The Whole Truth (2016) Poster

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Simple and straightforward but has moments that are captivating
paulijcalderon21 August 2016
Courtroom dramas are interesting and this one is a fine addition. Nothing that fancy or over- stylish, it's basically very straightforward and has a simple style. But, that's OK because it works for this film. It doesn't try to be anything it isn't. The scenarios and the dialogue is all very well handled and thought out. It makes you think twice a few times as well.

Some scenes really work and have great tension and intrigue. Especially whenever there is a court scene. Some aspects would have been nice to have seen explored more like when they explain how to tell if someone is lying when testifying.

Keanu Reeves does a good job here and isn't so stale like some people like to say he usually is. There might be some truth in that for some films, but here you can see that he stepped up his effort. The role was originally set to be played by Daniel Craig, and I can definitely see how his acting style would have worked well for the character. It's a shame he dropped out last minute, but Reeves makes the character his own and you can understand his motivations.

The ending was unexpected and included a strange little twist which the movie could have done without and still worked well and perhaps in some ways been more effective.

The film is interesting if you want a mystery with some turns and it has some captivating courthouse scenes which are in some moments disturbing.
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A great ending tops off a solid film
jtindahouse1 January 2017
There's nothing like a good courtroom thriller. The thing I love about them is that everything can't possible be as it seems, because otherwise there would be no point in making the movie. There's nothing at all interesting about a straightforward court case, however one with a twist is a thing to behold. The only problem with this is that a lot of them end up getting rated purely on the strength of their twist. Everything that has happened up until that point can tend to be forgotten. That's sort of the case again here. A solid, but not stunning movie comes alive with a very strong ending, and it certainly adds some plus points to the final opinion of the film.

I tend to really like Keanu Reeves thrillers. A lot of his dramas and sci-fi films are completely forgettable, but when he signs on to a thriller it often seems to turn out very good. Renee Zellweger on the other hand is far from a personal favourite of mine. She has a serious lack of charisma and her appearance change is very distracting in this film. I feel like there are a lot of actresses who could have done a better job in this role.

'The Whole Truth' is a film that is entertaining throughout, partly because you are almost certain there is a twist coming, and partly because the story is well written and movies at a good pace. Then at the end it goes Bang! I really enjoyed this film and I think any thriller lovers out there will have a good time with it too.
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Good Courtroom Drama
rutzelb2 February 2017
Ramsey (Keanu Reeves) defends his teen age client, Mike (Gabriel Basso), who is accused of killing his father Boone Lassiter (Jim Belushi). The problem is that Mike has confessed to killing his father, but won't confide in his lawyer. Oh, oh, this can't be good.

This one will keep you guessing trying to figure out who is lying and Ramsey believes everyone lies. He takes on Janelle (Gugu Mbatha- Raw) a lawyer who is known for her bullshit monitor – she can tell who is lying. So we go round and round trying to figure this all out. Is Mike, the son, protecting his mother Loretta (Rene Zellweger) or is she protecting him? Or is it something else? Inquiring minds want to know.

It's really good courtroom drama, but we just cannot come to a conclusion. Can you?.

Near the end Janelle comes to a conclusion. Will your conclusion be the same or is she wrong? Hmmm……… There is good suspense and the acting is very good all around. Will your conclusion change when Mike does take the stand and talks? Hmmm……...

Is there a twist you ask? Of course there is and it will shock you.

There is suspense, but no real tension. But wait, wait, that tension comes at the very last scene, but then everything fades to black. Sorry. It's over. But now you know. ('bout time) (7/10)

Violence: Yes. Sex: Kind of as seen from a distance by a neighbor. Nudity: No. Language: No.
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Engaging Courtroom drama
Floated213 April 2017
The Whole Truth starring Keanu Reeves playing a defense attorney to a case of a teen accused of murdering his father. The case here works because Reeves character is portraying a defense attorney to a close friend of the son, and mother. Typically in courtroom dramas, there can be no close friend-type relationship.

The acting is very solid, and the film isn't too long which it doesn't drag on or become stale in several parts. It might have a slow build up but within each clue and piece of evidence, it pays off in the end.

The ending is offered in a slightly different tone, and may feature a unique twist (and I believe it works here). Looking back, now knowing the ending, there are several little clues along the way. here are some questionable motives of each characters, especially of the son Mike and his behaviour throughout (he is soft spoken and mostly mute throughout), but the answers come out in the end. Otherwise, the Whole Truth is a very solid and entertaining thriller. Worth the watch.
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Objections overruled
tomsview15 March 2017
This is a pretty good courtroom drama, maybe not right up there with "Anatomy of a Murder" or "Presumed Innocent", but with enough twists and turns to make it stand out from the crowd.

If the film reminds me of any it is "The Lincoln Lawyer" with Matthew McConaughey.

Without giving too much away, the story involves the murder of Boone Lassiter (John Belushi) a prominent lawyer, and the attempts of another lawyer, Richard Ramsay (Keanu Reeves), to defend the person accused of the murder, Boone's son, Mike Lassiter (Gabriel Basso).

The film has an interesting cast including Renée Zellweger as Loretta Lassiter, Boone's wife. Renée Zellweger is an amazing actress who dissolves into her characters, she does it so well here that I didn't recognise her at first.

Keanu Reeves is fine as Richard Ramsay. I thought his narration was a little heavy-handed at first, but later we see how it helps set the scene for the revelation at the end.

Beautiful Gugu Mbatha-Raw, so memorable in "Belle", is a surprise as a young lawyer overcoming past issues.

I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but after watching hundreds of crime movies and series on television, I feel that stories with a low murder count often have more weight than serial killer dramas with corpses all over the place. Just look at any of the really good series such as "Wallander", "Jesse Stone" or "Vera" to name three; it's usually only one murder, two at the most, allowing for more complex character and story development. Shows with big murder counts, unless based on real cases, often lead to over-the-top dramas with extreme, unbelievable behaviour.

"The Whole Truth" bears this out. It is tricky with an appealing cast and a classy score by Evgueni and Sacha Galperine, which helps set the mood for this fairly intimate movie, set for the most part in either the courtroom or the bedroom where the murder took place.

It may not raise the bar to the heights of the great courtroom dramas, but "The Whole Truth" gets you in and keeps you there until it delivers a killer blow at the end.
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Renee, is that YOU?
untilnow9914 September 2016
First of all, I have to say that I am glad I skimmed through some of the other user reviews. Those "thumbs up" reviews encouraged me to take a look at this film. That, and the fact that I always love seeing Keanu on the screen. I think "The Whole Truth" is an okay movie. Nothing special, but watchable.

Secondly, I want to say that whomever it was who composed the film score is responsible---- immensely so---- for distracting me from my complete enjoyment of the film. Tinkle, tinkle, tinkle go the piano keys. It got so annoying, at times all II could think about was "Who in the heck thought this constant 'drama' music was needed?"

What really got to me, though, was how I kept thinking the kid's Mom reminded me so much of Renee Zellweger. At one point I even asked myself, "Does this actress find it hard to get work simply because she is such a dopplegänger for Zellweger?"

Hahaha. The joke is on me. IT IS Renee! I swear I didn't know, until I looked at the cast and credits. My jaw hit the ground. Wow. Oh, Renee. You and Jennifer Grey. Why? WHY?

I'm glad I didn't know during the movie, as then I would have been too focused on why in the hell Renee would have something done which would so drastically alter her appearance. I liked her the way she was.
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Highly implausible contrived plot
pobox90528 June 2017
The plot is highly implausible. The lead characters in the movie are lawyers or aspiring to be a lawyer. There is clearly a legal way out of the predicament that the unhappy and abused wife finds herself in and therefore there is no need for a murder to take place. The mystery and its denouement are highly artificial and therefore disappointing.
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Twisty-turny fun
asage1920 July 2020
It's nice to see Keanu Reeves in a mature role. He's capable of great subtlety in his acting, and he does a great turn in this movie. Renee Zellweger, likewise. Gugu Mbatha-Raw was terrific, doing a lot with a not very sympathetic character. Actually, everybody did a good job, including Gabriel Basso. It's really Keanu Reeves' movie, though. It was kind of low-key, which I appreciated. I don't like court-room drama novels or movies, and was pleasantly surprised.
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Great movie, Keanu returns to being a lawyer!
gamertaboo5 February 2017
The movie starts out as a mysterious "who done it," and is able to keep this mystery going for most of the movie. More than once I went back and forth in my mind between who I thought was the real culprit, and at the end I can say that I was actually somewhat surprised. Though to be fair I must say that the twist isn't all that huge; it's more of a twist because the writers withheld some key evidence from the viewers until the very end, but they did hint at it once or twice.

The Whole Truth is a slow burner. There's never much action taking place, and there's not really a whole lot of depth to any of the characters. The acting is well done however, and I thoroughly enjoyed Keanu Reeves, Renée Zellweger, and Gabriel Basso. While I also enjoyed Gugu Mbatha-Raw's performance as well, I didn't find her character all that necessary to be honest. I'm guessing her character was just meant to be sort of a distraction, and she was.

So there you have it. The Whole Truth is by no means a blockbuster. It's not a twisting thriller.... but it is a decent watch. I enjoyed it.
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better than expected.
ksf-26 August 2021
Keanu reeves, renee zellweger. And a rare, more serious role for jim belushi. Ramsey is the attorney trying to defend a teenager being tried for murder, as an adult. But his client isn't talking, so this will make his defense so much more difficult than it might be. A lot happens. Surprises come out at the trial. It's the job of the jury to figure out who is telling the truth. And who is not. It's quite good. We skip over some legal points, and some presentation of evidence guidelines, but oh well. Minor details for the film, i guess. Written by nicholas kazan.. he was nominated for Reversal of Fortune. Directed by courtney hunt; nominated for Frozen River 2009.
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The movie does not make any sense
t_thorssell21 June 2020
The people who made this movie.. No logic. A smart lawyer plans a murder like this, NO.. this is so bad. Dont see it.
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Nice courtroom drama/thriller
bdctunes3 March 2017
I was a fan of Reeves before he became the Sci fi/Action star, that he is probably best known for these days. Rene Z is unrecognizable from the last time I saw her in a film, maybe plastic surgery, but her acting is stellar and she looks damn attractive anyway. This is a classic style court room thriller that offers a surprise at the end, which I thought was pretty good. The film telegraphs the story in a particular direction, but I didn't predict the actual outcome. I look forward to more dramatic films from KR..........
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Poorly written, poorly acted, unnecessarily drawn out, BORING
lgrosenthal8 November 2017
I figured this one out within the first 30 minutes, and got confirmation a little later in the film. The twists were fully expected. Characterization was sorely lacking, as was the rest of the script.

One day, I'm hoping Keano takes some acting lessons. This was a good movie for him, though, because the rest of the cast acted so poorly, that he was slightly better than they were. The judge was particularly stiff and unbelievable.

In all, this was an hour and a half of my life which is gone forever.
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OK as a TV episode. Not so much as a feature
MT-1508719 August 2016
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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This movie is better off as a Law and Order episode
sjculb331 March 2016
Keanu Reeves stars as Richard Ramsey, a small town Louisiana lawyer who takes up the murder case of family friends son who may have murdered his father in cold blood. To make matters worse, his young client refuses to speak to anyone on the matter except to say that he is guilty. The boys mother, played by a barely recognizable Renée Zellweger, begs Keanu to save her son from prison but does she have her own secrets to hide?

While the trailer to this movie looks like an intelligent, and mysterious courtroom drama, its sadly misleading. The movie sets up the murder and the characters right from the beginning however the entire movie is played out in either the courtroom...or a series of short flashbacks. It really could have been shot anywhere and except for a few bridge shots, it has no connection to Louisiana. While I have no qualms with the acting, the story is at best, basic. There is no real payoff at the end and when we do see the guilty party, it certainly isn't much of a surprise.

My biggest complaint is about Gugu Mbatha-Raw, a fine actress whose talents were wasted here on a part that plays no serious role in the movie. Her character almost didn't need to be included in the movie.

Like I said, this movie could have easily been a two-part Law and Order episode. No wonder Daniel Craig bailed on this.
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Terrible all round
dvg75726 October 2018
I love courtroom dramas and am a big Keanu Reaves fan so this film sounded promising. Unfortunately the writing is really bad, as is the acting from some of the principals. One of the big problems is nobody is likeable at all. Especially the young man accused of murder, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw who has only one expression: permanently angry, aggrieved and hostile, regardless of what the script calls for. Hers is by far the least tolerable character. She doesn't seem to have to act to put on this demeanour, I remember her from a Cloverfield film where she was exactly the same. Producers, if you want your films to bomb, this is the person to cast. Good job. Anyway, very little in this film makes sense, or is remotely plausible. Even Keanu seems bored and going through the motions, probably realising what a turkey it is. Sad.
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water_bug216 May 2021
If the folks at Cinema Sins were here, the first thing they'd say is "narration". The narration kills this movie. I had high hopes for this. A courtroom thriller staring Keanu Reeves?! Yes please! But from the opening narration, I had an immediate arrange of doom. This movie made me reconsider how much talent Keanu actually has as an actor, and for that I hate it. It just felt very, very wooden. I'd prefer to place most of the blame on bad writing. The characters were not very well developed, and the dialogue was poor. And what really was the point behind the kid not talking thing?

Also, despite seeing Renée Zellweger's name in the credits, it took me 20 minutes to realize she was the mom.
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Worst movie EVER!!!
jennirjames7 May 2021
This movie is double Y-Yawner!! Trust me...don't waste your precious time!
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one big twist
SnoopyStyle17 June 2018
Defense attorney Richard Ramsay (Keanu Reeves) has known his new client Mike all his life. The teenager is accused of killing his dominating father Boone Lassiter (Jim Belushi). It doesn't help that Mike won't speak to Richard whose only strategy seems to be rope a dope. Mike's mother Loretta (Renée Zellweger) is concerned. Janelle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) joins the defense team.

There is a reveal at the end of the movie. I swear that one minute before the reveal, I thought that Ramsay needed more connections to the Lassiters. The plot needs more twists and turns before the reveal. Instead, it seems to concentrate all the twists into one big twist. There is obviously something hidden but it needs a better setup. While the courtroom stays just compelling enough, it could have been more and this could have been a great thriller.
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Truth or flashback?
zalfunk11 August 2021
I liked the use of constant flashbacks to drive the story.

Keanu Reeves was strong in the lead and Gugi Mbatha-Raw played a pretty good supporting role.

Renee Zellweger was impressive in the role of the abused wife. The story line has a nice twist at the finish.

Overall a good film, well told and produced.
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An even paced show
dwangcritter23 November 2018
The week ending is matched by a weak beginning and weak middle bit. Keanu Reeves and Renee (you know who) displayed the emotional range of a cadaver. Forgettable characters and slow paced script made this viewing a waste of time. Don't watch this unless you are tired and want a good sleep.
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Good combination of courtroom drama and mystery
hypersonic89997 December 2016
I've thoroughly enjoyed watching this film. Keanu, Zwellinger and Gugu all give solid performances. Especially Gugu, I'll be keeping an eye out for her next performance. There's a very good plot unfolding at a slow but steady pace, and I feel that the raw approach taken by the script and direction had kept me interested even more.

Almost the entirety of the film takes place in the courtroom or in the memories of those involved. And this is the brilliant part about the film. I feel that it managed to convey a very good representation of how the human mind works and has given us a courtroom drama without all the flowery bits in one stroke.

For example, the witness says something and then you see how they lied when they recall the memory. The mantra that "everybody lies" is prevalent through the whole film, and while things seem simple enough to the viewer, they do manage to surprise you at the end.

I think this film doesn't deserve the relatively bad reviews it gets. It's a good example of keeping things fresh. It engages its audience, it manages to keep you interested in the plot, it makes you identify and feel for the protagonists.
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A bankrupt man's film noir.
mancodollarstrilogy5 December 2018
A very weak story, dull and ponderous. Renée Zellweger chews up the scenery, as Keanu Reeves goes through his usual one dimensional range of emotions, while delivering a terrible 'Philip Marlowe' style narration that would have Bogart turning in his grave. Disappointing.
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osaure6 May 2021
Sometime peeps gotta geta paycheck. There are bills.
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Worst courtroom drama like ever!
Funasian200529 September 2017
This has to be the worst ever courtroom drama ever i have ever seen in my whole life. There no plot and the twist at the end is really laughable. Take my words, avoid this turkey with a 10 meter pole you will thank me for it. Any the practice episode is better than this turkey of a movie.

1/10 , if there's a minus 10 points i would give it -10.
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