The Thin Blue Line

Watch The Thin Blue Line

"A softcore movie, Dr. Death, a chocolate milkshake, a nosey blonde and "The Carol Burnett Show." Solving this mystery is going to be murder."
  • NR
  • 1988
  • 1 hr 43 min
  • 8.0  (25,824)
  • 79

The Thin Blue Line is a classic American documentary film from 1988 that explores the case of Randall Adams, who was charged and convicted of the murder of a police officer in Texas in 1976. The movie, which is directed by the renowned documentary filmmaker Errol Morris, is certainly not your typical true-crime documentary. Rather than simply presenting the facts of the case, Morris uses a variety of techniques to weave together a complex and compelling narrative that challenges our assumptions about justice, truth, and the role of the media in shaping public opinion.

The movie begins by introducing Randall Adams, a soft-spoken and affable man who has been in prison for over a decade for a crime he claims he did not commit. Through a series of interviews with Adams, as well as with other key players in the case, Morris begins to unravel the twisted story of how Adams came to be convicted of murder.

Through archival footage, reenactments, and interviews with witnesses, Morris makes a convincing case that the evidence against Adams was thin at best, and that the prosecution's case was built largely on the testimony of a convicted felon named David Harris, who was seeking to make a deal with the police in exchange for leniency in his own crimes.

As Morris delves deeper into the case, he uncovers a web of corruption and deceit that reaches all the way to the highest levels of law enforcement in Texas. He shows how the police and the district attorney's office were more interested in securing a conviction than in discovering the truth, and how they were willing to use any means necessary to get a conviction, including coercing witnesses and suppressing exculpatory evidence.

One of the most interesting things about The Thin Blue Line is the way that it challenges traditional notions of objectivity in documentary filmmaking. Morris is known for his use of dramatic reenactments and stylized cinematography, which some critics have argued undermines the authenticity of his films. However, in this case, these elements serve to underscore the ways in which our memories and perceptions of an event can be shaped and distorted by the media.

The Thin Blue Line was a groundbreaking film in many ways. It not only helped to exonerate an innocent man, but it also paved the way for a new kind of documentary filmmaking that blended elements of fiction and non-fiction, and that was unafraid to take a strong stance on controversial issues.

Overall, The Thin Blue Line is a powerful and thought-provoking film that will challenge your assumptions about the criminal justice system and the media's role in shaping public opinion. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in true crime, documentary filmmaking, or the pursuit of justice.

The Thin Blue Line is a 1988 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 43 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.0 and a MetaScore of 79.

The Thin Blue Line
Where to Watch The Thin Blue Line
The Thin Blue Line is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Netflix, Apple TV Channels, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon and Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent The Thin Blue Line for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 43 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    8.0  (25,824)
  • Metascore