great as the army officer having an affair with her superior, played by Sam Shepard, and Eric Stoltz is credible as her lawyer defending her against the military establishment.

The movie is well build up. sometimes a little slow and too dramatic.

Recommended for trial/drama flick fans and those interested in military courts-martial.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A Bit Better than Average for TV

Author: Robert J. Maxwell (rmax304823@yahoo.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA
9 September 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers. It's a potentially interesting story. A young blonde Marine captain has an affair with her superior officer, discovers he is married, is handed the usual line of baloney from her lover ("I'm going to divorce her."), tries nonetheless to end the arrangement, is stalked by her balked and angry major, and plugs him a couple of times when he sneaks into her house armed with a pistol and knife and dressed in camouflage. There is a court martial, which provides a kind of framing story.

The performances -- by Heche, Shephard, and Stoltz -- are actually quite good. Anne Heche has a peculiarly bland beauty. It seems as if someone had grabbed the tip of her nose and pulled all of her facial features forward, but this only adds to the impression of fragility in her appearance. Sam Shephard, who has penned some remarkable plays, is growing craggy but no less handsome. But he's a light actor, and a good guy. It's as hard to accept him as a deranged Marine as it would be to accept, say, Gary Cooper in such a role. Stoltz has had a strange career, beginning really with "Mask." A book should be written about how he managed to get from American Samoa to Hollywood. His appearance, pale and with shockingly red hair, doesn't suggest strength, although he imbues his character with determination through sheer talent.

There are what we might call "directorial touches" expressed in the editing that are mostly a nuisance. Example: Stoltz is the defense counsel and is interviewing witnesses to a public altercation between the lovers. He asks a question. Witness number one answers it evasively. He asks a follow-up question. Cut to witness number two, who answers evasively. Stoltz asks question number three. Cut. Witness number three answers evasively. I can understand that courtroom dramas may need some pepping up, but puzzling the viewers about where and when we are isn't the way to do it. Anyway if it's well-enough done, trials and their preceding investigations don't need tricks to succeed.

There may be some sort of gender-equality message embedded in this movie too. Heche can run the obstacle course faster than anyone in her command. I taught classes at Camp Lejeune for a while and never ran into prejudice against women but my students may have been a select group. I don't doubt that there are musclebound macho types in the organization who resent the intrusion of women into that male-bonded society. You have to watch your swearing and all that. And some of the men did refer to female enlistees as BAMs {I'll let you figure it out) but only jokingly. It was no worse than what they called each other.

And Heche, after all, is a big girl, divorced and with two daughters. An officer in her position ought really to know better than to succumb to the advances of her superior officer, although, to be sure, power is an aphrodisiac, as Henry Kissinger once said. What was she thinking? What did she expect to happen? Cardboard romance culminating in official ritual? And Shephard's character was equally dumb. Driven by deeds that his glands, not his reason, put him up to, he begins boffing his subordinate and confusing the roles within that rigidly authoritarian structure. After sleeping with her, he has a public argument with her and shouts, "Don't you walk away. I am your COMMANDING OFFICER!" Well, Sam, you can't have it both ways. And you should have known that from the beginning.

When Heche testifies at the trial, of course we get her take on what happened exclusively -- Sam now being dead and all. How's this? She's in bed. Big Sam attacks tiny Anne with a drawn pistol. They wrestle around. She manages to twist the pistol around and shoot him in the belly. Not to be turned away, Sam falls to the floor and begins to crawl towards a knife he has dropped, so she puts one in his back. This is what she tells the jury anyway, and she is the only surviving witness. Well, there are a few, umm, implausibilities here, but never mind.

I've spent time pointing out what I thought were weaknesses in the film but it's an interesting enough story and is worth watching.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Semper Fi to Hollywood.

6/10
Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
6 December 2001

In "One Kill" Heche, Stoltz, and Sherpard form a solid core cast around which swirl the events in this docudrama about a Marine Corps murder trial. The story of a Woman Marine (Heche) who shot her lover to death in her bedroom is laid out and developed by trial flick rote. As the characters begin dealing with the matter of trial, the facts behind the case unfold piecemeal via flashback. Taken in the whole, "One Kills" offers nothing new and the story of a love affair gone sour and a corps cover up aren't particularly compelling. Nonetheless, the film offers excellent performances with considerable dramatic clout. Recommended for trial flick junkies and those interested in military courts-martial.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A tremendous film

10/10
Author: Nimbo from San Diego, California
16 August 2000

Excellent cast, story line, performances. Totally believable. I realize the close knit group that exemplifies the Marine Corps. But this movie brought fear to my heart. The marines let principles be damned. It seems that this film was based on real life incidents. It shows how difficult it is to go up against the establishment. Anne Heche was utterly convincing. Sam Shepard's portrayal of a gung ho Marine was sobering. And Eric Stoltz as her attorney was so deft balancing his loyalty to the Corp but also his loyalty to his client, while high above on his tightrope. He knew what his true course of action had to be. But he was pulled apart by his immersion in the Marine tradition, loyalty to the Corps above all else. I sat riveted to the TV screen. All in all I give this one a resounding 9 out of 10.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

It purports to be a true story, and it has the ring of truth

8/10
Author: FISHER L. FORREST (fisherforrest@sprintmail.com) from Jacksonville, Oregon, USA
13 May 2001

Certainly this film has the ring of truth about it, as it purports to be based on actual occurrences at a Marine base. It deals with the attempted cover-up by the local Marine commander of unacceptable conduct by a Marine major which resulted in his being shot to death by his former girl friend, a Marine captain. The man and woman had been lovers, but the captain attempted to break off the relation when she discovered her boy friend was married. He continued to stalk her, going so far as to fire his side arm in her direction at one time. Finally he broke into her home, attacked her with a knife, and was shot twice with her service pistol and killed. The civilian prosecutor ruled the killing self defense, but the Marines decided to charge the captain with murder. The major, you see, was a decorated hero from Vietnam, and an old friend of the commanding colonel at the Marine base. The captain, too, had made some enemies in her motor pool command, rejecting some male advances in a very butch style.

There is considerable psychological freight motivating and controlling the actions of the principal participants in this drama, which the very capable cast gets across nicely. The director and editor, however, seem determined to obscure the happenings as much as possible with frustrating flashbacks and shifting points of view. You're lucky if you know where you're at most of the time. Bear with them, though; it's a worthwhile story as the captain's court martial trial unfolds, and it seems every man's hand is against her, even her attorney at times.

The verdict? Well, after all, this is rather a suspense story, so you'll have to see for yourself. There is a kind of "pacifist" message folded into the film, but forget about that. Sure, "war is hell", but sometimes it can't be avoided. We'll need those Marines then, even if they aren't always the best champions of fair play internally. As Kipling says in his poem "Tommy Atkins":

"It's Tommy this and Tommy that, And Tommy wait outside. But, it's room for Mr. Atkins, When the troopship's on the tide."

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant

10/10
Author: ilicm from Belgrade, Serbia
26 February 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers !!! To understand what really happened first you have to be a warrior, to stay alive in real war, to think off-line,analytically,critically and not linear. Otherwise you will come to false conclusions that Maj.Gray was dumb or unstable person. Truth is something completely different. He was firm hardened veteran and only way he could be killed by Capt. O'Malley is that he wants her to kill him. It was his way out. He choose it. He was not man who will retire. If you've never been on a first line you can't understand it. He intentionally prepare his own suicide. First he seduced Mary Jane, than intentionally acted as a dumb, than stageed argue - shutting incident before witnesses (to protect her later after she done what he wants her to do if it comes to trial), than gave her son a bullets (to assure he could load her gun later), came that night, loaded her gun, woke her up, put her gun in her hands, acted as he was attacking her, after shot first time he raised knife and cried "One kill" so she shot him again and before died he put knife off like he was trying to took him back again after first shot. He also gave her a message with his last cry. "After first kill everything will change inside your mind and destroy your life, this is the the only way for me to die as a man, yet to be killed by somebody I love is my choice and my only prerogative, war and army is not what you thought so far, grow up finally and save your life till you can". She left military life at the end. She did understand him. And he did not die in vain. The man who helped him to prepare all that and after to carry out the trial and the outcome of that trial was Col. Sam Doran with help of Lt. Tim Macy. Macy didn't know what is really going on and what will be the outcome but did what he was expected to do. He took photos of Mary Jane and Maj.Gray by order of Col. Sam Doran who gave that order because Maj.Gray asked him to do that. After she refused to leave army (what Col.Doran asked her to do) Col. Doran convinced prosecutor to charge her with a premeditated murder (he knew she cant be found quilty) instead of manslaughter (there was some possibility to be found quilty) with taken photos. Col.Doran also suppress argue-shutting incident to escalate to prevent prosecutor to have any doubt about premeditated murder charge but let it be revealed during the trial what greatly influenced the jury. I have no doubt about outcome of that trial. Why Col. Doran did that way? Because he will do anything Maj.Gray ask him to do. Why? Because he saved his life on a battlefield. Why Mary Jane choose to go to trial? Because she was a person who have integrity, a principles. And that is why Maj.Gray choose her. It has to be somebody deserving, somebody honourable. Keeping his secret about what really happened that night she also prove her honour.

Miroslav

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

flashbacks don't work

4/10
Author: sammie_now from Vlissingen, Netherlands
8 December 2005

This could have been a good TV-movie, but the flashbacks do not make it easier to understand the movie. As they give the viewer informations on the way (will the movie proceeds) i found myself wondering why she never said or mentioned that in the beginning. Then the whole trail would probably not have been necessary.

When the movie ends you understand why she shot, and of course she is not guilty. Too bad that the producer/director used the flashbacks this way, but on the other had the movie would not have been worth while at all.

Nice movie for a rainy day, big bag of chips to kill the evening.

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