True Story

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50

Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics What's this?

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5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 52 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: When disgraced New York Times reporter Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill) meets accused killer Christian Longo (James Franco) — who has taken on Finkel’s identity — his investigation morphs into an unforgettable game of cat and mouse. Based on actual events, Finkel’s relentless pursuit of Longo’sWhen disgraced New York Times reporter Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill) meets accused killer Christian Longo (James Franco) — who has taken on Finkel’s identity — his investigation morphs into an unforgettable game of cat and mouse. Based on actual events, Finkel’s relentless pursuit of Longo’s true story encompasses murder, love, deceit, and redemption. Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 40
  2. Negative: 5 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Apr 16, 2015
    88
    The courtroom scenes are unapologetically over-the-top and sometimes excruciatingly exact in the details of the murder, but you won’t soon forget Franco’s expertly nuanced performance. It’s as good as any work I’ve seen in a film in 2015, and True Story is one of the better movies to come along this year.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Apr 16, 2015
    75
    While the movie sometimes seems like faux Fincher, the symbiotic acting, artful imagery and punchline ending turn True Story into credible entertainment.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Apr 17, 2015
    67
    Director Rupert Goold keeps things appropriately creepy, but True Story is no “Capote.” It’s all buildup with little payoff.
  4. Reviewed by: John DeFore
    Jan 31, 2015
    60
    Goold's work never feels stagey; a smart and varied visual sense opens up even settings as basic as a jail's visiting room. But what happens in that room isn't as convincing as might be expected from these actors.
  5. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Apr 16, 2015
    50
    The real problem with True Story is contained in its title. The story isn’t too good to be true, but rather too true to be good.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Apr 14, 2015
    50
    Goold, a highly regarded British theater director making his debut feature, lacks the panache to realize this twisted relationship onscreen. Instead he’s made a stolid, well-acted, intelligent drama that respects the complications of Finkel and Longo’s storytelling agendas without bringing them to life.
  7. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Apr 15, 2015
    0
    Franco’s distancing routine helps sink True Story, an already turgid and tone-deaf adaptation of a self-serving memoir by a disgraced New York Times reporter (played by two-time Oscar nominee Jonah Hill) who bonds with a murderer he’s trying to exploit.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 25
  2. Negative: 4 out of 25
  1. Apr 21, 2015
    10
    A must see movie, Franco is amazing and Hill and Jones were perfect. Finally something different and intelligent at the theaters. Rupert GooldA must see movie, Franco is amazing and Hill and Jones were perfect. Finally something different and intelligent at the theaters. Rupert Goold present a film that will have you thinking for days. It's about the slippery slope between fact and fiction mixed with mystery and great acting. Expand
  2. Aug 2, 2015
    8
    Franco, Hill and Jones delivers an impressive performance. Goold gives the movie amazing, almost creepy undertones. With some soft-spoken, butFranco, Hill and Jones delivers an impressive performance. Goold gives the movie amazing, almost creepy undertones. With some soft-spoken, but grasping scenes the movie really is extraordinary.

    While some of the critics write that they are disappointed with the lack of depth in the movie, I think that the movie goes perfectly deep into the relationship between Longo and Finkel. Like Goold said, ' with a psychopathic character like Longo, there is two ways to go at it. One is to psychologically understand him, and i think the movie is almost trying to do the opposite. Maybe there is something evil in the world, or something around that idea, that is what the movie is trying to express '
    Goold did not want to go too deep in the relationship between Longo and Finkel. He wanted it to stay at a distance, and give the viewer a chance of their own to understand Longo.

    If you want a action filled movie that you forget ten seconds after you've seen it, this isn't the movie for you.
    If you on the other hand want a almost slow paced movie, with a lot of undertones that will leave you thinking about it for days, this is definitely a must watch!
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  3. Sep 5, 2015
    7
    An overall solid film that kept me captivated throughout. I think one big flaw is James Franco is missed cast. This just doesn't fit hisAn overall solid film that kept me captivated throughout. I think one big flaw is James Franco is missed cast. This just doesn't fit his strengths as an actor. The story in the long run is what really worked for me. B Expand
  4. Jul 12, 2015
    6
    True Story is by-the-numbers crime/thriller that features two great performances (Jonah and Franco), an engaging story that is althoughTrue Story is by-the-numbers crime/thriller that features two great performances (Jonah and Franco), an engaging story that is although familiar, yet it works. Expand
  5. Jan 13, 2016
    5
    True Story is entirely underwhelming. It is honestly the type of film that ends and make you wonder if that was really it. The story, as is,True Story is entirely underwhelming. It is honestly the type of film that ends and make you wonder if that was really it. The story, as is, is quite captivating and really gets you hooked in, but it is so poorly told and then just kind of...ends that the movie never rises above being just something you spent an hour and a half watching. It truly is a film that redefines mediocre and average. Jonah Hill and James Franco are fantastic, but get stranded in the sea of mediocrity and, though they try their best, the film is just so mediocre in the way it communicates with you that their performances go to waste. As an overall picture, True Story just gets in its way too much and its muddled method of telling you the story will leave you largely confused and scratching your head as to where the compelling premise and story went. Expand
  6. Jul 19, 2015
    4
    You might worry about the notion of a Jonah Hill & James Franco film that’s not a comedy, despite the fact that both have proven dramaticYou might worry about the notion of a Jonah Hill & James Franco film that’s not a comedy, despite the fact that both have proven dramatic chops, but the performances from the 2 leads are nuanced enough to prevent them from being the main issue with ‘True Story’.

    In many cases the real story a movie is based on ends up being more interesting than the film itself, this is not the case here, if you thought most of what we know about the Longo murder case is already out there you would be right, so with ‘True Story’ director Rupert Goold focuses attention on the man whose memoirs inspired it, journalist Mike Finkel.

    The result however is the loss of any mystery element, everything is pretty much as it seems throughout, there is no real character development outside of Finkel’s own self-indulgent journey of reflection and ultimately you’re left with nothing to latch on to other than a few details about a murder case you’re probably unfamiliar with.

    Rather than a pseudo-psychological character drama, ‘True Story’ is essentially a slightly tedious morality piece about journalistic integrity which paints the journalist as the sympathetic character and near victim, without the context of Finkel’s memoirs or knowledge of his motivations it simply doesn’t translate into an engrossing cinematic experience.

    A little bit of courtroom drama, a pinch of murder-mystery, a slight detective story and a smidge of a journalistic tale, all of which add up to nothing much at all.

    The Bottom Line…
    ‘True Story’ is a valiant effort at a journalistic drama, but with an uncompelling narrative and scant character development, it proves that just because a story is true doesn’t make it interesting enough for a feature-length film.
    Expand
  7. Aug 1, 2015
    1
    This movie is somewhere in between bad and terrible and I can't decide which. I thought that the plot was building up to a Tyler Durden,This movie is somewhere in between bad and terrible and I can't decide which. I thought that the plot was building up to a Tyler Durden, I-don't-really-exist thing. But it was really just Jonah Hill having a weird man-crush on James Franco and then nothing happens; no twist, no suicide, no nudity. Come on! Give us something! Expand

See all 25 User Reviews