The Staircase Murders

Watch The Staircase Murders

  • TV-PG
  • 2007
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • 5.5  (422)

The Staircase Murders is a psychological thriller film from 2007 that tells the true story of Michael Peterson, a North Carolina novelist who was accused of murdering his wife Kathleen when she was found dead at the bottom of a staircase in their home. The film is directed by Tom McLoughlin and stars Treat Williams in the lead role of Michael Peterson, Kevin Pollak as his attorney, David Rudolf, and Samaire Armstrong as Caitlin Atwater, a filmmaker who assists Michael's defense team with a documentary about the case.

The film opens with Michael making a frantic 911 call reporting that his wife had fallen down the stairs and needs immediate medical attention. When the police and ambulance arrive, they find Kathleen lying at the bottom of the staircase, unconscious and covered in blood. She is rushed to the hospital, where she dies a few hours later. The police soon become suspicious of Michael's story and start investigating his past.

As the investigation progresses, the police discover that Michael had been married before and that his ex-wife had also died under suspicious circumstances. They also find out that Michael has a history of extramarital affairs and was heavily in debt. With all these pieces of evidence, the police arrest Michael and charge him with the murder of his wife.

Throughout the trial, Michael maintains his innocence and hires David Rudolf to defend him. David believes that Michael is innocent and that Kathleen's death was an accident. He also enlists the help of Caitlin Atwater, a young filmmaker who wants to make a documentary about the case. Caitlin interviews various family members, friends, and experts to get a better understanding of the events leading up to Kathleen's death.

As the trial progresses, new evidence comes to light, including an autopsy report that suggests Kathleen may have been attacked before falling down the stairs. The defense claims that the prosecution's timeline of events doesn't add up and that there must have been another person in the house at the time of Kathleen's death. The trial becomes a battle of wits between the two sides as they try to prove their version of events.

The film's strength lies in its exploration of the complex and sometimes murky world of criminal justice. The story is told through a mix of courtroom drama and interviews with family members and experts, which gives the film a sense of authenticity. Treat Williams gives a nuanced and convincing portrayal of Michael Peterson, conveying both his charm and his darker side.

Kevin Pollak is also impressive as David Rudolf, conveying the lawyer's conviction that his client is innocent, despite the overwhelming evidence against him. Samaire Armstrong is also excellent as Caitlin, whose involvement in the case becomes increasingly personal as she becomes more emotionally invested in the outcome.

Overall, The Staircase Murders is a gripping and thought-provoking film that explores the complexities of justice and human behavior. The film raises important questions about the fairness of our legal system and the role of circumstantial evidence in criminal trials. Fans of true crime dramas and legal thrillers will find plenty to enjoy in this well-crafted film.

The Staircase Murders is a 2007 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.5.

The Staircase Murders
Where to Watch The Staircase Murders
The Staircase Murders is available to watch free on The Roku Channel Free. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Staircase Murders for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 30 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.5  (422)