- 1 hr 53 min
Witness is a thrilling crime drama movie released in 1985, directed by Peter Weir and starring Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, and Lukas Haas. The movie follows the story of John Book (Harrison Ford), a Philadelphia police detective, who is investigating the murder of an undercover colleague. After discovering that the victim was working to uncover corruption within the police department, Book becomes a target and is forced to go into hiding in an Amish community in Pennsylvania.
While living among the Amish, Book becomes a witness to their simple and peaceful way of life, which leads to some unexpected and thought-provoking encounters. One such encounter is with a young Amish widow named Rachel Lapp (Kelly McGillis), whom Book befriends and eventually develops a romantic interest in. As Book struggles to adapt to his new surroundings, and maintain his true identity and mission, he also becomes a target of the corrupt police officers, who are still in pursuit of him.
As Book grapples with his own beliefs and doubts, he is forced to confront the corruption he has uncovered in his own department and the lengths to which the corrupt officers will go to protect themselves. Meanwhile, the culprits remain unknown, hiding and biding their time until they can exact their revenge on Book, who they consider a threat to their illicit enterprise.
The movie was praised for its stunning portrayal of Amish culture, contrasting it with the grittiness of city-life and the corrupt police department. It shines a light on the stark differences between their way of life and modern American society, as well as on the social and cultural barriers that exist between these two worlds. The film takes a deep dive into the Amish principles of non-violence, pacifism, and forgiveness, as Book struggles to reconcile this with his own violent nature as a police detective.
Harrison Ford's performance in the movie was phenomenal and considered one of his best. He convincingly channeled his character's complex array of emotions, transitioning from the rugged police detective to an introspective and vulnerable individual trying to navigate a new world he finds himself in. Kelly McGillis, who played his love interest, also added excellent acting to the film. Her nuanced portrayal of the Amish widow was both captivating and intense, especially in her interactions with Ford's character, providing a stark contrast to the violent and corrupt world he came from.
The movie's technical aspects, such as cinematography, music, and sound quality, were all top-notch. The serene beauty of the Amish countryside was complemented by a haunting musical score, which skillfully maintained the tension and suspense of the film's darker moments. The movie's climactic scene is also worth noting, as it is intense and well-executed without relying heavily on violence.
In conclusion, Witness is a captivating movie that is undoubtedly a must-watch for crime drama aficionados. Its depiction of the Amish community stands out and is a rare glimpse into a world that seems so foreign to most viewers. The film's exploration of themes such as corruption, violence, forgiveness, and love, make it more than just a crime drama, and a timeless classic that still holds up today.
Witness is a 1985 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 53 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.4 and a MetaScore of 76.