Defense attorney Richard Ramsey (Keanu Reeves) takes on a personal case when he swears to his widowed friend, Loretta Lassiter (Renée Zellweger), that he will keep her son Mike (Gabriel Basso) out of prison. Charged with murdering his father, Mike initially confesses to the crime. But as the trial proceeds, chilling evidence about the kind of man that Boone Lassiter (Jim Belushi) really was comes to light. While Ramsey uses the evidence to get his client acquitted, his new colleague Janelle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) tries to dig deeper - and begins to realize that the whole truth is something she alone can uncover.Written by
No version of the murder presented is sufficient to level a charge of first-degree murder under Louisiana law. See more »
At some point, every defense lawyer has to choose between his own need to know the truth and the best interests of his client.
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Written & Performed by' Jim Keller' See more »
OK as a TV episode. Not so much as a feature
Just the other day I stumbled upon an animated short called "Sebastian's Voodoo". It runs about 4 minutes with closing credits and was made by a sophomore student on a shoestring budget. It has it all – story, characters, visuals, drama, climax, finale, meaning. Now you need to hear it again – it's under 5 minutes.
I'd have thought that the stuff that runs one and a half hour, features Keanu Reeves and Renee Zellweger (I guess) and cost at least several millions should be able to offer at least something along those lines, shouldn't it? I mean if it is not by design in the same category as, say, "Mechanic: Resurrection" – that is not a piece of totally senseless action entertainment which does not even pretend for a second to be anything more than that? Unfortunately, it's not the case here.
It's obviously not a movie one would want to write a dissertation about, so let's be brief. Good news first. The story is semi-OK with a couple of more or less legitimate twists. After two decades of preparation Keanu Reeves delivers something that remotely qualifies as acting (at any rate his lawyer here is perceptibly less wooden than in "The Devil's Advocate" and the remnants of his trademark acting quality are somewhat justified in the context of the plot). That's it.
Now, would it be good enough? It's not that anybody asked for my opinion, but as far as I'm concerned – not quite. What would be the justification of a multi-million project with major stars if at the end of the day the outcome feels, as one reviewer pointed out, like a TV show episode? Except for paychecks for all parties involved?
The truth is that the movie feebly hints at some points but they are dropped halfway and ultimately not really made. My guess would be that it might have been different in the script but changed during the production – it would explain why one of the main characters suddenly becomes kind of 'unnecessary'. It is as if the movie was afraid of getting too poignant and chooses to play it safely.
The direction is equally mediocre and all about 'been there done that' (repeatedly) thing. It does not even hint at any original vision. No, that's not true. At some point you can have a glimpse of Renee Zellweger's (still guessing but definitely not a body double's) naked posterior. Despite the fact that it's not as ample as it used to be, this revelation is commendable. And it's never been done before. But again – that's it.
Then again, since patent mediocrity has always been the main specialty of mainstream Hollywood, this all is not surprising. What is, however, is why people like Keanu settle for it time and time and time again. With his ability as a performer mentioned he is hardly in a position to be picky. However, with his financial ability he certainly is.
Why not to produce meaningful mid-/low-budget projects and finance them with his own money to retain total creative control while minding their commercial potential as well? Reportedly Keanu tried something of the sort recently. But, apparently due to a half-measures approach implemented, wound up with "Exposed" after "Daughter of God" was gang raped by Lionsgate executives.
Well, Neo, everybody falls the first time. Get a decent crew of inventive dudes who actually have something to say and try again. Stir this morass a little. Who, if not you? Because even "Exposed" has more meaning, real drama as well as artistic and, ultimately, overall value to it than "The Whole Truth".
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