On March 11, 2005, Brian Nichols escapes from the Fulton County courthouse in Atlanta, during his trial involving a rape case. In the process of the escape he murders the judge presiding over his trial, Rowland Barnes, as well as court reporter Julie Brandau. He also shoots Sergeant Hoyt Teasley while escaping from the courthouse, and then later kills ICE Special Agent David G. Wilhelm, who was off-duty at his home. Nichols becomes the subject of a citywide manhunt. His frantic escape brings him to the apartment of Ashley Smith, a single mother and recovering methamphetamine addict, whom he holds hostage. Smith gets through the time by being inspired by Rick Warren's best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life while Nichols searches for redemption. As she reads aloud, Smith and her would-be killer come to a crossroads..
Just saw this - wow! David Oyelowo and Kate Mara deliver powerful and nuanced performances that stayed with me long after the movie had ended. We are taken inside a terrifying situation, based on a true story - a woman, Ashley Smith, a recovering meth addict, is taken hostage in her own home by Brian Nichols, who is on the run, having killed several people already. What will he do to her? Will she get away? But there is so much more to it. Somehow I found myself caring also about this killer. Weirdly, in this midst of this tense situation, they develop a human connection that drew me in. There are surprising odd details - she makes him pancakes, he helps by putting up a mirror. Two broken lives, a terrible situation, yet somehow this is a hopeful film. Absolutely compelling.
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