"Deadline" could have been a near-great film, but the script, acting, and particularly the music and pacing were all badly done. This is the best illustration I've ever seen that any movie needs to have a beginning, a middle and and ending, if only for the purpose of building the dramatic tension needed to propel the story to its conclusion. The rock songs that were heard intermittently throughout did absolutely nothing to set the mood or tone, amounting instead to an annoying distraction. One has to wonder how any newspaper short of the New York Times could afford to pay two reporters to work primarily on obituaries, as apparently was the case with the two male protagonists (Eric Roberts and Steve Talley). The scene in which an inept deputy is drugged is utterly bizarre and unbelievable. It is hardly likely that a young cub reporter could afford a sports car (I was unable to recognize the make or model) that would typically cost upwards of $40,000. The courtroom scene near the end is a prime example of self-indulgent use of dramatic license that could have been avoided in the hands of a better screenwriter. Various other set-ups, which I'll not describe as they might be considered "spoilers," simply didn't ring true, again probably the product of hurried, poorly-vetted screen writing. Did anyone ever inform the screenwriter of this movie that the craft is labor-intensive, and it requires painstaking hours to eliminate the bugs from a plot? Am I sorry that I watched the movie? No. Does "Deadline" stand as further proof that the film industry, far from being any sort of meritocracy, is a dysfunctional system in which---despite all of the barriers that stand in the way of innovation and the infusion of new talent---consistently produces mediocre product? Absolutely. John Streby, attorney and novelist; firstname.lastname@example.org.