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The Laramie Project (2002)

TV Movie  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Crime  |  9 March 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,417 users  
Reviews: 72 user | 18 critic

The true story of an American town in the wake of the murder of Matthew Shepard.



(play), (screenplay), 20 more credits »
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Nominated for 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 5 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Moisés Kaufman and members of New York's Tectonic Theater Project went to Laramie, Wyoming after the murder of Matthew Shepard. This is a film version of the play they wrote based on more than 200 interviews they conducted in Laramie. It follows and in some cases re-enacts the chronology of Shepard's visit to a local bar, his kidnap and beating, the discovery of him tied to a fence, the vigil at the hospital, his death and funeral, and the trial of his killers. It mixes real news reports with actors portraying friends, family, cops, killers, and other Laramie residents in their own words. It concludes with a Laramie staging of "Angels in America" a year after Shephard's death. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Everyone Carries a Piece of the Truth. See more »


Drama | Crime


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Release Date:

9 March 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le projet Laramie  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film was to make its HBO debut on March 16, 2002, but was pushed forward a week when NBC scheduled The Matthew Shepard Story (2002) for the same day. See more »


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User Reviews

A murder in Wyoming
2 November 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

A young gay man brutally killed by two young men trying to make a point about their hatred of homosexuals is the basis of Moises Kaufman's brilliant play seen here a few years ago. On the stage the play is somewhat detached because of the limitations in the text, but as a film, adapted for the screen by Mr. Kaufman, the immediacy of the story is more shocking than in the theater.

"The Laramie Project" is seen in a documentary fashion. The director and his assistants went to Laramie to investigate the incident that caused a world wide uproar because of the savage way Matthew Shepard's death had caused. In recreating the facts, Mr. Kaufman has dramatized the story by having real actors play the different people in town with whom he and his collaborators talked during the days of the research trip.

What comes out about the story is that individually, the citizens of Laramie were as shocked as everyone else was. After all, they considerer themselves as pretty tolerant, so why a horrible tragedy like this could ever happened amongst them? In fact, it only takes a pair of misguided individuals, who think thought they would make a statement by inflicting on the unsuspecting Matthew Shepard a punishment he didn't deserve.

The ensemble cast that play the different parts is an inspired choice. Mr. Kaufman was lucky in amassing such talent that respond so well to his commands. Steve Buscemi, Camryn Manhein, Laura Linney, Amy Madigan, Frances Sternhagen, Christina Ricci, Margo Martindale, Kathleen Chalfant, Terry Kinney, just to name a few, give excellent readings about what really occurred in Laramie.

Ultimately, Mr. Kaufman makes his point by just letting the citizens of Laramie come to terms with the horrible tragedy that shook their town.

28 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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