FBMR - True Crime
Film-Buff Movie Reviews

TRUE CRIME (1999) ***

Clint Eastwood produced, directed, and starred in this investigative crime suspense/drama. It’s a story that’s been told a a few times before, but manages not to be too stale. Eastwood plays a newspaper reporter named Steve Everett who is assigned to write a human interest piece about a death row inmate who is scheduled to be executed later that night. After a bit of digging Everett has a hunch that the convicted killer is innocent and conducts his own investigation. Everett, himself, is no angel. He is a womanizing recovering alcoholic, who’s been wrong before in these types of investigations.

It works when he plays Dirty Harry, or a tough vigilante, but Eastwood’s grumbling rather than speaking didn’t seem to fit, in fact it seemed out of place. It also seemed silly that after six years of investigations, trials, appeals there was still new evidence to be found and possible witnesses to be more effectively questioned.

The scenes where inmate Frank Beachum (Isaiah Washington) visits with his wife and six year old daughter were very touching, also the way the Warden attempts to make Frank’s last day as pleasant as possible showed that not all prison wardens are vile tyrants. The suspense towards the end of the film is taut; there are only so many hours in a day, and Everett’s day begins around noon, leaving him only twelve hours till the execution. Washington’s performance is very intense, yet tender, and very believable.

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