American Crime

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"Somebody is watching ... somebody is taping ... somebody is planning ... to murder you."
  • R
  • 2003
  • 4.4  (973)

American Crime is a gripping drama that depicts the aftermath of a brutal assault on a young woman named Julie Styron (Rachael Leigh Cook), who is left for dead in a park. The cast is led by Annabella Sciorra and Cary Elwes, who play the parents of the victim, and Kip Pardue, who portrays a high school basketball star accused of the crime.

The movie is split into three acts, each one exploring a different perspective on the events that have transpired. The first act focuses on the victims and their families, as they struggle to deal with the trauma of the assault. Julie's parents, played by Sciorra and Elwes, are torn apart by the event and each has their own way of dealing with the fallout. Sciorra's character wants to see justice done, while Elwes is more concerned about protecting his family's reputation.

The second act centers on the accused, Matt (Pardue), and his family. As a popular athlete, Matt is caught in the crosshairs of the press and the legal system. His parents, played by Michael Ironside and Leslie Hope, are desperate to prove their son's innocence and will do whatever it takes to clear his name.

The final act deals with the trial itself, as both sides present their arguments and evidence. Along the way, the audience is shown twists and turns that keep them guessing as to who the real culprit is. The movie avoids taking a simplistic approach to the case, refusing to present a clear-cut verdict and leaving the viewer with lingering questions about who was really responsible.

One of the strengths of American Crime is its strong cast. Sciorra and Elwes are both seasoned actors who are able to convey the complexities of their characters. Pardue does an excellent job of portraying Matt as both sympathetic and ambiguous, leaving the viewer unsure of whether or not he is capable of such a heinous act. Cook is equally impressive as Julie, whose silence speaks volumes about the impact the attack has had on her.

The movie also features strong cinematography, using natural light to create a sense of realism that makes it easier for the viewer to become emotionally invested in the story. The score is also noteworthy, with some haunting music that heightens the sense of tension.

American Crime is a movie that deftly explores the themes of justice, privilege, and class in modern America. It raises difficult questions about how the legal system works, how different people experience trauma, and the role that the media plays in shaping public opinion. It avoids easy answers, instead presenting a nuanced and complex portrait of a crime and its aftermath.

In conclusion, American Crime is a powerful and skillfully crafted movie that engages the viewer on multiple levels. It offers a thought-provoking exploration of difficult moral issues, and is sure to stick with audiences long after the credits roll.

American Crime
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    4.4  (973)