Watch An American Crime
- 1 hr 38 min
An American Crime is a powerful and gut-wrenching drama based on a true story of a horrific crime that took place in Indiana in the 1960s. Directed by Tommy O'Haver, the film is a harrowing depiction of the torture and murder of a teenage girl named Sylvia Likens at the hands of her caregiver and several neighborhood children. The movie begins with Gertrude Baniszewski (played by Catherine Keener), a single mother of seven children, agreeing to take care of Sylvia Likens (Elliot Page) and her younger sister Jenny (Hayley McFarland) while their parents go on the road. What starts off as a seemingly kind gesture turns into a nightmare for Sylvia, as Baniszewski's own children and their friends begin to torment and torture her in the family's basement.
As the days go by, Sylvia is subjected to a range of physical and emotional abuse. She is forced to strip and perform lewd acts, is branded with the words "I'm a prostitute and proud of it", and is even burned with cigarettes. All the while, Baniszewski turns a blind eye to what is happening, and even encourages her own children to continue their cruelty.
The film is unflinching in its portrayal of the abuse and violence that Sylvia endures. The audience is forced to bear witness to her suffering, and the relentless nature of the abuse becomes almost unbearable to watch at times. Elliot Page gives a remarkable performance as Sylvia, conveying both her vulnerability and her strength in the face of what is happening to her. Hayley McFarland is also excellent as Jenny, who is forced to watch her sister's torment but is too afraid to speak out.
Nick Searcy plays the lead investigator in the case, who is tasked with piecing together what happened to Sylvia. As he interviews various characters involved in the case, including Baniszewski's children and the other teenagers who participated in the abuse, the full horror of what happened is revealed.
An American Crime is a difficult and deeply disturbing film that will stay with you long after the credits have rolled. It is a raw and honest portrayal of a true story that is almost too horrific to comprehend, and one that serves as a reminder of the depths of human cruelty that can be inflicted upon others. The film is not for the faint of heart, but for those who can stomach it, it is a powerful and important work of cinema.
An American Crime is a 2007 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 38 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.2.