Miramax Films | Release Date: September 1, 1988
8.4
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 16 Ratings
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10
PatC.Mar 4, 2004
With neither frills nor flaws, this compelling documentary convincingly exposes how our justice system, with the best of intentions, can at times be the paragon of irresponsibility - not because it is staffed by corrupt mean people but With neither frills nor flaws, this compelling documentary convincingly exposes how our justice system, with the best of intentions, can at times be the paragon of irresponsibility - not because it is staffed by corrupt mean people but simply because laziness and lackadaisical ambivalance are bred in people who have been granted immunity for their actions. One may have concluded sometime in one's life that it is the duty of the occasional good citizen in our society to serve as arbitrary scapegoat so that justice in general can preserve at least an illusion of order and security. That conclusion is true. In the end this movie, like the system it evaluates, refuses to take a stand. Though the truth is obvious, the one shred of doubt (that the obvious may not be true and the innocent man should stay convicted) must prevail, just to play it safe and in the interests of judicial economy. Such matter-of-factness permits only one conclusion: Injustice is not an aberration, a nightmare quirk. This is what the system does, it does it all the time, and it will continue to do so, because mankind simply does not have the wherewithal to design and implement a foolproof justice system. We have placed our faith in a system that itself deliberates on and commits felonious acts in its normal course of business. But we call it justice in support of the cops who are the thin blue line between us and anarchy. Expand
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10
KeilS.Dec 7, 2005
This is investigative filmmaking at its finest. Errol Morris has crafted nothing less than an American classic. Forgive the hyperbole, but it's honestly justified in this particular case. See this one as soon as possible.
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3
ZoeRApr 16, 2005
The recreation of the event goes against cinema vierte. It is a dramatic creation of what nobody knows the truth. His overly repeditve sense was drowning and took away from the overall effectiveness of the film.
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9
FranzHcriticJan 23, 2016
It's a thrilling and compassionate, and objective tale of justice gone wrong. An in-depth look at the wrongful convictions which persist in our legal system, and how the facts are often right in front of us for us to witness, but sometimes noIt's a thrilling and compassionate, and objective tale of justice gone wrong. An in-depth look at the wrongful convictions which persist in our legal system, and how the facts are often right in front of us for us to witness, but sometimes no one wants to look at them. It's gripping, and it's real journalistic filmmaking at its finest. Expand
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