6.8/10
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Verdict in Blood (2002)

R | | Drama | TV Movie 27 May 2002
Widowed Joanne Kilbourn is an ex-police officer, whose deceased husband Ian was the Ontario provincial Attorney General when he was murdered. His murder was eventually solved six years ... See full summary »

Director:

Stephen Williams

Writers:

Gail Bowen (novel), Carol Hay (Story Editor) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wendy Crewson ... Joanne Kilbourn
Shawn Doyle ... Alex Emanuel
Sally Kellerman ... Judge Marcia Blackwell
Robert Davi ... Wade Waters
Kristin Lehman ... Shannon Blackwell
Reagan Pasternak ... Lucy Blackwell
Ken James Ken James ... Ernest Klassen
Angela Gei Angela Gei ... Dianne Klassen
Callahan Connor Callahan Connor ... Angus Kilbourn
Natasha La Force Natasha La Force ... Taylor Kilbourn
Pamela Wallin Pamela Wallin ... Herself
Alex Campbell Alex Campbell ... Eli Rollins
Diego Chambers Diego Chambers ... Wolf
Zachary Bennett ... Zack
Jean Yoon ... Officer Lau
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Storyline

Widowed Joanne Kilbourn is an ex-police officer, whose deceased husband Ian was the Ontario provincial Attorney General when he was murdered. His murder was eventually solved six years after the incident. After a stint as a criminology professor, Joanne now works as the criminal and justice expert for a local television news show. Her latest assignment is do an in-depth story on Judge Marcia Blackwell, who used to be known for delivering harsh sentences, but as of late has been more compassionate in sentencing the convicted. After an off the record comment to Joanne that she is taking early retirement, Judge Blackwell is found murdered in her home, she bludgeoned on the head. Joanne's story turns to Judge Blackwell's murder, Joanne working alongside the chief police investigator, Detective Alex Emanuel. Joanne and Alex find that there are many potential suspects, including an ex-con who Judge Blackwell sentenced years earlier and with who she later had a very close association, a ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 May 2002 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Les liens du sang See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Follows Love and Murder (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

A Lot More Than This
Written by Vince R. Ditrich
Performed by Vince R. Ditrich
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User Reviews

 
Bleeding hearts and minds in and out of the courtroom
15 December 2005 | by sol1218See all my reviews

(SOME SPOILERS) Somewhat over-plotted murder/mystery that if you stay with it you, by the time it's over, won't be disappointed.

Having had a reputation of throwing the book on those who stand convicted in her courtroom "Hanging Judge" Marcia Blacwell, Sally Kellerman, had a complete turn around when she sentenced young Joey Slater to a long prison term for a car-jacking only to find out later that the person guilty had given himself up and confessed. This didn't help Joey since he killed himself in prison the week before.

At a case before her Marcia after letting young Jed Brody, Tony Monch, have it in spades about him attacking a woman Mrs. Dianne Klassen, Anela Gei, at a convenience store and hurling her through a plate-glass door she suspends his sentence, of two years, and gives him five years probation. The light sentence on Brody has Dianne's husband Mr. Earnest Klassen,Ken James, throw a fit in the courtroom and threaten Marcia and her family calling for the same thing to happen to her and them that happened to his wife.

In the Judge's Chambers TV reporter Joanne Kilbourn, Wendy Crewson, who's doing a special on Judge Blackwell gets the scoop from her that she's resigning from the bench immediately. What Marcia didn't tell Joanne is that she was dying from a brain tumor and by the next morning the Judge is found murdered in her estate.

The suspects in Judge Blackwell murder are split between Earnest Klassen and the last person to have seen her alive an ex-con and founder of the drug-rehabilitation center in town "Daybreak House" Wade Waters, Robert Davi. It turns out that Waters has no real alibi to his whereabouts but Earnest Klassen did and is later arrested and held for Marcia's murder. There's also the fact that a number of jewelry items was traced back to Water's troubled 15 year-old nephew Eli, Rollins, Alex Campbell, one of the few persons who's life wasn't turned around with the help of Water's "Daybreak House". Eli may very well have been in the Blackwell Home when she was murdered if not have murdered her himself.

It's halfway through the film that things begin to get a bit clearer when both of Marcia's daughters Shannon and Lucy, Kristin Lehman & Reagan Pasternak, as well as Wade Waters are called into the office of Macia's lawyer Stan Fedesenko, Richard Fitzpatrick,and her will is read leaving almost her entire estate, some $8,000,000.00, to Waters. It' a short time later that Fedesenko is found murdered, with his head bashed in, in his office putting a new light on both Marcia's and her lawyer murders which now focuses on Shannon & Lucy as well as Wade Waters.

Murder and blackmail as well as child abuse involving Marcia's almost comatose husband, due to an insulin overdose, Davis Blackwell,Shawn Laurence, works it way through the complicated story-line to finally get to the bottom of who murdered Judge Balckwell as well as Stan Fedesenko and what, and who, were the reasons for it. Joanne finding Eli in hiding gets the truth from him on Marcia's murder with him being an eye-witness to it but has to convince her former police partner Det. Alex Emanuel, Shawn Doyle, not to arrest Eli in order for him to come out of hiding and point out who Marcia's killer really is.

Not as bad as you would think "Verdict in Blood" has a penetrating script and a number of strong performances especially that of an unusually reserved and very sensitive, that's very rare for him, Robert Davi as Wade Waters who lead a life of crime until her saw the light and dedicated his life's work to prevent others, young and old alike, from ending up like he did most of his adult life, a hardened and unrepentant criminal.

It was Waters determination to be free and go straight that showed Judge Blackwell that a life behind bars is not the answer for the life of a person who was never given a chance to straightened himself, or herself, out.


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