Based on a real-life court case, the film finds members of the McMartin family on trial for alleged sexual molestation and abuse of children at their well-regarded preschool. Publicity-seeking attorney Danny Davis initially defends the McMartins for selfish reasons, but he slowly begins to believe that they are innocent. Davis has his work cut out for him, however, since the media have demonized the family, and prosecuting lawyer Lael Rubin is a tough opponent.Written by
Fat-free account of the legal crucifixion of a pre-school teacher and his mother, caught in the frenzy of an anti-molestation movement. The screenwriter, Abby Mann, sticks to the transcripts, and so the pungent subtext is seen only glancingly: the mania of save-our-children parents, obsessed either by their own guilt or an overidentification with wounded innocents. Gripping from start to finish, the movie also features a rarity: a hyped-up James Woods performance as the defense attorney that is, for once, trim and in keeping with the surroundings.
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