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19 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

This is a must-see for all who dare to be different.

10/10
Author: Jinx (bichonsister_7) from United States
10 July 2006

This was an amazing and inspiring movie on differences, not only among teenage students but also among America's religious and social community. You'll find profound messages within the realistic storyline. Each twist and turn leads you in another direction, and you'll want to defend Brandi (played by Alia Shawkat), the main character wrongly accused of witchcraft, every step of the way. If you've ever been put down because of your individuality, or even put someone else down for standing out of the crowd, then this is a movie you'd benefit from seeing. The actors and actresses are very good and made believable characters. It's high-interest and detailed, and is especially right for you if you are a teenager who has wanted your opinion to be heard. It is by far one of the best Lifetime movies ever made.

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15 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Excellent

10/10
Author: PointXBlankXRange from United States
10 July 2006

I saw this movie a few hours ago, my mom watches Lifetime very frequently and when I heard about this movie I was immediately drawn in. I myself have been labeled a Goth at my school and I know the harassment that Brandi faced in school. This movie left me in pure awe and not only angered me, but brought tears to my eyes. Although I haven't faced such horrible abuse at my school, I found myself able to relate to everything that this poor girl was going through. The movie literally had me glued to my seat, I couldn't get up if my life depended on it. it absolutely horrified me that this was based on a true story, but it didn't surprise me at all. I have friends who lived near Columbine at the time that it happened, and though I was only nine when the incident occurred, I'm aware of the troubles it caused in schools all over the country for people who dared to be different. In the end, I was thrilled that Brandi didn't change and she stayed true to herself, this kind of ordeal would cause many people to at least pretend that they try to conform to everything that happens. All in all, it was an incredible film and I definitely recommend it to anyone who asks about it.

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

I don't really know what happened at Union

8/10
Author: abdool3 from United States
10 July 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm only commenting on the movie itself, because what really happened with Brandi is debatable. We may never really know everything that went on but I have to say that its scary to think that in today's society a 15 year old can be defamed by an entire school board and that a town could bolster this kind of attack. What kind of society do we live in if children have to live in fear that their own school can instigate and endorse a smear campaign against them? This movie helps to bring some awareness to the fact that hate crimes, prejudice, and school bullying can have serious effects on teens. No one is exempt from harassment; your religious beliefs and lifestyle can single you out. People will insidiously malign you and huddle together together to make you a pariah. I don't know what really happened at Union HS, but in the movie Brandi didn't look like the typical all American girl. When targeted and accused of being a witch she retaliated by saying she would put a spell on her vindictive classmate. Though this was immature, she was 15 years old and that's how teenage girls act. She was being harassed and that provoked her and later she regretted her sarcasm when she became the victim of a witch hunt. In this movie religion is not the major issue.This movie doesn't denigrate Christianity nor does it advocate any kind of witchcraft; I think it's sole purpose was show that if you are different people will attack your character, lifestyle, and way of thinking.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A Great Movie With A Message

10/10
Author: caspersuicide from United States
11 March 2009

I was 21 when I first saw this movie on Lifetime 3 years ago, far away from the BS of high school dramatics. But I have to say this was an amazing film on how stereotypes and rumors can ruin someone's life and is very realistic. It reminded me of when I was around 16 and in high school dealing with similar issues. My first girlfriend was into wicca. Her whole family had been for 3 generations. It was their religion and she was taunted and put through the blender just as Brandi was in the film. It later boiled over onto everyone who was associated with her just as Brandi's family and friends were drawn into it. Lifetime has been moving to a trend in the last few years of making movies like this. I for one am actually kind of glad they've started to. The horrible feelings and frustration that can come from being outcasted and harassed are captured perfectly in this film. It gives teenage audiences a chance to relate to something and know it's alright to be different and they shouldn't be ashamed of it. This film has a lot of touching moments as well though. Especially between Brandi and her family. The ending was very moving and gave a brighter rise from the drama of the body of this film. I enjoyed it and I'd love to catch it on television again sometime. I say that anyone who's ever gone through this similar type of situation, or anyone who was ever outcasted, taunted, or has been through hell over a choice or their religion should definitely check this one out. It's well worth the watch.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Fascinating and Compelling

9/10
Author: aesgaard41 from United States
21 March 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I knew the true story of Brandi Blackbear long before this movie, and I have a lot of respect for Brandi wherever she is now. I watched this movie because I knew Alia from the prematurely-canceled "Arrested Development," but I'd watched this even if she wasn't playing Brandi. She comes across as Native American very well, and Ileana Douglas, who I've seen across the board in several comedic roles does well too. This movie tells how, in the aftermath of the Columbine shootings, how a number of school elitists manipulated a school policy to terrorize Brandi in order to get her tossed out of school and the blind principal who let them get away with it. Alia portrays a very sympathetic Brandi in a world surrounded by high school cliques, adolescent peer pressure and the Twentieth Century version of a witch hunt. It's strongly compelling, but the two-hour movie is horribly compressed; there 's obviously not enough time to tell the full true story which deserves much more time, but it does express the story of one girl who dared to be different and the brain-dead snobs who ridiculed her for it and unjustly had the motivation to twist things into their direction. Let this movie serve as a warning to parents as to how merciless high school is and to teachers and faculty who turn a blind eye to the abuse of students unable to defend themselves.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Ironically, this doesn't stand out all that much... with that said, worth watching

7/10
Author: Grann-Bach (Grann-Bach@jubii.dk) from Denmark
1 January 2010

I don't know if this was based upon something that actually happened; however, in spite of my wanting to believe that it didn't, not this recently, I sadly can imagine that this is a true story. Thus, I can't compare this to the real thing. The authentic feel is present throughout, if this can honestly seem a bit manipulative at times. It certainly is fairly black and white, albeit with several notable exceptions. The plot revolves around a girl in high school being accused of witchcraft(!), and her family's attempts to deal with it. All the characters are pretty well-written, consistent and credible. The acting is great, I was impressed with most performances. Apart from Illeana Douglas, I didn't know any of them before, but I'd definitely consider giving anything else they appear in a chance. The cinematography and editing are quite nice and interesting, with some well-used hand-held camera footage. While this doesn't hold an awful lot of surprises script-wise, it does engage the viewer, as well as hit the majority of the marks. The dialog also has several memorable and clever lines. There is a little humor, and it's rather funny. This can be very disturbing. I recommend this to everyone who's been a teenager and felt different. In other words, if you are at least thirteen years old, this is for you. 7/10

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Teen Witch in Heartland

6/10
Author: wes-connors from Earth
1 August 2012

Four days after the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Colorado, an Oklahoma town takes over-protective measures to improve security. Young students are scanned and searched during admission. The school distributes booklets announcing zero tolerance for bullying and threatening behavior. This happens to coincide with a high school spat between freckle-faced Alia Shawkat (as Brandi Blackburn) and popular blonde Laura Wiggins (as Kimberly). After a creative writing journal is found to contain references to a gun, young Shawkat is confirmed as a threat, and suspended from school...

Returning for her next semester, Shawkat is further ostracized. Best girlfriend Simone Carter (as Casey) and potential boyfriend Josh Blaylock (as Noah Taylor) become distant. She is overheard discussing witches with cute Lucas Till (as Kyle Kenney), then rumored to have caused Kevin Bacon-like art teacher J.D. Evermore (as Mr. Gray) to become deathly ill...

This Lifetime movie is "based on a true story," which is believable but not convincing. No argument with the facts, but we need more details about how a 15-year-old girl could be suspended from a public school for 19 days for writing in her journal and wearing eye make-up. We are given this takes place after the Columbine shooting, but it never seems like this girl is much of a threat. A connection to Native Americans and Wicca is unclear. Fortunately, the cast does well with the material; especially nice is an estranged father/daughter sub-plot enacted by Shawkat and Eric Schweig (as Tim Blackbear).

****** Not Like Everyone Else (2006) Tom McLoughlin ~ Alia Shawkat, Eric Schweig, Illeana Douglas, Lucas Till

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

This was supposed to be something deep, right?

2/10
Author: jecika from Novi Sad
31 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Is it really possible that so many people in this film believe that the girl is a witch? Just because she has dark hair and wears dark make up she is supposed to be a witch? And I got the impression that the film tries to present her as someone who is "different", someone nobody understands... She is just a teenager and some dumb girl in her high school says she is a witch and everyone believes her. Besides, Brandi is either portrayed very badly or the character itself is made to be so... Fake. She didn't convince me that she is not a witch, not that I would believe it in the first place. Everyone accuses her of being a witch and she acts like she is not entirely sure whether she is a witch or not. And the way they dressed her for the court - I see old ladies every day who wouldn't wear that even if it was the last outfit in the world! Brandi's brother also wasn't very convincing... But, you see, the important thing is, that "she put that bad, bad girl back on to the ground at the end of the film". "She has won the battle, proved to everyone she is different".

This is probably one of the worst films I've watched in may life, way too shallow. I only watched it because there was nothing else on the TV at the moment, so I was condemned to this trash. Please, do not waste your time watching this film. When I saw the 7-star rating, I nearly fainted... It doesn't deserve it, compared to some other films which are also rated with 7 stars.

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