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The Laramie Project
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Laramie Project (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

beautiful

10/10
Author: Myrna (malivengood@aol.com) from St Louis
13 September 2003

This movie was a bit over loaded with star power but, it never left it's purpose. It showed the ugly side of hate. I think that it has many memorable scenes, but the most notable is the one with the angels. If you want to know what I am talking about see the movie. I think you'll agree.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Jed

Author: thevicar from Laramie, Wy
7 November 2002

I think it's a very important fact to note that while Jed Schultz didn't get to play himself in the film, which is regrettable, he got a close-up as one of the angels. As a Laramie resident, and a friend of Jed's, I thought it was an incredibly poigniant moment to see his face. It really personalized the film.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Flawed but beautiful

8/10
Author: MarkusRTK from Canadian Wilderness
18 May 2005

Upon its beginning, one realizes almost instantly that this film was adapted from a play, if only from listening to the characters' lines. The dialogue is absolute perfection, the Nirvana of the writer, in its synthesis of ultra-realistic speech patterns and riveting material. Even the most mundane discussion is difficult to turn off. This is, of course, the hallmark of theater, where there is no orchestral score or fantastic cinematography to distract the audience - dialogue must stand on its own. It's a practice all too absent from most film.

The "poetic realism" style continues through into visuals, as every shot is calculatingly composed for maximum emotional effect without straying from the documentary setup. In one particularly memorable moment, an innocuous American flag in a bar becomes a wrenchingly powerful symbol. Considering that the original play was done with no set beyond a table and chairs, it's a radical departure - and one that goes surprisingly well.

Though the film begins to drag through its second half, and hits a low point with an apparently poignant but in fact quite artificial and dry monologue from Shepard's father, the impact of its unconventional style is enough to propel it through to a more or less satisfying conclusion. Recommended for anyone who can tolerate serious film.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

thought provoking

10/10
Author: wescard from winnipeg, canada
29 March 2002

I thought this movie was excellent. the stars that appeared in it did not distract your attention from the story itself. it portrayed a story of a tragic murder that everyone should see.it made one think of how prejudice can corrupt anyone. it is well worth seeing.

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13 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Total Propaganda

1/10
Author: Toakie from Virginia
27 January 2003

This film infuriated me for the simple fact that it was made only because Shepherd was gay. The men who murdered him are clearly wicked. What happened to the poor man was truly horrible and a tragedy. However, where was Hollywood when four religious white kids were executed, after being forced to perform a host of sex acts on their killers and each other, by two evil black men in Wichita just two years ago? The celebrities only mug for the camera when it serves a political purpose. Also, Laramie is portrayed in a poor light by this pseudo-documentary, which of course is hardly surprising because they are the backward hicks who must be educated by omniscient and enlightened Californians. Still, it's always a treat to see Laura Linney.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One of the most moving films I have seen!

Author: Gordon-11 from Earth
31 May 2006

This is a film about how the town of Laramie reacted after the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard.

This film tells the story by a series of interviews with scenes of re-enactments of events. The interviews were professionally conducted. The responses were very real and comes right from the heart. The editing was excellent, as the scenes of the different interviews were nicely woven in such a way that viewers can integrate the vast amount of information without getting confused or losing track of who's who.

In this film, different viewpoints were represented, but it was plain that this film promoted equality, love and freedom. This could be evidenced by a particular segment of a conversation, in which a senior member of a church said that, he wished Matt would reflect on his lifestyle and remember the words of God when Matt was lying on the fence before slipping into a coma. The interviewer (played by Clea DuVall) was stunned, and later chided herself for not speaking against such a view. This scene, among many other scenes, moved me to tears. Indeed, homosexuality is not a matter of choice. There is nothing to reflect or repent.

I also want to commend the many big name stars for starring in this film. I would imagine them not getting a big paycheck, and they probably put their careers at risk for starring in an independent movie of controversial nature. I would particularly like to applaud Christina Ricci, as she has already starred in 2 movies (that I have seen) in which she relentlessly defended minority rights. "The Laramie Project" is one, and the other is "Pumpkin".

This film literally made my collar of my shirt drenched. Yes, it is that moving. It makes you think hard. It touches your soul. This is a must see movie.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Demagogic movie

4/10
Author: chilindrina2002 from Spain
3 December 2005

There's nothing new in this movie. Nothing you haven't thought about before, nothing you haven't heard before. The story of a gay man who is brutally murdered in a small town and the reaction of people can be broached in many ways, and this movie has chosen the most demagogic and slushy one. One of the biggest flaws in this movie is that it isn't neither a movie nor a documentary. The director has used the transcriptions of the original interviews and made the actors play them as if it was a movie. The result is weird. And finally, I read in previous comments that stated that people who don't like this movie are anti-gay. I'm pretty sure this comments come from people who consider themselves tolerant but don't tolerate that other people don't like this movie. This is a funny world.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

What is important is that we, the audience, suffer with the citizens of Laramie, and are better for it.

10/10
Author: (blackavar.bunnie@gmail.com) from United States
10 November 2005

I have just recently moved to Denver, Colorado from Boise, Idaho. We drove all the way down here, and as we entered Wyoming, or sometime before we left it (I cannot remember which) I saw the town Laramie on the sign. I had heard the name before but couldn't remember exactly the significance of the town.

It wasn't until after I had seen the movie Hostage with Bruce Willis in it, and had checked who the actor who played Mars Krupcheck was also in The Laramie Project. I remember my friend Ricky telling me about the Laramie Project, that it covered the story of the gay boy who had been savagely beaten to death there.

Matthew Sheppard was a college kid attending the University of Wyoming. He had left the Fireside Bar with two other boys. They had hit him in the back of the head with a pistol and tied him to a fence post, beat him some more, stole his shoes and money, and left him for dead. This scene is never depicted in the movie. In fact, Matthew Sheppard does not make an appearance, even in a photograph.

Being a homosexual myself, this movie held a great amount of significance for me. Sitting through, and watching the information presented to the audience through Sheppard's families and friends, of the religious figures in the movie... all of it hit very close to home. I cried almost all the way through this movie. I didn't just feel sorry for Matthew and his family. I felt sorry for the perpetrators, sorry for what they had allowed themselves to do.

I've always been pro-death penalty, and I still am, but I think that if I had been in Matthew's position, I would not have wanted those two boys killed.

The movie, while slightly off at times, is amazingly touching. I can't stress that enough. If you have ever pondered what it's like to live in a town that is defined by a crime, if you've ever wondered what it was like to go through such a situation, this is the right movie. We may have had nothing to do with the events in Laramie, or we may have even been there the day it happened. What is important is that we, the audience, suffer with the people depicted in this movie, and that we are better because of it.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

An exceptionally well done docu-drama.

8/10
Author: shneur from United States
27 August 2005

Generally I stay away from documentaries, preferring stories with a plot to hold my wavering attention. "The Laramie Project" is, I suppose, not strictly speaking a documentary at all, as it uses professional actors, but it's closely based on audio interviews recorded right at the time of the events following Matthew Shepard's abduction, torture and murder in the eponymous Western town. I think that in this case realism and professionalism combined to fine advantage. This film communicates the pathos and poignancy of the drama itself, but also tremendous need of basically good citizens and good people to make things "all right," even when they are not all right at all. Prejudice and baseless hatred have been the bane of humankind forever. They derive from our roots as territorial creatures, where maximizing INTRA-group similarities and INTER-group differences were a means to survival. Now that our planet has become truly a "global village," such attitudes are not only shameful, but unless we can truly obliterate them from our minds and hearts, will ultimately lead to our own destruction. This is another of those films that everybody needs to view.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Sad, powerful, excellent..MATT WE MISS YOU!

10/10
Author: John Seger from Los Angeles
10 November 2004

The 1998 gay hate crime murder of, Matthew Shepard, really hurt many people around the world, including myself. The very fact that this sweet young man, so slight in height and weight, with an angelic face could be kidnapped by two idiot kids, tied to a spit rail wooden fence and pistol whipped and tortured until his skull was literally bashed with fractures, and then left there to die, tied to that fence for 18 hours in the near freezing temperatures until a bicyclist came upon him. Matthew was at this time, in a coma, and for 4 days the world watched, waited, and hoped he would recover. Matthew did not. He died October 12th, 1998 in the hospital. This film, through a series of massive interviews with the residents of this town, is done in a documentary style, with the actors repeating the words collected in those interviews. It is very well made, very powerful and also very very sad. They filmed this in the actual town. You get to see the inside of the bar Matt was in before his abduction, as well as the college he attended, the rail fence he was tied to (THANK GOD NO MURDER IS RE-CREATED HERE), as well as the actual courtroom the trial took place at. Hopefully, people who are homophobic can see by watching this film, people are people--no matter if they are of a different race or sexual orientation. We all need to stand UNITED, encourage state laws to include zero tolerance of gay hate crimes. Matthew Shepard did not deserve to die. If anything good can come from such an evil thing that happened, let's hope this movie can open some eyes and we can stop the hate and innocent people being murdered.

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