The most memorable section of the film is the chilling quarter-hour devoted to the apprehension and eventual murder of the Clutter family. Captured in unblinking, neo-documentary detail, it freezes the blood just as they did all those decades ago.
What initially unfolds as an admittedly unimpressive blow-by-blow of the infamous event in question ultimately culminates into an appropriately unnerving look at the disintegration of humanity and the frigid realities of our world's understanding of justice. Richard Brooks's adaptation of Truman Capote's legendary "non-fiction novel" of the same name, "In Cold Blood" — if nothing else — successfully performs one of the more dangerous high-wire acts I've seen a movie try to pull off in quite a while. This is a movie that forces you to not only identify with those who have unspeakable crimes committed against them, but the individuals who commit said crimes. It's a gamble, but in the end, I found myself watching the movie's final moments with a quickened pulse and whitened knuckles. Why? Could it be the cinematography? The commendable acting and dialogue? Or could it be that, in depicting every event with such docudramatic flair, Brooks and Co. really, truly succeed in making you feel like an accomplice to the whole thing? Either way, "In Cold Blood's" final moments will forever haunt me. Time for a shower.
The raw appeal of Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" is lost to a movie that is, to be honest, boring. It's not bad, per se; it just drags along, plot point by plot point, without offering much insight into the tragedy or the characters. It's not a disaster, but Hollywood could have done better. I will award points to the movie for going outside the "movie norm" at the time and adding more thematic elements, being the first film to say "****" in a dialogue.