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True Crime (1999)
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Review Date: March 20, 1999
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writer: Larry Gross, Paul Brickman, Stephen Schiff
Producers: Clint Eastwood, Richard Zanuck, Lili Zanuck
Actors:
Clint Eastwood
Isaiah Washington
James Woods
Plot:
An ex-drunk, wife cheater, bad father and newspaper reporter Everett, gets assigned to a human interest story covering the execution of convicted killer Frank Beachum at midnight. With a nose for the truth, Everett slowly begins to uncover holes in the man's conviction, and sets out to prove his far-fetched theories.
Critique:
No suspense. No tension. Little drama. This film provides us with believable characters, great actors, and another super gruff-and-tumble performance by the charismatic Clint Eastwood, within the confines of a snails-paced plot, overly predictable development, and a hilariously convenient conclusion. If you're looking for an interesting mystery that unfolds with intrigue, obstacles and queries all around, this film is not the one for you. If you're looking for a Clint Eastwood film, featuring him playing another extra-cool character with very little redeemable qualities, and a pace which provides you with extremely limited progress as it moves along, I would suggest this film to you wholeheartedly.

Eastwood is charming, and there is no doubt about that. If it was anyone else in this role, I might've conked out during the early chapters of this floater. James Woods is also effective as the no-nonsense editor, and Isaiah Washington as the poor, convicted sap, with the rest of the cast punching in their time clocks with precision. Ultimately, there just isn't enough happening in this movie, to recommend it as an entertaining piece of cinema. Also, the complete 180 degree "change of heart" from a crucial character in the film seemed falsely created, and left a bad after-taste in my mouth. The whole film felt like a long day at a baseball game where the teams go into extra innings tied at zero-it's that feeling when you know that you've been there long and that time has passed you by, and yet the score is still tied at nothing. In the end, the film downshifts into your typical "race for the clock" scenario, and adds a taste of suspense into a film that could've used much more early on. All in all, a great performance by Eastwood, in a predictable, slow-moving, character study, disguised as an engaging, crime-solving mystery.
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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