Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 26
  2. Negative: 1 out of 26
  1. This is an old-fashioned movie done with wit, grace, smarts and style. [19 March 1999, Friday, p.A]
  2. 80
    An electrically paced and brilliantly acted death-row thriller.
  3. Directed by Eastwood with righteous indignation and increasingly strong momentum.
  4. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    True Crime gives you sleaze on toast--a heap of tabloid bathos, a dusting of high-mindedness, a dash of gallows humor. It's a bizarre concoction, but it's riveting.
  5. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Eastwood's latest picture boasts tight storytelling, sharp acting and an eye for unexpected, enlivening detail.
  6. When Eastwood is at the top of his form -- as he is for much of this film -- there's no more spellbinding storyteller in American cinema.
  7. 75
    Wickedly effective thriller.
  8. It would be even better if Eastwood followed his character's lead and emphasized "real issues" over "human interest" in a story that touches on important social problems without doing much to illuminate them.
  9. It's hokey, implausible and packed with red herrings, and yet it's a lot of fun.
  10. 75
    Has the potential to be a truly memorable film, and, for more than three-quarters of its running time, it is poised to live up to that potential. But then there are the final twenty minutes.
  11. Reviewed by: Marc Bernardin
    Woefully misconceived reporter-saves-innocent-man-from-execution cheese grater.
  12. In political terms, True Crime is a far cry from "Dirty Harry" -- it actually stands up for due process of law. In Hollywood, I believe this is known as mellowing.
  13. 70
    As disappointing-but-worthwhile films go, you could do a lot worse.
  14. An anti-capital-punishment polemic that won't change a single mind anywhere on Earth but will entertain well enough everywhere on Earth.
  15. 70
    Eastwood is a more forceful actor than he was twenty years ago--less opaque, less stylized, and altogether more idiosyncratic. He's too old and unsuited by temperament to play the tough city newspaper reporter in this film, but he still has an authority that few younger actors could match.
  16. 63
    At first it's a kick to watch Clint Eastwood play Steve Everett, a horn-dog newsman...Is Clint being Clinton-esque? Even if he's not, these scenes are the liveliest part of this dog-tired movie.
  17. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Thankfully, this time Eastwood flirts (and ogles) but stops just short of going completely over the top. [19 March 1999, Life, p.13E]
  18. It's a gritty story made in the director's more elegiacal mode, a confusion of style and content that is not in the film's best interests.
  19. The geological equivalent of an albatross around the neck. It's another of those Warner Bros. productions that are heavy on star iconography and production values but AWOL on story.
  20. Eastwood has never seemed less the persona he has built through the decades, the calm yet commanding center of a storm.
  21. Plays like a lost Rockford file.
  22. 50
    Eastwood, ironically, is the weak link in the cast, a less-than-ideal choice to play a screw-up who squeaks through life on personal magnetism: He's got star quality, sure, even a certain remote sexiness, but he's no charmer.
  23. Reviewed by: Hal Hinson
    The whole project feels lazy and half-hearted.
  24. Eastwood himself, pushing 70 but cruising women in their early 20s, counts on more goodwill than I can muster. I wasn't bored, but my suspension of disbelief collapsed well before the end.
  25. 40
    A ridiculous deus-ex-machina "wrong man" story.
  26. On the whole, the film is content to lumber awkwardly between the condemned man on death row and the intrepid reporter on his save-a-life beat -- there's about as much rhythm in the style as there is sense in the plot.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Mar 10, 2012
    Not a death-penalty polemic at all; rather an effective thriller and character-driven drama. Eastwood reprises the Dirty Harry-esque character, this time as a washed up journalist who also happens to be quite a jerk. Full Review »