Upstanding citizen Ed Smart lives happily with his wife and five children in Salt Lake City. Until youngest daughter Mary Katherine is the traumatized sole witness to the kidnapping from their home of sister Elisabeth. After treating Ed and eldest Charles as prime suspects for statistics' sake, undermining initially wide community support, they concentrate on jailed pedophile Richard Ricci. For years, the investigation goes nowhere, even after if becomes clear Ricci is probably Innocent. The lunatic kidnapper, homeless handyman turned mini-sect prophet 'Emmanuel', and his blindly-devoted airhead wife meanwhile indoctrinates 'adopted, chosen' Elisabeth, but fate and his alcohol demon bring him to the footlights. Written by
The attempted kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart's cousin was in fact neither a coincidence nor a practical joke. Though unexplained in the film, Elizabeth often talked about her close relationship with her cousin, Olivia Wright, to her captors, inadvertently telling them where she lived and that she was close to her in age. Brian Mitchell, as part of his plan to take multiple wives, decided that Olivia would be his next victim, but the kidnapping attempt was unsuccessful when the family was awakened by the noise, causing Mitchell to flee the scene. See more »
When Elizabeth is shown playing the harp it is very obvious that she isn't actually playing, as the movements of her fingers do not match the soundtrack. See more »
I did not know the story going into this, though I was aware that it was based upon something that really happened. If it truly had something to do with the creation of the Amber Alert, then I can see why they'd make a movie out of it. This, in spite of how unusual the concept itself can seem, feels authentic from start to finish, with the one brief exception being when the line "do what you feel in your heart" is spoken; nobody actually talks like that, in fact, outside of Hallmark and Disney, no one would ever utter anything *that* corny. Apart from that, the dialog is great. The plot is engaging and develops consistently throughout. Pacing is quite good, I was seldom bored. The acting is marvelous, even the children aren't half bad. This is well-directed, and it's no wonder that the guy went on to do Lost and Prison Break. The script is well-written, and sequences may genuinely hold surprises for you here and there(I sure did not see them coming; among other things, the ending played out differently than I thought it would. There is disturbing content in this. I recommend this to any fan of films dealing with kidnapping. 7/10
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